Why so often silent, cookie monster? Why a "sometimes food"?

I can't recall for the life of me where I first encountered the sentiment (and for that I am entirely unapologetic, it is a very old idea), but so many women, myself included, eschew positions subject to public scrutiny out of fear of the stereotypes they themselves reinforce by remaining silent. You know, catty, bitchy, chatty airhead type, &c. The idea came up again yesterday or the day before (in relation to women in politics, I believe), again, where on my long blogroll I read it, not the faintest (probably Jezebel). But that took courage to write, didn't it!?

I am uncertain!

In a world that seems so dominated by experts and authorities, allowing myself to admit uncertainty, and yet still be considered intellectually viable seems a bit far-fetched. Then of course, add the otherness of womanity. Add the otherness of writing poems. But then, Wislawa Szymborska said rightly "I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems." I prefer the otherness of writing poems to the otherness of not writing poems. I have decided that I like being Other (Other as a white girl with two credit cards and a warm place to sleep can be, mind). It's a hard bloody horsepill to swallow that this means I will never *sniffle* be considered an expert in much else.

I've learned most of what I know in a passive fashion. I will be the first to admit that. I've listened to conversations, lectures, and teachers, great and small. I have watched many, many enriching hours of PBS. I read and write, not enough. Writing is the most active passivity. Or the most passive activity. Either way, it is not solving the global economic meltdown. Again, I despair at my perceived inefficacy.

It has taken a good deal of stretching to begin to submit my work to journals and magazines at the pace I should be - even that act, protected by the distance of email or postal service! But it's frightening because there is no way to know if the poem is any good and to put that judgment in the hands of a stranger - well! Likewise though, there is no way of knowing everything, yet I've often convinced myself - even when I had a valid opinion, I'm sure, even when I had something meaningful to add - that I shouldn't add to the clatter, because it's too much already. There's too much out there, too much noise, too much ado. So, I sit back and listen. And when just listening fails, when I'm discontent with it, when I realize there IS too much and not all of it can possibly be heard in ten lifetimes, what then?

I suppose I must make the music I was made to make.

That said, I just got a poem accepted to DIAGRAM and will post a link when it goes live. Huzzah! I also have (lucky) 13 submissions pending elsewhere (don't laugh, it's a TON for me) and plan on adding on at least 10 per month, or at the very least, sending refused subs back out into the wild with the reflexes of a jungle cat. I mean, I am an admin - I know how to keep track of this stuff.

I continue to meet with my beloved pogroup, as well. Over the winter our meetings have been more sporadic, but hopefully with the return of hospitable weather (as hospitable as can be had in Chicago), they will become more frequent. More and more, I feel the gaps between our meetings and realize how vital it is to maintain relationships with other writers. We definitely feed each other. And not just cookies (cookies are nice though).


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