Wednesday, June 27, 2007

getting out

How do you get out with your soul intact, away from your family who maybe loves you but wants something different for you, away from friends who want to sit still, away from mindsets that want to hold you close, close you off, defend shallow thinking, defensiveness.

you can let life happen to you, or you make it your own. please make it your own.

i remember when every sentance I said, I wanted to apologize for. when I thought I was so stupid, and half my struggle was unlearning that. Learning things helped. learning physical things that I could feel confident in - like how to fix broken radiator hoses, how to use a chainsaw. learning history helped, understanding that it was not just me, but a world based on keeping us stupid feeling, keeping us wrapped in a silence of competitiveness and gossip and feeling never enough.

When I was too shy to talk, I used to copy articles I liked, political essays and poetry, and put them into little pamplets with beautiful covers and set up tables at anarchist gatherings, selling pamplets for donation. Sometimes it seemed like there was so much talking and not enough poetry, and no one reading black women's words, and I wanted to change that.

As much as there was too much talk and not enough poetry, I remember how amazing it felt to be around lots of people wanting to change things, lots of people who thought along the same lines as me, and it gave me strength to go back to where ever I was from, where I couldn't find the right people. It gave me hope that I would find them someday.

I remember when I started to take more responsibility for my life - when I saw how my self-hate protected me, kept me from challenging myself in fundamental ways. And I knew I had to take these chances - to learn to say what I thought, to learn to say what I felt, to learn what it was that I thought and felt outside of what I thought I should feel and think because I thought that's what someone else wanted me to feel and think.

if that sounds convoluted, that's because it was. that's how my mind was. how a lot of our minds are.

to take responsibility for yourself. deep self-reflection. deep self-forgiveness. taking on a daily practice of become human and strong and fragile. stop hanging out with people who don't want to go beyond shallowness. start risking real conversations. learn. teach.


alex wrekk said...

Cindy, this is Alex Wrekk. Thanks for carrying my new zine. I'm sorry I haven't written you yet, I'm just now getting to backed up mail. I have been meaning to write you but I have been out of town and have spent the last few months everyday 5-9 hours a day until exhaustion working on fixing my house to sell. And I'm now done....which leads me to reflecting on this post.

After spending years of shyness and being too scared to step out of myself, these months working on the house has been so good for me. I have been pushing the limits of both my mind and my body by teaching myself to refinish floors, fix wiring, paint things. One of the biggest things for me was to actually have to talk to the two people I had to hire to fix things I knew I couldn't. A year ago I would be terrified of that but I handled it really well.

The whole experience of working on the house has been really metaphoric. I have taken a broken down place filled with shadows of bad memories of a bad situation, picked it up, brushed it off and learned to love it again, to create something I can be proud of.

take care of yourself, alex

p.s. I made and RSS feed for your blog on livejournal (mine username is thinkbettersick). That means that livejournal picks up the text and people who have livejournals can read it on their friends list.

Anonymous said...

hey!! is this you--the lady who wrote all those issues of Doris that I've read and cherished for always?

I'm totally adding you to my blogroll, dudette. your writing is gorgeous. i hope you'll check out my blog sometime if you get the chance.

Darlin' said...

What SHE said.
I've always loved you.

Jesse Darlin'.

Hawks and Hope said...

i think that it is very important to point out the imperativeness of fucking up, of saying the wrong things, of saying anything really, instead of staying quiet, or saying what we think is wanted.

i feel this in everyway, and am trying to not let it rule my shit. i am glad you are thinking about it too. i got your letter and it really helped, im sending you my new mini zine, to the right po box this time.

takecare lady! lets get ice cream when i get my ass to asheville

Hawks and Hope said...

oh that comment is from me, sarah sky.