As our political climate delves further and further into disarray, it becomes more and more difficult to write in a blog; to post feelings. An emotionally charged girl, in an emotionally charged world, I have always loved writing here. I have always found a perfect hideaway in words. But, these days, our words betray us. Our every thought offends, the very nature of our language has stolen something from someone.
English is a melting-pot language; built on the bones of Latin and Greek. Dead languages.
And, yes, America, is a melting-pot country; built on the bones of freedom-fighters--who lost their lives to invent homes for the homeless.
When we forget where we've come from, we forget ourselves. William Hazlitt has some variation of that, in one of his many volumes. I've taken half a year away from little bit of cinnamon to work on Left2Write (since my last post we have started and completed our trial run: five schools and literary magazines, 180 students, 80 scholarship applicants), contemplate my voice, and think about the future. But I've missed having a forum like this for word-vomit. I think there's comfort in knowing our stories exist, even if we're the only ones to find them.
Now, I don't speak politics, when I can help it. More into the minutia, the psychology, I sit back and attempt to rationalize. I try to understand. I like to talk in microcosms; to make things personal.
Would I invite people into my home who didn't have anywhere else to go?
What would I do if they became violent?
If they threatened my safety?
Would I continue to invite people into my home who stole? Who lied?
--What if they had children?
And, what about our children? Living in microcosms means that drinking laundry detergent, burning internally, snorting condoms, and doing a dance called floss, are all cries for help. Living in a microcosm means children need their parents and their parents need to be more present. Being present is both an emotional and physical construct. I know people who are easiest to find and the most absent. I read of people who are desperately trying to stay close (and that action alone makes them present).
Living microcosmically means absence is taken very personally, felt in surround-sound, and undeniable.
I have been trying to understand absence, my whole life.
Growing up, I had friends in single-parent households: Mother's juggling all of the responsibilities of raising a family and keeping a home, on their own; their very lifelines formed from too many hours driving to pick up her children, too many days sweeping and mopping, too many dishes. All on her own. I wasn't in a single-parent household but our stories were so similar, I often wondered what it really meant to leave.
I am still trying to understand absence.
When I was doing well in school, my mom and I used to celebrate by sitting in our favorite deli and spending a day with steak fries and chit-chat. That deli is no longer standing and those days were marked absent on my report card but those were the days I felt most present.
I count myself one of the lucky ones: I have learned from my mother how to love, to work, to care, to stay. And 25 years later, I'm learning how to leave. I'm learning how to fight. I am seeing the repercussions for a lifetime of absence. Because it's hard to miss the relationships, the people, the words, you never had.
But, if you're lucky enough to have them, you will fight like hell not to lose them. And who are we to take them away?
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.