Over the past weeks, I’ve been writing about the importance of speaking and writing the truth.
We might see this historic moment as a struggle between the truth and lies: is climate change real and worthy of our attention or is it a hoax? Does it matter if supreme court justices lie under oath? do we listen to the voices of women who are speaking the truth about abuse they suffered? is it programs like social security and medicare that bankrupt a country’s purse and moral center or is it tax breaks to the very rich? The list goes on and on.
The lies we have been seeing have been so stark and startling that they might suggest that truth-speaking is, by contrast, political, obvious, loud and public.
But anyone who knows what it’s like to speak difficult truths knows how complex it really is to explore truth, to put it to language, and the intimate relationship truth has to silence.
If Judge Kavanaugh’s lies were loud and angry, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s truths were more quiet, spoken out of years of silence.
Why is that? To explore real truths, we must learn to listen differently to ourselves and to the world around us. We must learn to listen to the silences and to honor the real challenges of breaking those silence.
I have a few upcoming projects that focus on silence and breaking silence. I’m excited to share with you and invite you to participate in them:
Writing Workshop: WRITING ABOUT THE UNSAID
Friday November 9th from 10:30-1:30 at Grub Street Boston
See more here
If our writing is going to explore breaking silences, we must also put in the weight of the silences, of the unsaid, into that writing as well. If our writing is going to speak the truth, it must also put in the complexities of truth: tell the truth, but tell it slant, Emily Dickinson wrote.
From poems that work with white space on the page, to thrillers that leave readers eager to turn the page, to memoirs where the younger self might not yet have the tools to name what is happening, a wide variety of writing employs the technique of not saying. In this seminar, we’ll explore how to work explicitly with what is not said on the page to give more depth to what is said.
We’ll explore ways in which the unsaid can add new layers and dimensions to your writing. We’ll classify different reasons and techniques for leaving things out—from writing about trauma to working with the spiritual to creating a wordless understanding with the readers—and we’ll look at specific examples in a wide range of authors such as Elena Ferrante, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and others.
We’ll examine the power of silence and the even greater power of breaking silence and the relationship between the two.
Time will also be dedicated to in-class writing prompts based on our discussions and to getting feedback on your writing. Register here
ANATOMY OF SILENCE ANTHOLOGY Kickstarter Campaign
The Anatomy of Silence is an anthology of non-fiction and creative narratives about the silence that surrounds sexual violence. This book presents unflinching analysis by 26 survivors and allies talking out loud (often for the first time) about what it means to stay silent, to be silenced, to be complicit in silencing others. I’m honored to be one of the 26 writers included in the book.
My essay explores in more depth than I’ve written about before the toll that traumatic silence played on my life, the ways in which what I did not have the tools to speak verbally as a young child was spoken in the body, and the cost of that silence. But the essay also explores the ways in which, behind the traumatic silence, I came to a deeper level of silence that was filled with grace and peace, a level that, ultimately, stands beyond the reach even of unspeakable violence.
I’d be delighted if you support the project by pre-ordering a copy of the book through the kickstarter campaign and supporting the project in any way you can here
FREE ONLINE MEDITATION AND WRITING SESSION
Thursday, November 8 12:30pm-1:30pm Eastern
Come for all or part of the time.
Come be led in a meditation and by writing prompts.
Clients have loved these in the past, and I’m excited to host another.
Sign up for the free log-in information at the link below:
PLEASE JOIN ME: FREE ONLINE MEDITATION AND WRITING SESSION
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