Sunday, August 14, 2011

Express Yourself!

I lost my blog virginity October 15, 2010.  
For years I would send out these weekly “friendship emails” to about 100 “lucky” friends; most of whom, to this day, I have no idea if they read or deleted.  Then someone said to me, “Why do you blog instead of write these sweet little emails…it’s 2010 for god’s sake!” 
Friendship emails felt safe.  The term exudes safety, connection, peace, love, daisies and all that good stuff.  It sings out in a Jackie Deshannon kinda way, “What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love…

Who can forget Jackie’s “Put a little Love in your Heart” and “Reason to Believe” If you think about it, you and I have a lot in common with Jackie in that we are still blogging our hearts out, singing our hearts out and waving those anti-war signs, Bring Our Troops Home signs, and Peace signs every chance we get. 

I guess, though, it saddens me to think that indeed it takes more than “every chance we get.” It takes more than plastering our cars with bumper stickers or hanging a sign in our trailer windows to let the residents know who we really are and how we really feel.  It’s takes courage.  Plain and simple; undiluted courage and sometimes it’s difficult to find.
That’s why Jackie sang about it.  That’s why Diego painted about it.  That’s why Gwendolyn Brooks, the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize, wrote about it.
Each of us, in our own comfortable art forms or personal methods, putting it out there in each other’s face, lest we not forget the uncomfortable subjects of the day.  This is one of Gwendolyn Brooks’ most unforgettable poems and one of my favorites:

The Mother
Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,   
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,   
The singers and workers that never handled the air.   
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,   
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children.
I have contracted. I have eased
My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.
I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized
Your luck
And your lives from your unfinished reach,
If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches, and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,
Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.   
Though why should I whine,
Whine that the crime was other than mine? —
Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?   
You were born, you had body, you died.
It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.
Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you

The bottom line for me is two-fold:  Blogging, writing poetry, shorts, memoir, friendship emails provides me a tool of expression like no other. Equally, it helps me stay connected to other human beings. 
And then, of course, there are the endless paragraphs about the trailer park. 
Those always get the most response.  Well, actually it was about fifty-fifty;
half the recipients dig the antics of an overlooked community of misfits, and the other half of my willing readers want to be showered with warm, hopeful fuzzies like Deshannon sang about.  I have to believe there is also a small handful that wants to be shaked, rattled and slapped into thinking about the state of our government, the political climate of our nation and of our world and the imbalance of justice there in. 
Perhaps that’s a figment of my crazy imagination.
I blog because I blog…because I have an unexplainable need to and there’s no paycheck waiting for me at the end of the day. There’s no award, certificate or medal with the inscription “Trailer Park Girl Blogger 2011 Award.  I blog because the world is vast, complicated and comical.  I write because I am small, but not so small that I don’t take notice.  I write because my smallness and my own surroundings are valuable.
And I now read other blogs and there are some damn good ones out there!
I’ve also recently become a member of Red Room.  It’s a very cool place where writers meet; big name writers and small girls like me.  You can find my link to the left of this blog and there it will stay. You can also check it out right now! 

Better yet, just wander at a bit.  You’ll be glad you did.  I have posted a couple of my own poems which I think might surprise some of you…a trailer park girl who 
is “in the closet” about her poet title. 

No one should be in any closet now should they?  I mean if we can find that undiluted courage, then we can find the strength and nothing can stop any of us!  As a distant pal once said, 
"Burn all closets down to the ground!" (But what about my trousseaux?)
Gustave Courbet, never in any closet with regard to his paintings and though not always welcomed by his peeps, found courage to paint his truths; the good, the bad, and the ugly truths as he saw them.
This is what he said in the fifth decade of his life…

     I am fifty years old and I have always lived in freedom; let me end my life free; when I am dead let this be said of me:  He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any régime except the régime of liberty.”  ~Gustave Courbet

I hear you Gustave…across the sky and over the years that are now between us, and I thank you for your expressions, which are gifts to humanity…gifts that each of us possess and attempt to express daily using our own personal methods.

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