“I cannot recall the words of my first poem, but I remember a promise I made my pen, never to leave it lying in somebody else’s blood”. ~ Audre Lorde ~
It’s been over 25 years since I read Ms Lourde’s promise to her pen. I can’t remember the exact year.
What I do remember is how this promise touched me. I still can’t explain the feeling it gave me except to say it spoke to my spirit. I also remember that upon reading it. I was so impressed (and perhaps impressionable) that I immediately made the same promise to my own pen, unknowingly laying the foundation for how I would fashion everything I wrote from that point forward, and consequently, who I would become as a writer.
Many times over the years, I have wished that I had never read those words or made that promise… because at times, I have felt stifled by it.
I have stayed away from many subjects because they were volatile, or might be viewed as politically incorrect. I have rarely written of my innermost thoughts or feelings concerning those things that touch me deeply.
Not because I haven’t want to; sometimes I do. And not because I can’t, as I find it’s rather easy to write exactly and explicitly what I think and/or what I feel.
The writing has never been a problem.
The problem is I cannot publish what I have written because of the promise I made unless…
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My little sister once told me that I’ve been writing for as long as she can remember. Since we’re both over 50, you would think that I’ve been doing this long enough to have nailed the writing life.
But I haven’t.
When it comes to the heartbreaking, soul searing, real life stuff. I have to remain quiet because those are the times I find myself really, really wanting to use my pen as a weapon. To figuratively skin someone alive. But I can’t publish those posts because I made a promise that I wish I could break… but I can’t.
Sooner or later I’m going to figure it.