Quiet Presence

I’ve been quiet here.

And that is very much a reflection of the current state of the rest of my life.

But that wasn’t the plan.

It wasn’t what I intended when I created this space.

For much of my life, I have written.

But never more than the last few years.

I have written and written and written and written.

Writing has very likely been the reason I am still here, human, and among the living.

It has literally saved my life.

Writing is often how I locate myself in emotional and intellectual space.

In a world that has cast me as invisible, as unworthy and expendable, writing is how I make my mark.

A touchstone I return to and know I was here.

A lens through which I can see myself, even if nothing and no one else in the world reflects me back to me.

And so feeling quiet, feeling the need to draw close to myself and to hold my thoughts and my process and my stories within and with great care is both comforting and somewhat distressing.

And because I have spent so much of my life learning to gaze upon myself with the same pathologizing eye with which the world sees me, I search for answers, for what is wrong with me that I would start this blog and then be unable to write.

After all, it’s flaky.

It’s irresponsible.

It’s further evidence of my defectiveness

It’s not finishing what I started.

Is it the devastating relationship loss that happened just before I created and launched this space and that I am still deeply grieving?

Is it that I shared so deeply of myself in that relationship, perhaps more deeply than I ever have, and was more vulnerable than I have ever allowed and there was harm done and mistakes were made and I was ultimately rejected, that I can’t trust my own words and my own perspective in the same way anymore?

Is it my disillusionment with the overlapping world of online social justice and identity politics, with all of its parallels to shallow religious structures and dogma, where I have once again found myself in the midst of a performance, a fool dancing for my own salvation – a salvation, like that of the church – that never existed in the first place and that will never come?

Is it that that same world has become a space where capitalism reigns supreme and the same social structures and hierarchies are reflected and marketing and selling are the primary language spoken and those of us lacking in every kind of capital are still on the margins, still fighting to be heard and included in the conversations about our very lives?

Is it that when I look around the only reflection I see of experiences even close to mine are from so-called ”experts” and academics and a society that grants value and validity to the orientation of speaking about and to sanitized and reductive versions of certain lived experiences rather than from them?

Is it my complete exhaustion from the constant demands that I explain myself, my life and my queerness that have followed me from as far back as I remember and that those explanations often only lead to separation and judgement and assumptions and the need to fix and save and further alienation and not the acceptance and understanding that was sought?

Or is it my complete exhaustion from the constant demands that I singularly “heal” my relational trauma and constantly work at individual self improvement when I exist in a world where the trauma and the violence towards my continued existence never stops and where I lack the tools, the resources (both financial and social capital), the connections and the access to the relationships and community that might actually help me, that might mitigate harm done and protect me from further harm?

Is it the continuous process of awakening to the reality I live in, all the lies swallowed, all the ways my existence has been colonized, capitalized and used from birth?

And the answer is yes.

Yes, it is all of these things.

And it is also more.

And it is also – I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I have had periods before where it has been hard to write.

Where all I could write were entire pages of  “I don’t know” over and over and over again.

And I came through them.

And my words returned.

And the desire to share them returned.

And so, though it is the hardest thing to do, I have to trust myself.

That this particular period of closing in and being with myself and quiet wrestling is what is called for and is allowed.

And that the words that want to be shared will return – or they won’t.

And either way, I am allowed to be here now, quiet but present, in this place, in this space of my own making.


[Photo by Jean Skeels @jmskeels]

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