I’m sending you love and gratitude on this Monday morning after yet another mass shooting in America. These are difficult days in this country and around the world. It seems that every day we are confronted with another — often more than one — report of atrocity, violence, or hatred. We witness hostility in our own communities, both online and off. Somehow, we are expected to just keep going — go to work, go to school, keep appointments with friends, get together for beers, act like everything is normal.
Yet, many of us insist that this is not what we want our normal to look like. We don’t believe that violence should be normal. We don’t think we should be able to just pick up where we left off in our conversation when we hear the news that twenty-six people were shot at church. We believe something should come to a halt, there should be a moment or more of silence, we as a people should acknowledge the tragedy, acknowledge what it does to us as loving human beings to live in a place where such actions are considered acceptable.
Good morning! Are you already drinking water, Bay Area readers? Please stay hydrated — I can hardly believe how hot it got yesterday. We did make it to the ocean, and I got to ride the rip current at Bolinas.
Today’s is supposed to be a VozSutra blog — the practice of voice. This weekend I got to be with writers at the femme conference and spend a bit of time thinking about femme-survivorhood: what’s it mean to be a femmedyke who’s a survivor of sexual trauma? How is our femme identity, our femme self, inflected by our survivor self? How is our experience of being a survivor inflected by also being a queer femme? Enormous questions that could have essay- or book-length responses. We had time for one writing exercise, and someone suggested that I post some additional writing prompts here, so that we could continue our fierce work. I’ve got a bunch more prompts below.
First, I want to talk a bit about freewriting. Here’s something I wrote last year, for a presentation about transformative writing with survivors of sexual trauma at the Power of Words conference: Continue reading