I have a daily creative practice, which includes a 20-minute free-write, inspired by a line (or two) from the "poem of the day" at Poems.com. The writing isn't meant for public consumption, just to get the juices flowing, before I get started on the "real" stuff. But today... I kind of like what I came up with, so I'm going to break my own rules and share it (with the caveat that the other rules include no editing, no polishing, so please don't come back at me with fixes, because THAT AIN'T THE POINT).
Today's jump off point was from Two Poems by Julie Bowsma – the first poem began with "Dear ghosts, how can we stop the sunlight spinning the story from our hands?" and ended with "All I know is this: even before I was born I breathed a loss not my own." (So you just know I relished it!)
Here's where that took me:
Trauma has tentacles. Backward and forwards. Like the stone chip on the windshield, left unattended, as it spider-webs across the flat clarity, until all is unstable. Until the soft bounce of a feather sends it into oblivion.
Am I the feather? I was afraid I was, for the longest time. Now I feel like the fist. Don't you see this is broken? Don't you want it replaced? Here, let me speed up the process, before somebody loses an eye.
FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS – I'm now adding "playwright" and "actor" to my CV! Music For The Changing Voice, the not-a-one-woman-show that I created as a one-off for the artsLocal series in 2017, got picked up for Talk Is Free…
September 10, National Suicide Prevention Day. So little-miss-truth-and-beauty should probably write something inspiring, eh?
And yet, I feel like a total faker writing on this topic, since I was wrestling with my bullshit brain over this particular issue as recently as last week. (Now, don't go panicking on me, I wasn't in any imminent danger, I can keep using cutlery. It's just that there are still some bits that sometimes need some wrangling, or distracting with shiny things occasionally.)
But... I do know a bit (!) about suicide prevention.
Back when I was a kid, and I didn't really have any understanding of just how fragmented my brain and soul were (a pretty genius survival technique – thank you, neurochemistry – which got me through some desperate times, but wasn't terribly useful in later years), I already understood there was an internal battle. I knew there was a bit of myself – or perhaps even a few bits of myself – that flirted with the idea of "accidentally falling" off the subway platform just as the train was coming. Nothing that could be seen as intentional, of course, because that would open up a whole whack of unpalatable scenarios, depending on whether I succeeded or failed in my "accident", but... you know... elbowed off by a distracted commuter, caught by a big whoosh of air... anything that could keep me from being hospitalized and never taken seriously again if I survived, or turned into "the bad guy" if I succeeded. Fortunately, there were a lot of other bits who thought this wasn't such a good idea, and so I would plaster myself to the back wall until the train had safely passed. That way, even if one of us got the urge to dash, the rest of us could probably catch her before she reached the edge. To this day, when I go back to Tronna, I still tend to hold myself at the back of the platform, because the memories of those days are so intense, especially in the stations that haven't been re-tiled since the '80s (which I think are most of them... amIright?)
So... forget being a faker. I am a MASSIVE SUCCESS STORY when it comes to suicide prevention. I'm here to tell the tale.
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