Tag Archives: violence

These Hands

I don’t remember this myself, but my mother used to tell me that when I was very young I would stand with my hands outstretched trying to touch the Moon. I was convinced that when I got just a little bit bigger I would be able to catch it in my tiny hands.
My favorite toys were marbles and crayons. Colors captivated me of course, it was what I could do with them in my hands that fascinated me. I would spend hours coloring, drawing in new lines. Taking my aggressions out on the page rather than acting them out more physically.

It’s been years … in fact I cannot remember the last time that I balled my hands into fists because of rage. That doesn’t feel like the right thing to do with them.

My hands have felt extreme cold and extreme heat, and have put those feelings onto paper with ink.

My hands have held my son, and my daughters. They birthed all four into this world: Two by catching and two by pulling and guiding. One of them actually wedged herself in by turning her head at the wrong time and jamming her ear. Just for a moment, and then  hands freed her and she came, gasping and angry.

My hands have purposefully ended two (non-human) lives. I took their lives out of Mercy, and I cried bitterly after each. My hands turned off the machine keeping my mother alive, and signed the papers that let her killer go free. My darkest self believes I have a murderer’s hands.

My hands have been broken, bloodied, chained, and cuffed.

They have worn wedding rings and scars. Nail polish tattoos of a broken and false loyalty.

My hands have been trained to fight. My hands have been trained to heal. My hands have done the devil’s work, and they have been thrown to the sky in praise of a God. I stretched them on the boards for self-righteous mock crucifixion. They have been clasped together until they went numb, begging for an end to the pain of heartbreak.

My hands remember the feeling of caressing the face of my lover. The gentle curve of her cheek, the gentle curve of her hip. They recall the silk-smooth skin of her back. They remind me of the pads of our fingers pressing gently together, and the careful moving of a wisp of her hair from her eyes.

My hands let me speak the words of my heart in magic. They wield the instruments of my craft and turn them into art.

My hands have earned everything that I own. They have saved my life, and they have saved the lives of others.
They have made life a little bit better for countless souls.

The gift I have been given is not my hands, rather the gift I have been given is in my hands. My life’s goal is to honor the giver of the gift by using it.
Until it’s gone.

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Redemption

“What’s broken can be mended. What’s hurt can be healed. No matter how dark it gets, the sun’s going to rise again.” ~ Dr. Meredith Grey

The plot line or trope or whatever you would call it that I enjoy most in stories is the redemption narrative. I first encountered it in ‘Watership Down’ via Bigwig. A mild arc, but it spoke to me nonetheless.

Then Vader, and later still Shawshank, and countless others; the most powerful being ‘The Wrestler’. The title character seeks redemption and forgiveness from his daughter, and does not get it. So he pulls it from inside himself.

Redemption: Coming from the dark and finding the light, the love … the redemption of a new and better life.

This speaks to me in my life because a redemption narrative says: no matter how broken or wrong or bad or stupid or ridiculous or harmful or sad or terrible you are … you can atone.

There is still a road back. It might be rocky and steep, complicated and messy. Walking it may take your entire life. You may lose your foothold, slip and fall back into the abyss, but the wall is still there. The ascent is still there. Hard is not the same as impossible.

You are never too far gone. You are never beyond saving.

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Ugly Truth

There’s an ugly sentence in my head and it won’t leave me alone. I have to write it down. If it makes you mad, so be it. It’s been given to me for a reason. It’s going on the canvas.

DISCLAIMER: HEAVY, MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. Stop reading right now if easily offended. I’m not kidding.

I’ve struggled about writing this down. It’s kept me up all night, horrified at my own thoughts and yet knowing there’s a reason for what I’m about to write. Someone out there needs to read read this raw, ugly sentence.

Preface: every woman I know has been the victim of some form of misogyny, harassment, or straight up violence from men. Every. Woman. In decades past the milder (?) forms were laughed off as ‘boys will be boys’ and girls must be responsible for how they present themselves in public … and that’s a conversation I’ll happily have on another day. Today, though …

Every. Woman.
That’s terrible on the very face of itself. In my personal life I know of 4 good friends that are in abusive relationships. Some are violent, on occasion. Every single one of them makes excuses to stay with their spouse or partner. They cover up the bruises again, tell their friends and family that it can be fixed, that it won’t happen again, they will even go so far as to blame themselves. Maybe out of fear of loneliness, maybe not wanting to give up on the good things their partners are capable of. No one is ALL bad, right?

All of that for a simple sentence. One that occurred to me last night while reading about an old friend who finally got away from her abuser. You see, my mother was murdered by her abuser. He was clever enough in the execution that he got away with it. He got away with it. I’ve spent years trying to deal with that, and casting blame on myself for not doing … something. The truth was, there was nothing I could have done. I could not force her to leave. She made the choice to stay.
Every. Woman.

Here’s my horrible, ugly sentence.

My mother committed suicide; She did this by staying with her abusive husband until he eventually killed her.

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