precipice – let the memoirs commence

“All the fear has left me. I’m not frightened anymore. It’s my heart that pounds beneath my chest, it’s my mouth that pushes out this breath and if I shed a tear I won’t cage it. I won’t fear love and if I feel rage I won’t deny it. I won’t fear love.”   –  Sarah McLachlan

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”   –  Maya Angelou

“Though silence is not necessarily an admission, it is not a denial either.”   –  Marcus Tullius Cicero 

“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.”   –   Gloria Steinem

*

precipice – let the memoirs commence

witness

on the edge

posed for the plunge

knowing the horrors

lurking in wait

my purpose far from benevolent

the past etched in stone

imbedded in scar tissue and bone

trails of crumbs strewn along

neural pathways

certain sounds and smells

like fingernails dragged across the chalkboard

like a battering ram – I shall

break down doors

dragging ghosts and skeletons

from hiding

those who hid from reality

those quashed for what they knew

i shall warm their bones

giving them, at last, a voice

writing it down

testimony

silence and terror

an arsenal generations old

sins of fathers

sins of mothers

this is not a trial

just an airing

of long entombed

evidence

no declarations in anger

a survivor’s memoir

one who is guilty

breaking the silence

bisous,

léa

memoir or fictionalized truth

“Men’s memoirs are about answers; women’s memoirs are about questions. Most male authors want to look good in their memoirs and have a place in posterity, while most women know that posterity is what happens when you no longer care. Women want to connect with others here and now; they couldn’t care less about legacy!   –  Isabel Allende

 

Another way of looking at it: 

 

“I have always distrusted memoir. I tend to write my memoirs through my fiction. It’s easier to get to the truth by not claiming that you are speaking it. Some things can be said in fiction that can never be said in memoir.  

 –  Armistead Maupin

*

memoir or fictionalized truth

today

both feet

perched on the edge – a precipice

pulling stories together

exposing more than self

lighting a few candles

would be an effort in

futility

opting for the wrecking crew approach

deciding it was time

breaking down doors

wrenching skeletons

long entrenched

now meticulously scrutinized

committing their crimes

to print

my greatest transgression

bearing witness

for those who were silenced

giving them a voice

while finally trusting

my own

changing names

to protect those not

yet born

and only reality is left

defamed

*

 bisous,

léa

Mademoiselle

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”  –  Stacia Tauscher

“Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.”  –  William Stafford

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

Mademoiselle Ambre

Ambre une poupée vivante

Squeals with delight

Throwing her mother’s phone

Across the café’s floor

Shouts of glee

Declarations of discovery

Of the world around her

The range of her voice

Sometimes startling herself

Temporarily

Trapped in a stroller

Escape is inevitable

Audre’s days of sitting

Dans la café

Visite avec des amies

Disappear with a curious

Toddler’s appetite

“Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma!”

*

Bisous,

Léa

Material Witness

“Art is not a part of life, it is not an addition to life, it is the essence of those pieces of us that make us fulfilled. That give us hope. That give us dreams and provide the world a view very different than what it would have been without us.”

–  Hasan Davis

“Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing.”   –  Julia Cameron

“I think artists can go to a level of vision that can often save us from a situation which seems to have no solution whatsoever.”   –  Susan Griffin

*

Material Witness

This is what I get

For attempting to reduce

The clutter in my life

This red plastic toolbox

Filled with long ignored

Pencils, charcoal, pastels

And other tricks of a trade

They were so foreign to

Me

Something I ached for

Yet knew nothing about

Flashbacks to childhood

A half-sisters art supplies

Tossed aside at the demands

Of her fiancée

Now these things

Were in plain site

Demanding attention

To be dealt with

To be used

To skate across paper

Or canvas

All the negative decrees of a

Lifetime want to be heard

Demand their say

Yet something deeper

Wants more

Dare I open the box?

Dare I see what will happen?

