on this january sunday day.
okay, sunday sermon time. having shared my own abortion experiences (in the press since ages ago, but more recently in more detail in “the art of asking”) i can relate to this one, and it’s true: sharing the story meant that others stood up next to me and held me. ironically, sharing stuff like this creates new family: my close friends became much closer.
and since the book came out, so many women have come up to me – especially on this past tour – sharing abortion stories into my ear that they’d never told anybody. it made me simultaneously so sad and so honored. but mostly sad.
why just tell me? i’d think.
why can’t she tell…anybody else?
is there really nobody for her, to listen, to share the pain?
i’ve been wondering about what to write next, if i write anything. i have three different books in my head. seth godin was right. i told him i was experiencing a post-partem-book crash and he said “yes. that always happens. that’s why authors keep publishing books.”
so that’s it. writing books is like crack cocaine?
all the shit i shared in “the art of asking” has meant that so many people – mostly women – have considered me some kind of magic confidant. the secrets come. they come in emails, they come on tumblr, they come on tour, in the signing lines, in the bathrooms, in the letters i am handed. abortions, rapes, miscarriages…all those very painful things that carry coats of shame and just get swallowed into the depths, sent into the toes where hopefully they’ll seep into the ground and never be heard from again. unsaid. unspoken.
one woman on this last tour leaned in and told me she’d been raised in a crazy christian cult. her eyes told me that she wasn’t lying. her uncle raped her, which meant she was stained and unholy. so in order to purify her, her own father raped her.
that’s just…great, guys. i mean…way to go, humans. way to make the world a fantastic, safe and loving place.
but i find myself standing there, thinking:
am i the only one who knows all this?
why am i the only one who gets to know?
why does everybody have to hide so much?
are we that unable to take care of each other?
to be compassionate for every situation?
to help each other heal?
i’ve usually been lucky: i’ve had enough strange but reliable loving and understanding people throughout my life as i’ve gone through my various trials and tribulations that i’ve never had to swallow an entire event, and feel it fester, completely unsaid. i think.
anyway. i’m proud of upworthy for upworthy-ing this, and this is your daily reminder in case you need it.
we are all broken, we are all bent.
we all wander through this world, second guessing ourselves.
we are all going to die. this we know.
but it is our raw, wounded, faltering moments of bravery that make us truly alive, fully part of the human family, it is the reality of pain that knots us together as logical family, as comrades in this shortlong journey into neverlasting night.
or like leonard cohen says
there’s a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in
can i get an amen
(originally shared with me a few months ago via an email from anthony. for those of you who have been asking…he’s okay. he’s on the third week of being in the hospital full time for the bone marrow transplant…and he’s doing okay. i’ll be with him in the hospital a lot this week, before leaving for australia. hopefully they have wifi.)