"At one time in my life, from the time I was 7 until about 13, I didn’t speak. I only spoke to my brother. The reason I didn’t speak, I had been molested and I told the name of the molester to my brother, who told it to my family. The man was put in jail for one day and night, and released. And about three days later, the police came over to my mother’s mother’s house, and told her that the man had been found dead, and it seemed he had been kicked to death. They made that pronouncement in my earshot, and I thought my voice killed the man. And so it’s better not to speak. So for six years I didn’t speak.
"I was sent back to my father’s mother who was raising me in Arkansas, and my grandmother said to me, ‘Sister, Mama don’t care what these people say that you must be an idiot or you must be a moron because you can’t speak. Mama don’t care. Mama know when you and the good Lord are ready, sister, you’re gonna teach all over the world.’"
— Maya Angelou
But oddly, it didn’t even shake me. I read the rejection on the subway. I smiled. Today was, all things considered, an excellent day. That is the startling thing. I wonder if what helps is that I’ve been in regular contact with what I might now believe is the Loving Giver of Dreams. And that the Giver’s supply of possibility is endless. If this is delusion, I don’t care. This delusion will probably save my life.
I’ve come to wonder whether this is one perk of a faith in a Being that loves you in ways everyone else failed: the understanding that every “no” is simply a “not this, but something better your unimaginative human brain can’t conceive of yet.” I plan to happily test this. I’ll let you know in 10 years whether 2014 Eugenia was full of shit.
A feminist intervention. A poetry journal at meme speed. An attempt to give the internet what it wanted. A critique and a joke. A joke of a critique? A lot of fun. Not enough. A pop-up virtual community that published every submission it received. A stocking stuffer advertised entirely via social…
Dear everyone: In 2014, let yourself dream a new, impossible dream.
'Age' is never a reason to quit chasing a dream or stop hoping for something. Colonel Sanders didn't figure out his fried chicken business until his 60s.
GLASS HALF EMPTY: When Sylvia Plath was my age, she was basically done writing & now figuring out ways to kill herself for the last time. / GLASS HALF FULL: Robert Frost didn’t publish his first poetry collection until he was 39.
Every industry has early bloomers & late bloomers. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others and focus instead on our personal journeys. Don’t waste your life trying to live someone else’s life.
Acquiring inspiration from other people’s stories is great, but the minute it starts to poison your self-esteem or hope, force yourself to put the story down and start living your own masterpiece.
Excerpt from Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘The Irrational Season,’ in which she says, “No, it’s not the secular world which presents me with problems about Christmas, it’s God” and also says, “Christmas is still for me a time of hope, of hope for the courage to love and accept love.”
So the birth of the Creator in human flesh and human time was an event as shattering and terrible as the eschaton. If I accept this birth I must accept God’s love, and this is pain as well as joy because God’s love, as I am coming to understand it, is not like man’s love.
What one of us can understand a love so great that we would willingly limit our unlimitedness, put the flesh of mortality over our immortality, accept all the pain and grief of humanity, submit to betrayal by that humanity, be killed by it, and die a total failure (in human terms) on a common cross between two thieves?
What kind of flawed, failed love is this? Why should we rejoice on Christmas Day? This is where the problem lies, not in secular bacchanalias, not in Santa Clauses with cotton beards, loudspeakers blatting out Christmas carols the day after Thanksgiving, not in shops full of people pushing and shouting and swearing at each other as they struggle to buy overpriced Christmas presents.
No, it’s not the secular world which presents me with problems about Christmas, it’s God.
Cribb’d, cabined, and confined within the contours of a human infant. The infinite defined by the finite? The Creator of all life thirsty and abandoned? Why would he do such a thing? Aren’t there easier and better ways for God to redeem his fallen creatures?
And what good did it all do? The heart of man is still evil. Wars grow more terrible with each generation. The earth daily becomes more depleted by human greed. God came to save us and we thank him by producing bigger and better battlefields and slums and insane asylums.
And yet Christmas is still for me a time of hope, of hope for the courage to love and accept love, a time when I can forget that my Christology is extremely shaky and can rejoice in God’s love through love of family and friends.