Me. The pen. The humbling acceptance of the blank page. The most performative thing about writing with pen/pencil and paper are the ink smudges caught inside the deepening lines of your hand, the growing callous inside your middle finger.
I am not mellowing. I was told I would. I would grow more conservative, I would forgive and forget. Or that if I did not do as it was decreed- soften, bend more here and there, become more quiet- I would be bitter.
And I believed them. Don’t let the bitter get me. Surely it must be a thing inside, a seed I planted when I was hurt, betrayed, and because I could not let it go, because I wrote about it and talked about, it nestled in the dark, and grew. Don’t let the bitter get me. I must not be angry. I must. Lower my voice. Sit always with my legs closed and my mouth only a cupid’s bow.
Go down the throat like a fine wine- smooth, a rush of pleasure on the palate. Palatable. But oh I am full of barbs and chaotic good and unraveling and unlearning.
This is the wisdom that nourishes me- the earth itself provides bitter herbs and roots. Bitter is not without value. A strange, wonderful, troubling alchemy must take place so the bitter becomes medicine, an agent of healing, an agent of cleansing. It must be pulled, culled, apply heat and pressure.
It is anger now. You hear the drumbeat of blood in your ears, you cry and rage. Then is silence, in listening, distill it again. Anoint yourself with its oils. Speak when it is your turn to speak, when you learn something new, raise your voice when it’s your turn.
There will be a hand over your mouth. Then another. You will find one of those hands is your own.
Some of us learned to bite for a reason.
If only we had grown bitter. Or if only we had learned to be more delicate, sapid. How lovely that would be, to lay down our hearts call and our empathy to spend a life in twilight dreaming. To dedicate our energy to perfect cognitive dissonance and accept all that is wrong may never be right again.
Turn your privilege into a blanket fort while a war against being wages.
To say, I was there. But I did nothing and it didn’t matter anyway.
No. Full stop.
There is no age limit in the resistance.