Lidia Yuknavitch’s Weblog

the body of the word

letter against fear

This is me running away from home for the first time.  I’m three.  I have a small plastic suitcase and a big scary looking doll.  Look at that thing.  My cat “spice” is in the foreground, probably wondering where I’m going.  My sister is in the background, nearly out of the frame, in the most glorious red dress.

I went to the edge of the yard and sat on the curb for about 30 minutes.

The house is near Stinson beach near San Francisco, where I was born.  The yard was filled with fruit trees.  The house was filled with anger.  My sister and I were terrified most of our childhoods.  My father bred fear into the bodies of his daughters.

And yet look at me.  In that moment of the picture, taken by my mother who no doubt thought it looked cute, like mothers do, I knew what to do.  Volition.

There is art in that.

I believe in art the way other people believe in god.  I say that because books and paintings and music and photography gave me an alternate world to inhabit when the one I was born into was a dead zone.  I say it because if you, even inside whatever terror itches your skin, pick up a pen or a paintbrush, a camera or clay or a guitar, you already have what you are afraid to choose.  Volition.  It was already in you.

Just be that—what moves inside you.  It’s already there, waiting:

Hush for the line

Crouched like the touch of dreams in your fingertips

She is coming with a vengeance.

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June 14, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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