Tag: different voices

I Am Proxy


Lately I’ve been feeling more afraid of death. Something I haven’t generally felt before. I can’t help but wonder if it’s because I have a lot more at stake than ever before? I want to gather a bouquet of Frederic Mistral before I go. I have label designs for my apothecary that I’m really excited to see printed up. I need to see Max grow his first mustache.

Someone right now is thinking “It’s because you’re getting old, idjit.” I suppose it is. I mean, I’ve always dreamt about what kind of old lady I was going to become. I fantasized about meeting up with my friend Jessica for tea when we’re eighty, we’d leave loud lipstick stains on our cups and hold horns to our ears that we’d shout to each other through. But I thought I wouldn’t make it to thirty years old, so here I am, fifteen years older than I thought I’d ever be. It’s looking like I could, possibly, achieve my old lady dreams. The possibility of succeeding on such a large scale terrifies me.

Which is, you have to admit, pretty depressingly common of me.

If I had magical powers I’d make caramel less tricky to make.

I trimmed the old impossibly tall hedge between our driveway and the neighbor’s. There was an oak tree and a plum tree growing in it. The plum tree was designed by Lucifer clearly, as It was equipped with a thousand daggers. I’m covered in scratches and bruises. What the fuck kind of plum has two inch thorns all up and down the branches?! I found my zen place, hacking that hedge into submission. My back wasn’t hurting much and I ignored my hip pain because I like cutting things down to size. Construction paper has always been my bitch.

I bought some costmary this weekend. I’m convinced that life will be richer and better with more herbs mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. We have a healthy clump of rue just outside the back door. I’ve got bay laurel on either side of my front pathway to ward off evil. I don’t think Shakespeare ever mentions laurel, but I know it to be a protective herb.

I love the idea of connective tissue.

I’m a lot crazier than anyone who knows me is willing to believe but not so crazy as to ever be a potential harm to others. I still don’t find the word “crazy” offensive, though I know some of my tribe does.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how none of us can speak for each other. It sounds so obvious to write it out against this white screen, but it’s amazing how many people think they speak for their entire demographic and how many people want to source their information on an entire demographic on one or two people’s perspective.  I was especially thinking about this with regard to feminism and race. I know women who have very different ideas about what’s empowering to them. I’ve heard women denounce other women over what it means to be a feminist. I understand what’s at stake and so I get the passion behind the anger, but I continue to believe that we have to speak for ourselves, always, and if what we speak resonates with others, that’s fantastic. But none of us can speak for each other.

I have said that I speak about mental illness for those who can’t, but that’s not true. I can only temporarily stand in for those too frightened to speak, for those too unsafe to speak, for those too weary to speak. I am proxy, but I’m not everyone. I hold their place until they can tell their own stories. I’m a bookmark for other souls who will join us when they’re ready.

I am proxy for everyone who hasn’t stood up yet in the audience to be counted.

But when they finally find their legs and their voice, I will stand aside to let them tell their own tales, to shine in their own inimitable way.

I don’t crave the spotlight half as much as I crave the truth.