Learning to play

With art or anything else

Is more difficult as we age

But if it is given the smallest chance

It will prevail

The evidence is all around

Me

*

Bisous,

Léa

Ces mains

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”   –  Audrey Hepburn

 

“The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”  

–  Anne Frank

“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”   –  Carl Jung

*

Ces mains

These hands

Often struck

With yardstick

Brosse de cheveux

Or any other

Weapon of war

*

Ces mains

Learned that they

Were best kept

Out of the way

Out of danger

*

Ces mains

Learned that

Other hands needed

Holding

Frail hands

Confused hands

*

These hands

Eagerly reaching out

To those in want

Or need

Finding hands to hold

Or guide

*

These hands

Never raised in

Anger

These hands

Gentle

Kind

*

Ces mains

Sont les

Miennes

*

Bisous,

Léa

Fight Censorship and thank a Librarian

“We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.   –  E.M. Forster

 

“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.”   –  Henry Louis Gates

 

“Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of ‘The Giver’: the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.”   –  Lois Lowry

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ:

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/statementspols/freedomreadstatement

*

Fight Censorship and thank a Librarian

It’s banned books week

And if a book hasn’t

Made it on that list

I’m not sure it is

Worth my time

Reading

*

It’s banned books week

If you care about

Making your own

Choices

If there is a book

You like that

Has made the list

Speak out

*

It’s banned books week

Somewhere there is a

Librarian who has stuck

Her neck out

For your right to

Read what you choose

They are the hero’s of

The hour

*

It’s banned books week

Celebrate

Read a book

From the list

Read the statement

Freedom to Read 1953

Celebrate

Then go to the independent

Book store and buy

Banned books

*

Bisous,

Léa

splash

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”  

–  John F. Kennedy

 

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”  

–  Jacques Yves Cousteau

 

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”   –  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

 

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”   –  Isak Dinesen

*

splash

yes

that’s how I’ve always

done it

with a big

SPLASH

head first

then immediately

diving to the bottom again

and again

the waves

have always

picked me back up

set me on my

feet

never one to stick

in a cautious toe

followed by a

hasty retreat

or gradual

wading forth

to do so

would defy

nature

*

bisous,

léa

evocative

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”   –  Anna Quindlin

 

“A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.” 

–       Franz Kafka

 

“To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list.” 

–       John Aikin

 

“A house without books is like a room without windows.” 

  –  Heinrich Mann

*

evocative

 

the scent of honey

SUCKle

vines that tried to

cover

the door to

HELL

the drop of sweet

at the end of the stem

 

darkness

with the stench

of daddy’s stale beer,

cigarettes

or grandma’s

white shoulders

cologne

CHILDHOOD

bypass purgatory

going straight to

the flames

 

survival

a word

survival

all about words

the books

a place to hide

the words

my only solace lie

 in musty pages

i learned of

others

their pain

their plight

the fact

i was not

alone

after ALL

My refuge
My refuge

 

 

 

 

bisous,

 

léa

Apartment # 3

“Molesters do not wear an ugly mask. They wear a shield of trust.”  – Patty Rase Hopson

“Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”  –  Herbert Ward

Apartment # 3

I can’t remember which scent

Offended me most as a child

The heavy damp mustiness

Of grandma’s apartment

Or the sting of her

White Shoulders cologne

I dreaded the darkness

When the deacon came to call

Heavy drapes drawn tight

The focal point in the living room

A Murphy bed

Always poised

Always covered in crisp white paper

The altar

Waiting for the offering

The spring lamb

Not even two years of age

When sacrifices begin

This man of god

Anoints me in his holy water

Telling me

Not to tell

As if I had the words to expose him

Bottom drawer antique mahogany bureau

Easy to reach for one so small

Always containing gifts

If I’d been good But why were there no Pieces of silver?

Grandma returns as the man leaves

He will not look at me

As he puts on his hat

What was the going rate

For an infant girl?

And why did the mother

Insist I keep returning?

Bisous,

Léa