Five Star Mixtape 384: Seven Great Blog Posts and a Gloria E. Anzaldúa Quote
This week's Five Star Mixtape great blog roundup is brought to you by the fight for love, the choice to survive, the importance of making things, meltdown acceptance, a multiplied grief, walking out the door "as a fat woman of color who identifies as white", uncontrolled anger, and self-described Chicana/Tejana/lesbian/dyke/feminist/writer/poet/cultural theorist Gloria E. Anzaldúa, which only seemed fitting this week:
may we meet illness, death and adversity with strength
may we dance in the face of our fears.
I feel it over me right now like an invisible cloak: the eerie, terrible PTSD calm. It is the thing that enabled me to get up, bleeding, walk home, pilot myself into a shower, scrub myself off, and go forward. It is the thing that enabled me to kick backwards with my heel so hard right into his nuts that he dropped the gun and loosened his grip on my neck. It is the thing that enabled me to run. It is the thing that got me clean. It is the thing that pushed me towards activism, to organizing for other people who had been victimized the way I had as a form of healing and gratefulness for the chance at life I’d been given.
Every extra hour I’d spend in bed in the morning. Each additional day I’d go without showering. More days that would pass where I refused to leave the house. It had become a pattern, and I was completely blind to it.
If you're a writer, or a creative person, there will be times when you feel it would be wiser to stop, to give up on making poems, or photos, or clay pots, or paintings. Things start to build up. Manuscripts, pots, photo files, stretchers. Maybe no one wants them, or you've hit a wall, or you've been badly reviewed or rejected. (I just might be speaking from experience). But I'm here to tell you, you should continue.
"Your Meltdowns Aren't Going Away" by Athena Lynn Michaels-Dillon at Shaping Clay:
In the autistic community, we spend a lot of time talking about self-care and self-acceptance, and about how the two are impossible to separate from one another. We acknowledge our need to embrace who we are, and the majority of our work writing and advocating and pushing for change is based around the idea that what we are is a natural part of human diversity, an expression of the way it is to be a person.
At the same time, though, our self-care posts become frantic about the nature and consequences of our meltdowns.
You walk into the vet with a Saint Bernard and you leave with an empty collar that somehow weighs more than she ever did, 120 pounds of sadness pressing down against your chest.
The unspoken agreement to focus within and never on the outside was like terrible utopian math where we could all be the same, sort of. It was mass colorblindness for the good of the herd. The absence of color — the absence of acknowledging my color — felt safe, even though I lived in a big brown suit I actively ignored. Denying my own color, even hating it sometimes, meant acceptance and relief: nothing uncomfortable, zero conflict, absolutely nothing to see here. Look how nicely I blend in, nothing special! I’m just like you.
A chair goes flying across the room without hesitation. It slams into the couch and wall, causing noise, but no damage.
As I stare at the small green chair, an internal ticker returns to zero.
It has been 0 days without an angry, violent, outburst.
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