Tell About It

I received a birthday card in the mail today.

Hand written card. Text of card:
As Mary Oliver wrote
Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention
Be astonished
Tell about it.
An unexpected card. A moment of pause.

I try to pay attention and find joy in stumbling upon a penny. Talking about it all, especially in written form, seems to elude me though.

Last year I attended the Digital Pedagogy Lab and had the opportunity to spend a week writing. It was the most I had written in years. I wrote for me and I wrote without fear. Time passes though and I fell out of the practice of writing and inevitably over the course of months fear has crept back in again. Today though, after receiving the unexpected card in the mail, I felt convicted again. I’ve come back to the paragraph from Audre Lorde’s “The Transformation of Silence in to Language an Action” that gave me the courage to write last summer.

In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light, and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid?

Most of my writing spaces are silent. I have been afraid of the permanency of ink on a page or words on a blog and for me that is a poor reason to be silent. I need to write because I have stories I need to share and my voice matters too. I want to have a say in the narrative and that means speaking up, even when I am afraid.

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