Freedom to Be Heard

The last couple days I’ve been diving into Freedom to Be Heard. It’s the second part of a three part series with creative freedom as the ultimate goal. And wow, what a coincidence that right now women from around the world are fighting be heard. What do we do when others don’t hear us? What do we do, as humans, as writers, when we feel that our freedom to Be Heard is being hindered?

I think the whole purpose of college for me was to learn how to make our voices heard in a world where so many things try to drown them out. There’s a lot of different avenues to be heard, but my focus is on writing, so how do writers make their voice heard? How do we get our message across? We’ll get more into that tomorrow.

For tonight let’s go back and think about how writers voiced their struggles with mental illness in the past. Sylvia Plath is the first to come to mind. I adore her as a poet. She shared her frustrations with loss. Jere’s one of her most popular poems is Lady Lazarus.

I have done it again.   
One year in every ten   
I manage it——

A sort of walking miracle, my skin   
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,   
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine   
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin   
O my enemy.   
Do I terrify?——

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?   
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be   
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.   
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.   
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.   
The peanut-crunching crowd   
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot——
The big strip tease.   
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands   
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.   
The first time it happened I was ten.   
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.   
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.   
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.   
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.   
It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute   
Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’
That knocks me out.   
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge   
For the hearing of my heart——
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge   
For a word or a touch   
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.   
So, so, Herr Doktor.   
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,   
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.   
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash—
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there——

A cake of soap,   
A wedding ring,   
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer   
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair   
And I eat men like air.

Lady Lazarus

BY SYLVIA PLATH

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49000/lady-lazarus

It’s clear what being silenced does to us as human beings. And it’s clear that as conscious writers, we have (what can feel like) the toughest job in the world as writers -speaking up about all the things others aren’t so brave to speak up about. That we may not even be brave enough to speak up about. That means treading through the murky waters, marching into the unknown, and teetering the edge to find different ways that will get our message out there. Finding what you have to say is just the first part. It’s learning to hear your message and being willing enough to let it change you, that’s the journey.

Published by Jayne

Jayne is a writer. On her free time she likes to be with her family hiking outdoors and traveling. New England is her home and place of birth. When asked what she wants to teach the world she replied, "Don't stop searching. Too many times, in my old life, I put my search aside for more 'important matters.' I didn't realize the thing I was searching for held what was most important; my soul purpose." Jayne works daily improving her craft and at times can get down on herself, but her favorite morning mantra is "It's a new day." and that's what she strives to start with.

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