“Write to save yourself… and someday you’ll write because you’ve been saved.” When I first read these words from a novel by Anne Michaels, an author whose work I love, I understood. This is what I had been doing ever since I learned to read and write – something that my six-year-old self seized upon with a sense of wonder and glee. I could tell stories. I could pour out my heart in the cups of words, line them up on the tray of a white page – and serve. I could let myself rain. And I could shake out drops of laughter. In writing I could be bold. I was a timid child, by all accounts, at least people deduced that from the fact that I was tiny. My imagination was larger than life, though, and reading and writing filled me with the impression that so too was the world: larger than life in a country where we were boxed in according to colour, and the world was presented to us within the cramped confines of black and white. Writing became my escape, my canvas, my map. I could live in my words; I could appear there – there were no signs that indicated my “proper place” according to my race or gender. I was in control of punctuation! And so I wrote, and continue to write, to save myself.
What led me to Worldpulse and what currently moves me to write here, however, is the second part of the quotation: the hope of that “someday”. I do not know if I am there yet – there are moments… There are moments when my words are a red shout claiming revolution, when they sing and dance for freedom, when they resound with the history of what we have survived. And then there are times when they are a whisper, a sigh, a six-year-old’s question: are we there yet? It is at this point that it helps to hear other voices; to have the company of your words when my own are falling silent. Here I can trace the rich cartography of (y)our journeys of courage, beauty and possibility and locate the affirmation that we are getting there, that in some ways we are always already arriving at that “someday”.
For me, Worldpulse is an unfolding of a new map. I hope to discover what it could mean to write “because you have been saved”… and to share that discovery with the world. On this journey (and in this journal) I wish to find the connecting lines between our stories, and to end mine the way I always did when I was a child: with the words “to be continued”.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.