The class readings were Anzaldua and Lorde. I assigned the pieces I can’t live without. The reminders I will never outgrow, tire of, the ones that forgive forgetting every time I reunite with the first luscious sentences. I wait for the explosion of inspiration, the charge that I feel to zap apathy and draw eyes up from smartphones. Instagram filters got nothing on the life and truth these queer women of color writers serve raw. Write to give yourself what the world will not. Write because silence is not an option.
My student presenters begin with a prompt: draw yourself, how you see yourself, how you dream to see yourself. I love it. And I see intent pens render their hearts whole. I draw stars and comets and moons being sucked into the top of my head. And then the student who assigned us the activity shared her vision of herself: she saw herself with wings outstretched and a compass heart. I imagine it. Feathers feeling every current of air and yet so strong, so mighty in their reach and their ability to maneuver skies. She said she wanted the freedom to go wherever she wanted. A compass with a needle whirring in the center of her chest. Four directions corresponding to the four sacred elements: earth, water, air, fire. This, she said, would guide her flight.
And with her description I witnessed her step into mythic skins. And I hear Anzaldua…
I write…. “Because I must keep the spirit of my revolt and myself alive. Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put the world in order, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my…hunger.”
May this self-portrait be a reminder for her that she comes to over and over again, cannot live without, one of her true self.