violence is so, so many things.
overt things, like hurting someone’s body, with purpose. i mean, there are millions of horrible ways to harm a body: hitting, kicking, slamming, pushing, shoving, choking, pinching, smacking, smothering. small things on small parts, also bigger things, with bigger sounds and bigger sores left behind.
violence is also quiet things, like silence. refusing to speak to someone, for hours, or days. the tilt of a head. a glare, or an empty stare, as if you are invisible. ignoring, either purposefully or by being disengaged. not watching, not telling. keeping secrets. perpetuating lies. the absence of presence.
violence is words. ones that are spoken, or hissed, or screamed. ones that are whispered. dirty, disgusting words, yes, but also words that are used opposite to how they’re meant. like i love you while simultaneously having disgusting things done to your body without your say, or you’re a good girl when it really means shut up, don’t tell, no one will believe you. words that get so confused in your brain because the sound of their voice, and what they say is not in line.
violence poisons things. violence dresses up in sheep’s clothing. it is a backdrop, an acrid smell, an insidious chill. violence has bad manners; ignores no thank you and please, stop! and fuck off.
violence was bred into me, was done to me and all around me, and i worry i won’t ever get it out, or off. i fear that others can smell it. that i will never get away. that my cells are rotten, that my body was so steeped in it, that violence is my inevitable destiny. though i know it, have always known it, i am terrified, i am an unwilling servant, i want to be free.
written feb 12/19 but backposted to jan 30/19
i aspire to embody love.
(where embody is taken to mean: to manifest, stand for, represent, give human form to, symbolize, epitomize.)
if i do anything in this life, i mostly just want to be love. coz maybe, just maybe, i could make something good out of the shitshow of my innards, my gross past, my grief, my shame, my family’s rejection of me, my guilt. re-purpose it, re-jig it, come to re-know it as something of which i can be proud.
coz yeah, i also want to be in my body, just generally. like, inhabit it. live in it. feel grounded in it. maybe even like it?
no small feat when i’ve spent years loathing it without quite knowing why, trying to ignore its comings and goings and gurglings and reminders. stuffing it and shaming it and punishing it.
the closest i ever felt to gratitude for my body was while i carried our daughter. i was curious about how it felt; had to attend to it, pay it heed. my body made me hear it, and for the first time, i wanted to listen. i was, quite literally, embodying another human form, within mine, and i was alternately awe-struck and terrified.
i just want to feel like myself in my body. to walk past a mirror and not think, ugh. or to walk past a mirror and actually, purposefully look in it (rather than avert my eyes). to see myself reflected back, my self-in-body.
my first thought about this word was not in terms of sound, but of a visual…of muted colours. softer, less vibrant palettes. unoffensive colours, like those you’d see in a hospice, or a nursery, or a therapist’s office.
and then i just thought of what being muted means, in other senses: the notion of being dulled down. quieted. dimmed. reduced. muffled. diminished. a gradual decrescendo, the ploy to make someone invisible.
an asset to every abuser’s toolkit.
What’s the point in screaming when nobody cares to hear you? All noises muted, no point in trying to make any sounds at all…
listen, i know i’m dating myself again, but too bad.
this is the best i can do at the moment, and i won’t apologize for loving me some george michael. also, this song is a major hit at karaoke bars. just sayin’.