I want to write brave, but I’m afraid of what they’ll think. I am afraid they will not consider artistic license, will just assume that it’s all true. (But, of course, in a way, it is all true. Even if it didn’t happen in this time on this plane, it is true under the skin where it counts. The words had to come from somewhere.) I am afraid, because approval is currency, and they say you can’t afford to lose any currency these days.
So I think about writing under another name, but it doesn’t smell as sweet. It doesn’t feel like me. My name does. In Hebrew it means “tie or bond,” or, in some translations, “tied or bound.” My parents gave me a Hebrew name plucked from the Bible because Dad thought it would make me a good their-kind-of-Christian. (I am not. I have long dwelt in the house of quiet rebellion.) I so often feel tied, bound…Bound to a mask that never fits right and doesn’t quite fool anyone, though they’re not sure what I’m hiding. (Sometimes, even I am not quite sure what I’m hiding.)
I want to write brave, to lay the words out in rows, sometimes bolded, IN ALL CAPS. I want the words to throw the shutters open, let in the sun’s rays. I want to write it all under my true, full name. I know that I am not alone in anything the words may say, that somewhere there is someone who has lived and feels and thinks the same way, and if I let the words out into the wider world to play we will feel less alone. We may even feel at home, like kin sitting on an antebellum porch, trading stories and laughing at the end of the day.
But, right now, I am only a little brave.