refusing silence

the necessity of voicing our stories

credit – rachel e morris

Don’t just think before you speak; think before you are silent. – Michaela, Hear Me, See Me

If the silence is my choice, I can turn that into a source of strength. – Heather, Hear Me, See Me

But silence is more than it seems. Silence invites. In silence, there is ambient sound galore. . .
the silence in which one might hear one’s own best response.–
Lia Purpura

It’s October once again. In the cycle of Vermont seasons, we anticipate apples, brilliant foliage, crisp air rapidly replacing the balmier remnants of summer; garden beds covered over, lawn chairs brought inside, shorter hours of sunlight; a general turning toward greater silence, muted color, interiority. October also signals Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each year, out in the community, we offer a workshop called “Refusing Silence: The Necessity of Voicing our Stories.” 

This year, we brought that theme inside, opening with two quotes from the inmates’ own writings from their book HEAR ME, SEE ME: Incarcerated Women Write and Marge Piercy’s fiery poem, ‘Unlearning to Not Speak.’ The writing that emerged from a fevered 30 minutes – pens scrabbling across paper, heads bent low over forming lines, pages filling – spanned titles such as ‘My Eyes,’ ‘My Voice,’ ‘My Words,’ ‘Now It’s Too Late,’ and ‘People Think Silence is my Choice.’ Continue reading