Silence of the Lamb


You have been silenced by your grandfather and the abuse he perpetuated, the silence from your father who was not there, and the silence enforced upon you by your stepfather.

I heard it like that.

In italics.

Bold.

Times New Roman.

It may as well have been underscored as well.

Point well made.

Point taken.

And one small point for me and my process and showing up to sit in another cafe on another Sunday in San Francisco and cry and let go and ask for suggestions and be given a set of amends to go about.

It is a never-ending process it appears.

This unfolding and unwrapping of self and all its manifestations.

So today I practice not being silent, I practice speaking up and saying who I am and what I do.

I also allow myself to be creative and to grow that way too.

“Oh, it’s the first thing that came to mind,” he said emphatically around a bite of salad.  “I totally agree.”

I had mentioned that when meeting another person I work with yesterday at another cafe in the city, today I was in the Castro, yesterday in the Inner Sunset, I had been given the exact same instructions.

This is what happens when even decades later, almost three, I cry in a booth at a table around an old resentment.

Those things which I think I should be or have done or am not allowed to do haunt me in ways that I just don’t even realize until the pain surfaces and the tears melt and slide down my face.

Ugh.

Here I go again.

I have been directed to make some amends, I have done them before and I am certain that I will continue to do so the rest of my life.

That’s just the way it goes.

I have a lot to amend.

I have learned a way of living that I have to unlearn.

The silence being one of them.

Silent scorn.

Dropping a wall of silence on a situation, not saying what I think or feel or need, disappearing, getting small.

“Girl, God does not make 6 foot Amazonian princesses to be silent,” he paused with drama, “please.”

I am not six-foot.

Although I walk around like I am.

Not the point.

Point is that I do try to get small, wrap up in myself, go unnoticed.

Although it may be hard to ignore me and my glitter dipped self.

“You get to express yourself creatively, that is your amends, and you know what to do.”

Yup.

I do.

One act of not being silent is to allow myself to move forward with graduate school adventures.

Yes.

I did it.

I finished and submitted, along with my $65 fee, my application to the California Institute of Integral Studies for their Intensive Masters Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.

Whew.

I had to redo the application that I had saved online as I could not find the one I saved and just figured it would be more hassle than just starting over.

I reviewed, re-read, edited, and tightened up my six page, 1800 word, autobiographical statement, wrote a one page statement of intent, and did a CV.

I also sent out the forms for my letter of recommendations for the two women I have asked to recommend me to the program along with the above mentioned essays so that they could use them as reference material to write the letters.

My transcript order was received by the University of Wisconsin, Madison and sent out this past Friday to the institute.

While all that was cooking, so was I.

I made myself a nice pot of three bean chili with chicken and celery, black olives, and fire roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, and brown rice.

I have three mason jars full and two containers for the freezer.

I think I used the cooking as a way to keep myself calm while I was in the process of finishing up the application.

I knew, too, that I was going to do it today.

It was just time.

And in that spirit of its time.

I so too, shall start playing cello again.

“What defect comes up for you when you think of your stepfather?” He asked me.

The picture I get is always the same one, although, there were plenty of not so pretty ones in the mix, the first thing that always comes up is this:  walking in the snow at night down Windsor Road with my mother and stepfather.

We are not quite to the block the post office is on.

The snow is falling thick and heavy and my mother is wearing an ugly pair of boots that my stepfather got her–she hates them, but they are warm and she says nothing.

And I say nothing.

I am trapped between two adults choosing the path ahead for me with no say in the matter, my heart already broken by the move to Windsor and the loss of playing cello in the orchestra I had grown into and become so wildly fond of.

Mister Zeigler of Madison, Wisconsin, orchestra conductor for Gompers Middle School, where ever you are, however you are, I always have and always will owe you a great debt of gratitude for the gift of playing cello in your orchestra.

And for interceding on my behalf when my parents decided to pull me out.

My stepfather made that decision.

And so many others.

The one that was being made that cold snowy night was whether to allow me to take the advanced placement ACT test early as allowed certain students so that they could matriculate into upper level course in the highschool.

Nope.

Nada.

No.

No.

No.

Why had I bothered even asking?

My stepfather would not hear my mom’s arguments in favor of and I was to be taught a lesson, so quickly learned, so hard to let go, that I was not allowed to ask.

That I was to be silenced.

My words.

My art.

My creativity.

My music.

You are not allowed to make noise.

Perhaps that is why having had now almost ten years of self-reflection and constant daily growth I grow loud in my dress at times and my voice, in my passion for life, in my need to create and love and dance and sing, even though often off-key.

“Go get yourself a cello,” he said.

Ok.

I got my application out.

Now I can get my cello on.

The world.

It spins constant and continuous, and sometimes the orbit brings me back to an old standard and I get to listen to it anew and perhaps find a new way of introducing an old love to my life again.

I won’t silence myself.

Bring on the music.

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