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Human Horrors, Marginalizations, and the Faltering of Words

So, I was thinking.

There are a ton of marginalized people. Marginalized for different reasons. Race, sexuality, gender identity, disability…..and more. Sometimes people are marginalized in more than one way.

But something bothers me.

I remember, within the last year, someone (from one of these groups) was angry because they weren’t seeing their more privileged friends speaking out about terrible things that had happened.

And something in that bothered me. There was an assumption that everyone that they wanted to speak…even could. Or would be listened to if they did.

It’s not that I don’t think you should speak out and protest evil things being done to others. You should. But there are multiple ways to be marginalized, so if I don’t belong to your group of marginalized people, that doesn’t mean that I’m free from any type of marginalization.

I’d like to channel my privilege into something productive, but I’m not free from marginalization myself.

And again, the assumption that everyone even can speak out..is just not true.

I am autistic. (Or I am a person with autism, if you prefer.) For me, this creates trouble in understanding language, as well as producing it. I mean, I realize that I sound like there’s no problem, but here’s the catch: the problem I have is applying the proper words to the right contexts. I have a rich vocabulary, but I can’t use it effectively.

And as your emotions grow (and mine too), my ability to express myself even passably falters greatly. I know that the event at hand was awful. I am appalled that people treat each other with such disregard for their common humanity.

But I also know that your heightened emotions require carefully planned words, because I want to be supportive. I want to help you, not hurt you. I don’t think that you need my faltering, stumbling words in such a moment. You need someone who can actually say the things that don’t hurt.

I mean, when I’m hurting badly, I really don’t need more pain, even if the other person means well. I would need friendship and love at such a time. I want to be that person for you at this time.

I just..I want you to remember this when you are upset about how few of your friends decry a horrible event.

Sometimes, I just can’t say anything, because I just do not have the language skill that I need to express myself. Sometimes, I can work it out. Sometimes, too much time has passed and it feels like saying anything would just get me yelled at.

Please remember that there are real reasons for people to not be speaking when it would be helpful for you for them to do that.

Writing Prompts: The Perfect Time (to Start Again)

the perfect time (to start again)

(c) 10 Dec 2013 Windy Johansen

This time’s phrase is: the perfect time (to start again)

My creative writing often has these ideas of redemption and triumph as central themes; even if such ideas aren’t central, they’re typically woven through a work. I’ve had to start over so many times.

ANd as much tragedy as there can be in the things that make us start over, there’s often hope. Hope that this time will bring us closer to the best people we can be.

I think these moments give us the chance to be our own people. I think they also remind us of how delicate things in life can be…how delicate our own fellow beings are. I think these times of picking up the piece teach us to be kinder to the next person who goes through their own set of awful things.

I think that it makes our dreams and hopes capable of becoming far more rich and alive than they could be otherwise.

And at the same time, I really hate blazing through piles of tissues because I cried approximately 500 times today. But those things, those awesome things that grow out of this…brokenness…they’re grand. (And piles of dirty tissue is a small price to pay for that.)

I see this picture in my mind of dirt or soil broken into little jagged dry pieces. Those pieces are glass sharp enough to hurt you. The ground is rocky now; no water will ever make it produce life again. You’re sure it can’t.

You walk around a bit, picking past large shards. You stumble, fall, and dust yourself off. Ow. Owowow.

And then you see it…there’s this little plant growing a few inches from your toes. Somehow, life is still here.

You fell over that spot not long ago. Your blood must have given that seed just enough water to grow. You’re sure that has to be it. Otherwise that’d be a miracle.

Do miracles happen? N-no…Um..

The plant just continues to be there. It’s a bright green, with softly rounded leaves.

Do miracles happen?

And in that little plant..inside you, is this new promise: Tomorrow may not give you any rain, and the glass might hurt you, but there will always be bright things somewhere.

Unexpected life is extraordinary stuff. And as you look around, you spy other plants, even in places you haven’t been to.

Wow. The broken ground gave these little seeds room to sprout.

An embryonic forest of miraculous origin.

It’s the perfect time to start again.
———
How do you feel about these things?

<3

A Sunday Post. (And the Journey that Got Me Here)

I don’t normally post on Sundays (this blog is my job, and I don’t work on Sundays). But this is something I need to share with you, because I need you to know more about my journey.

I need you to know it before the thoughts crawl out of my head.

So here we are. A non-job post on a Sunday, on a blog that otherwise counts as my job.

I started this blog wanting to rekindle a passion for life in others. It has grown into a blog where I strive to rekindle others’ passion for writing with a focus on poetry, but hoping that it helps anybody do anything positive and uplifting and loving and passionate and yes, I know that’s a run on sentence.

I know I am comparatively unskilled, and I strive not to give one tenth of a rip about that. I want you to know that passion is the single most important thing in all of this. Skill is learned over time by doing the thing you want to do over and over until you get the skill level you wanted..and often, you continue pushing the goal higher.

Passion can grow, and must be maintained in much the same way as skill, but skill will not get you anyplace by itself.

