I was twenty-five when my vision of the world changed. It wasn't the first time, but it was the most crucial shift of my life. I shed my naivete and spread my wings. The clouds parted in revelation. Not of the crystal pure sparkling sky I imagined, but of beauty overrun by murky squalls of dusk fumes. It was an esoteric darkness that I could warn others about. Still, I haven't decided if this new vision is a gift or a life sentence. Is ignorance bliss? Is cynicism a curse? Or is it my armor? I want to write about the shadows I see, But sometimes I can't. I could have all the facts laid out, my positions stiff as soldiers, but I go to the keyboard and freeze. My eyes glaze over and my head is empty except for one echoing enquiry: What could my words possibly contribute? I press publish, and it will still be 1 in 4 women tomorrow. Why do women put it on our own shoulders? Because we've experienced it. We know it. We don't wish it on anyone. We feel for the world in ways that men can't- or they refuse to. Several overlapping systems motivate their mouths shut. Mine, too, was closed- covered by the clasp of cosmic patriarchal control- until I found my misplaced rage and placed it. When it works, I can channel it into advocacy. But it doesn't work all the time. Sometimes it's too much because the stories I read are like my story. The women are me. Of course, they're not actually. Usually, we're very different but their words reveal a picture clear as a mirror. Suddenly, writing, advocacy, and empathy require emotional confrontation that is tricky to ignore because my best art is always created in the dark.
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