The spirit of my voice, of my poetry has boundaries and rules. (This is the voice of poetry, lyrics, singing, saxophone-ing.) This voice sets me free yet freedom has strictures. It demands care and honor, even as it takes care. I am warned when I cross over and offend the gift. Yesterday when the barbs of the edge cut into my back, I had to stop and pay attention. A detractor has been attacking me in the comments section of my blog. I have control, can either post or delete the comments. Twice he’s written and each time my li’li’i (small, in Hawaiian) self has responded. Then I delete his nasty note and my response. I delete because I have been using words: the breath behind them, the spirit, in a wasteful manner. My breath, which carries life, essentially, is then being given over to someone who wants to only to hurt me. (And his breath is being given over to something that will conversely hurt him.) Yes, it’s important to speak up for oneself, for justice. The feminist edict of the seventies from Audre Lorde remains planted in my gut: “Your silence will not protect you.” No, it will not. Yet there’s more to this: you must use your words wisely, as a warrior, so they contain power. I wasn’t using my words wisely here, my spirit warned me. I was giving over my power to someone who has made a choice to harass. So I used the delete button, on the screen and within.
FYI I have published all comments except for those containing personal information, and have deleted three. The deleted comments were derogatory.