I couldn’t sleep last night, and couldn’t stop thinking of this as we walked together in the garden this morning:
I wish for a world where you can go to a party (to work, to school, to church, to a restaurant, to a club, to the park, on vacation, down the street) and just enjoy yourself. Free of worry and fear of assault – a world where you don’t have to carry the weight of the shape of your body or your wardrobe choices, their alcohol intake or their entitlement or their rage.
A world where you can fully be yourself in any of those spaces, without wasting brain space and heart space on exit strategies. You don’t need to depend on a friend (a witness, a weapon) to walk you to the bathroom or to the train or to your dorm.
A world where you can take creative risks in following those things that you are most passionate about because you have the confidence that, even in failure, you will learn and grow. You will not have to focus instead on other risks that leave you broken and bruised and blamed.
But because that seems to be TOO MUCH TO ASK and I know that you are not safe – no matter how much I teach you and tell you and expose you and shield you and pray for you and hold my breath and lose sleep over you, I must focus my wishes on this:
I wish for a world that listens, weeps, atones, and believes you.
Earlier today I posted this photo on Instagram, along with the following:
I logged onto my blog last night and I have NINETEEN unfinished posts. I’m not finishing anything these days. Nothing feels right. Nothing matches me. October is a tough month, and I thought it was the signs of fall around me, but this year those signs aren’t even here yet, and it still feels heavy. I didn’t get anywhere on those unfinished posts, but I’d still like to break the silence with something easy. I’d love it if you’d ask a question you’ve always wondered about, or throw out a simple writing prompt. I promise to answer in a new post(s).
So if you aren’t on IG, or you are and don’t follow me (but please feel free to send me a request – I love to chat there), you are welcome to ask away in the comments here.
The list, if you let me start it, will roll out slowly, tentatively at first, as if testing the waters between us. It will watch for your shrug or your sigh, for you to politely cut me off with a statement of dismissal, or forcefully drive your point into its stream before it gathers momentum.
But if you are feeling gracious and let me ramble, it will pick up speed. You may have thought you knew just what I would say, but I would surprise you. It’s all there, just under the surface. The expected and the norm-shattering, together.
Each morning I rise and wonder if this is the day the dam breaks. The sides of the sandcastle begin to shear off and slide into the center pool, dissolving, despite the incessant pack-pack-packing the foundation into compliance, sturdy and steady and sticking.
I long to test it somewhere safe, to see how bad the flood is. I don’t know where that is, but I’m searching.