Monday, April 28, 2008
This Is A Healing Thing
At the end of the semester, I typically read an essay or story of mine to classes in order to make myself vulnerable in the way that they've been doing all semester. I work it in with their presentations (five minutes of reading their own writing). They mostly hate reading their own stuff, love listening to others. Even though I have been in front of them all semester, I feel oddly nervous when I get up to read. Because, as I tell them, it never gets easier. It's always scary as hell to say, Here I am! Love me, hate me, whatthefuckever. Nightmare, in fact. Last week, I read "The Ceiling Or the Floor," the completed version of the rape essay I have been working on through various blog entries for the past year. You don't get much more vulnerable than that which is why it works if it works. Like the Wallendas said, There's only the tight-rope. The rest of life is waiting.
I don't know how much longer I'll be a teacher, but I got my very best teaching compliment today, something along the lines that I had given a woman the courage to read an essay an extremely traumatic experience that happened to her over fifteen years ago. "I could never talk about it. But this is a healing thing. I figured if you could read what you read, I could." She even brought her own kleenex. Someone once told me that to read for one person is an honor. I couldn't agree more, especially when the one person is listening so closely and willing to be so brave. I once had someone tell me that I didn't have to live the way I did, but I can't think of any other way and most of the time, I am glad for it.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"He sees the cities fuck and fight/ And all of this was made for you and me."Iggy Pop
Drinking memoir suggestion: Madness Marya Hornbacher
Benedictions and Maledictions