I have been asked why I write. I often answer that I write because I do. Just the same as I shop, I volunteer, I vote…it is merely a part of me. Honestly, that answer is evasive, and if you ever hear me use it, call my ass on it. My decision to write actually reminds me of the story I often heard on those long Sabbath mornings growing up in Atlanta. The youngest child runs from the traditional family to reap the fleeting rewards of a hedonist existence only to return years later with a renewed appreciation for the truth. There are other parts of the parable about parties, pigs, and sibling rivalry, but I hope you get the gist.
After many years of eschewing principle and a prodigal or wasted silence, I returned home in a sense, with a renewed and clamorous voice. From early on, as with so many of us, I was bombarded with well-meaning mantras of quiescence…“you should be seen and not heard”, “if you don’t talk about it, it didn’t happen”, “silence is golden”. Funny thing about this golden rule of silence, I discovered though life’s lessons that it is not some precious metal of emotional wealth, but a fool’s pyrite of passage.
I admit, I am at times harsh towards society’s harbingers of silence and its lowest common denominator, fear. I am not always politically correct, nor do I have the desire to be. Sometimes I throw in anecdotes from my past to punctuate my views of the present because the storms of my yesteryear are not merely gone with the wind. I have said before that I left the intolerance of my Southern heritage burning behind me, but so much of what is the essence of me is in those flames. As a blogger, I am the antithesis of a don’t ask, don’t tell world. Though I try, I may not always get it right, but at least the silence is shattered and the conversation is started. I pull on my own personal experiences to acknowledge the unquestioned and fearful inner child that sits in the back of life’s classroom, hand half-raised, screaming in silence…a prodigal silence.