Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rooms of Lesbian Plenty

You have not heard from me for a while but as I have said words, the world, swirl in me. The way we hurt each other. The way now the streets are theaters once again of scapegoating, of hatreds, where lost youth hurl insults from football stands and women in all the streets are haunted and hunted. These words you have enough of. La Professoressa has been away meeting with women trying to change things--in Boston, in London, in Onati, in Zagreb. The weeks have been long and I do not feel well. That is why when Saskia, the photographer keeper and sharer of LHA sent me this image of one room of 13A, the old home of the archives, my old home, I felt such wonder. Taken some time in the 1970s, here you can see how private space was transformed into a richness beyond compare, the textures, the worn furniture, I can feel the marvel of having lived with this growing collection for such a long time, I walk into this room, and straighten a book or check the desk to see if there is a left message from a visitor. Almost like the writers' studies of the 19th century, I enter the sepia world of kept memory, the memory of a people.

Tonight I want to write for those of you who like myself live with cancer. Turn away those of you who do not want these words. That is alright but for those of us who cannot turn away I write now for you. I write for us who cannot tell with clarity what exactly is leaving us, but that something is wrong we know. I write for those in a kind of cancer limbo where only we can see the pain, feel the troubled nerve, the siege slowly gaining ground but still a mystery to our doctors. I write for those who know our lovers grow weary with the unnamed slowing down of life that cannot be explained, for all those who listen to the losing sounds of their own selves and fear the burden they become in the eyes of others, who hear the stories of, it is good it is all over, it was exhausting, never knowing what would come next, it is good it is over and I think of us, who are not over, but going in small ways and how human we are in our cellular failings, how we wait and do not wait, how we walk down our own roads, steadying ourselves, to go one step further, on an uneven road, an unwanted road but still grateful for its small sharp stones under our feeling feet. I am of the cancer people and now it is night and I hold on to Saskia's photograph of when I lived in the rooms of dreaming.

Joan, 2011--Photo by Digby Duncan

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Joan for your strength to share what it means to not look away, the moments to hold a gaze love love love