Saturday, May 7, 2016

Speaking Out

Girl Cheering--Brisbane City Council (from Creative Commons)

Whew. I just hit “submit” on some poems for the magazine Rattle. It’s a publication (online and print) that is dedicated to poetry.  It’s pretty scary.

Why is it scary?

Well, one of my poems deals with the power I feel in being a mother. I literally say that in one line, that the true power of a woman is in being a mother and creating life.

That’s going to go over well (sarcasm font).  For the most part, the “artistic” world, especially the poet crowd, is leftish. This particular magazine had a “Tribute to Feminist Poets” recently, and actually reading some of those poems is what sort of got my poet’s brain percolating the thought of writing about true feminism embracing the role of mother instead of denigrating it.

My last article wrote about holding your tongue—this one is about standing up and speaking out.

Like I said last time, Facebook isn’t the place to have healthy discussions—it seems that every post someone makes has a 50/50 chance of having some angry, offended, or know-it-all person post something argumentative—and that’s just on regular, every day posts like, “Got the kids a Happy Meal today.” 1,2,3, GO! Find the person who is going to post the video about how they really make Chicken McNuggets! (I don’t care, by the way. Whatever they do, they are addictive and delicious and don’t judge me.)

So,  here I had an opportunity to stand up and speak out in the form of poetry, which may or may not be published, but I put it out there.  I think that’s part of it. When we speak out, we don’t need to track how many “likes” we get or tally up who agrees with us and who doesn’t.  We are standing up for our beliefs, and that is what counts. Those who are touched by what we say, will respond as they need to.

It’s like testimony meeting on Fast Sunday—the first Sunday of each month, members of the LDS church stand up in front of their congregation, if they feel moved to do so, and talk about the things they believe, or they know, or that they’ve learned.  Then they go sit down. There’s no applause, and sometimes, half the people in the room aren’t fully listening (because they are wrestling children, most likely).  But there are those who are touched, and they will respond or act as they need to.  Most importantly, the person who stood up, feels the conviction of what they just testified of.

When we are standing up and speaking out, that might be the most powerful thing of all. I know that in submitting this poem, in the writing of it I reminded myself of how much I love being a mother. It’s a reminder that I need often, because in the stress of my current life’s circumstances, it’s hard to remember amidst the fatigue, the carpools, the laundry, dishes, and diapers.  But it’s truth, and I am grateful for the opportunity to speak it and feel it.

Someone much wiser than I put it this way:

"If ever there was a time that the world needs disciples of Christ who can communicate the gospel message with clarity and from the heart, it is now," he said, adding that one man or woman can make a difference if willing to testify when the world seems to be going in the opposite direction."True disciples of Christ are not looking to make excuses for the doctrine, when it doesn’t fit the world’s current concepts. ... True disciples represent the Lord when it may not be convenient to do so. True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men, not impress them."-- Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer of the Seventy, October 2015 General Conference

It would still be pretty cool to see my poem published, though. J


  1. Awesome! Yes, sometimes we need to be brave and state the unpopular truth. I recently saw our local news station post something about a woman who had a therapist help make her blind using drain cleaner, because she always felt she should have been born blind. People kept saying things like, "This is crazy! Why would anyone do that to themselves?"

    I responded with, "Yeah, it's crazy what people will do to their bodies as a result of mental illness. I heard of this one guy who thought he should have been born a woman and so he had perfectly good, healthy, functioning body parts surgically removed. It's sad when mental illness is treated incorrectly and people get hurt."

    Oddly enough, I got quite a few likes, one person posted below my comment "^ This." I was steeling myself for the backlash and instead I got applause. I think it's important for us to remember that sometimes when we speak out we are actually speaking for a silent majority who will then take courage and stand behind our words.

    Good for you for speaking out!

  2. That's funny, I remember that post and your comment.

  3. Well said, Leann! You know the saying, "the pen is mightier than the sword?" We better raise our weapons high and be prepared to use them in defense of our God, family, and our freedom. Write on, ladies!

  4. I must be tired I keep reading this and nothing, my mind is blank and my eyes are stinging and I can't think of anything to say about the post.



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