On Self and Fear and Healing

courage

Carson Beker recently wrote a gorgeous letter about the tremendous struggles that our country is facing, where she says:

The Escapery is your “queer-owned, woman and NB-operated Writing Unschool…a cooperative of writing artists…We consider the making of art, the standing as artists, artistic play, and the creation of stories that enlarge the world, and the holding of MORE writing spaces, to be part of a balanced breakfast of resistance. More creativity, laughter, imagination, and play, not in ignorance, but in defiance.”

I wanted to reprint Carson’s beautiful words here because everything that she wrote is YES YES YES! And I don’t know if I could say it any better!

For this posting, I wanted to share with you two other things: 1) A story of Self, and 2) a writing experiment that has been so healing and helpful to me during this post-election time, a time of great fear and anger, a time where I’ve felt such a tremendous sense of grief and loss, a time where I’ve questioned my own sense of belonging…

A Short Story of Self: On Thursday after the election, I gave a reading to a room full of poets and writers. And it was on this night that I came out as bisexual. My hubby was the only person who had known of my bisexuality. But after the election, I wanted to (to use Carson’s beautiful words) “let go of one kind of invisibility.” I wanted to do this because in doing so, I believe that it is one tool to help dismantle hate and bigotry. My story of Self is a small one, considering everything that is happening in this country and in the world. But I’ve also been feeling the big celebratory love and support and guidance of my friends. And all I can say right now is, Thank you thank you thank you to every single one of you who has supported me, taught me, and inspired me to try to be a better and bigger and braver person. Thank you…

A Writing Experiment: For two minutes, list all of the times in your childhood when you were scared. For two more minutes, list all of the times in your childhood when you did or said something that felt so brave, so new and big. Select one of these memories, and write into that moment for fifteen minutes. You might write about where you were standing/sitting, what you were doing, how old you were, who was involved in the moment. You might write just dialogue of what was said during your moment of courage. Let the memory take you wherever it needs, and write write write!

 

 

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