There’s a woman who’s bared a piece of her soul on the internet. When I needed to feel my soul’s honest cries for my attention, I used to read her words. Monday through Friday as I was commuting to a job that made no sense for my heart’s calling, I used to have an hour and a half each way; plenty of time for her words to entertain my soul—and they did. Words are the only other thing besides sugar I’ve always voraciously eaten up. When I was in the fourth grade, I began retreating into novels—they helped me hide in plain sight, and I needed to hide without much fuss, for long periods of time back then. My father, who was at the height of his mental health violence, would not bother me if I was reading. So I read, and read, and read, till three in the morning sometimes…ate up every word. There’s a peacefulness in reading, regardless of how atrocious the truth revealed in the words may be.
This week has brought a lot of turmoil to us all. The planet is crying out for attention and we may once more ignore the call. I know you hope we won’t, and often I land on the hopeful side with you, but there’s a bitter taste that has not eased up since 45’s become the face of a nation facing its demons—so today I am not hopeful. I am just honest, I am just reading the statistics:
Once more, I’ve found myself pulling up this woman’s blog, hoping for a friendly soul-to-soul reintroduction. She doesn’t write about politics, the state of the world, or anything labeled as spiritual. She doesn’t tell anyone how to live their life, where to seek the answers, or what they’ll look like. She doesn’t even tell anyone how to frame the questions. She just writes. She writes and shares. The best teachers simply are what they teach. When I need to hide in plain sight but still wish to learn, I feast on words. But this time around, as I clicked on seven or eight entries, ready to indulge for a few hours, I ended up with just the pictures. I must have mis-clicked. I guess it’s what happens when you click on the picture because its sentiment draws you in, rather than clicking on the words in the title. I guess it’s what comically happens when you try to trade how you feel for how you’d rather feel, when you go searching for truth somewhere other than within yourself, when you try to inhabit the alternate reality available through the story, through the imagery the words create. That’s the truth of it at least, there’s turmoil in my heart, there’s turmoil in the land, there’s turmoil I’d rather turn away from, and I get to if I choose because my privileged skin is white and my American passport lies beside my Romanian one. The truth of it is also, is also is also always there’s an also, that we all turn away from the turmoil we’d rather not face, we all try to escape, we all try to manipulate the reality so it is more palatable. In some way, we all hide in plain sight—it’s the best survival technique out there.
After much intentional practice, I’ve chosen to share instead of to hide. I have a lot of baggage around sharing. I also have a wildness that gives no fuck about my baggage. The bags are all tightly packed too, with their “that’s not good enough” “you can’t end a sentence with ‘be’ people are going to judge you hard for that and see you as less than or awe she’s so cute in her wrongness” “check your commas” “this expression (in words, painting, or dance) is not doing a service to anyone” “who gave you permission to bare your soul” “who gave you permission to break the rules” “who gave you permission to go this far” “who gave you permission to keep going, to keep creating, to keep sharing, to contribute?” See, wouldn’t you hide somewhere in all those heavy bags? I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you did, though I would try to get you to come outside and share just a bit beyond what is tolerable. Because to share yourself with the world is the only way we’ll get through this together. It’s the only way we’ll “walk in beauty” as another teacher of mine says.
Here’s my “just a bit beyond what is tolerable” share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlL3AsAEvpQ&t=4s