I love having passion for my writing and this blog. I don’t have a lot of things I can be passionate about, so passion is precious to me (that’s depression for you: sucking the passion out of everything since just about the beginning of time).

My writing saved me. It was unskilled writing (I was new-ish to this whole poetry thing), but it gave me the power to communicate the awful things I’d been through. I got to see the inner workings of my mind, and the inner-inner workings that I don’t know that I would have ever comprehended without it.

I do have a point. Writing in this unskilled manner, I finally was able to see, hear, and express. In clawing out of where I was to where I would be, I gained the ability and desire to help you do the same.

If I, as that teenager, had given up and never written because it wasn’t instantly perfect…I can’t bear the thought of what might be lost. Not that I’m so pivotally important to absolutely everyone, but I could already be to someone. Or I gave someone an extra warmth to do something that seems small now, but gets giant later?

And, really, where and who would I be? (Not that writing is the only thing that ever helped, but I don’t know how well anything would have done without it.) That’s the scariest, because I get glimpses sometimes.

Sometimes even the half-known, the quarter-known, the hundredth-known, is far more frightening than the known. At least the unknown could have something good or awesome in it! (Knowing my luck, it’s an oncoming train, but I’ve been ecstatically surprised plenty often.)

I’ve already got threads of misanthropy running through my inner cloth. There’s threads of violence. Threads of brutality. Threads of anger. Threads of things that have no name, but are real-life eldritch horrors. I don’t want to know where I’d be if it was more than just a couple threads of each thing. And I know writing helped unify all the good stuff and made sure the bad didn’t get even one real shot at me.

If your writing only ever helps you to see, hear, express, and speak, then it has given you an unspeakably precious gift. Anyone who tells you otherwise really needs to be ignored, at least in that moment when those words come out of them. And if they actively fight your creativity…oh. Grrrr on them.

I love you all. And I know, I don’t know you. You’re important to me and I love you. You’re a person, you have worth. I believe you to be a child of God, the same as me. So that makes us brothers and sisters, and so that is my reason to love you. (But I’d do it anyway. :) )

<3 I hope today is a blessed one for you. And if some rotten stuff is getting in the way, I'll send Godzilla in and let him chomp on the nasty problem messing up your day. Or week. Or month, or decade...or hour, or minute, or second. You deserve happiness. <3 P.S.: I know I don't control Godzilla, but sometimes I wish I did. Some problems really make you wish you had a Godzilla on call to chomp them away for you. :) (and then you'd...I don't know, pet him and feed him lots of...Godzilla chow, because he only bites problems and food, not anything else. Imagination is fun!)

Destruction/Creation

a dark road, well traveled
but strangely empty then
a pole, barely noticed
what will happen?
then it hits, and everything seems over

(c) Windy Johansen

creation, an opportunity

(c) Windy Johansen

a bright room, just healing
and strongly fighting now
a pole, bearing treatment
what will happen?
now awake, and everything seems hopeful

(c) Windy Johansen

creation, an opportunity
fascination, a lifelong wish
communication, new life

(c) Windy Johansen

a sweet day, so blessed
that empty road was hope
a pole, keeping balance
what will happen?
now walking, and everything seems better

(c) Windy Johansen

concepts flying, wrapping around
concepts wrapping, embracing
osmosis, flowing through

(c) Windy Johansen

creation, an opportunity
information, a lifelong trek
imagination, new life

(c) Windy Johansen

creation, an opportunity
fascination, a lifelong wish
communication, new life

(c) Windy Johansen

creation, an opportunity
information, a lifelong trek
imagination, new life

(c) 25 September 2013, Windy Johansen.

———
I’m still uncertain of posting poems I’ve only written within the previous week. But this one is an interesting one, I think.

If you think this is a good poem, and then tell yourself how you could never do this…don’t say that to yourself. You can. Your voice has every right to be here, and it can say important and artistic things. We need our creative people. Especially now, but we always need creative people to remind us that complacency is not a particularly agreeable place for anyone to be.

If you hate it…well, I am still learning my craft. I might still get it right. :)

Thanks for spending time here, no matter what. Time is important, and I’m glad you chose to be here. <3

World without Words

learn the way around
a magic world just found
a spray of words isn’t needed
your deepest thoughts, unimpeded

(c) Windy Johansen

a world without words
a world of understanding
a world without words

(c) Windy Johansen

crack the glass around
my mind, now unbound
no cage to keep them in boredom
my brightest ideas now have freedom

(c) Windy Johansen

a world without words
a world of understanding
a world without words

(c) Windy Johansen

pictures are glowing, flying
ideas are flaring, flying
every mind is fluttering, flying
understanding is growing, undying

(c) Windy Johansen

a world without words
a world of understanding
a world without words

(c) 10 September 2012, Windy Johansen.

——
I don’t often rhyme in my poetry. I favor rhythm much more than rhyme, even though I’m not really practiced at it yet. I want to write songs, so maybe that’s me being a frustrated songwriter.

I used to write in a free verse style. If I get up the courage, I’ll share those too. But I am more attached to those, so I can’t be sure.