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1969 #metoo

I have been threatening to writing a blog for nearly two years. A blog because its . . . possible. A book feels like an over-reach. An article, too confining. Yet, my self-limiting beliefs about a blog are legion. No one has time to read anything else. I have nothing unique to say. No one is asking for this. And so WHY would I turn my vital energy toward this - writing, creating, toward accessing something within me.

Emma Jung said, “ There is an inner wholeness that presses its still unfulfilled claims upon us.” I feel that pressing. I feel an unfulfilled claim. It does not feel great. It is like a deep itch that makes me writhe and roll around on the ground - pressing my body down, hoping for a sharp rock to scrape against- to get some relief. This wholeness is so whole that it is outgrowing its inner contained darkness. It feels better “to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them”. Sheesh - Shakespeare bubbling up. It’s not my style to take arms ( except when it is) . . . This writing/taking arms is not really fun - and yet it is. It is not really work, and yet it is. It is not easy, and yet it is. It is not hard, and yet it is.

I AM DOING THIS. There will be a blog post . . .today? I have nothing and everything. And it must begin. Nike-like, just do it. Who was Nike? Goddess of Victory.

The Blog for Someone About Something. Or The Blog for No One About Nothing.

This will be about hunger, satisfaction, about the end of wanting, about the genesis of everything. About knitting and ripping out. About walking and resting. About confusion and clarity. About meditation and chaos. About love and not love. About followings things back a few steps to see what happened . . . . before the teacher sent you to the principal’s office, before that sleeve of oreos went down the hatch, before your husband came unglued when you remarked that clam pizza sounded awful.

The last time I was sent to the principal was when I wrote, over and over, on the envelopes for the 8th grade picture (a stand in for our non-existent year book) that Charles B. Martin, our history teacher, middle initial must stand for Bastard. Delighting in my cleverness and anticipated “hell yeah” that all the girls were going to give me (he was a creepy creep) - I wrote it many times. On all the girls’ and some boys’ envelopes. What could make a 13 year old girl so reckless?

This guy was telling 8th grade children he took a woman from her father’s house on Bastille day, slept with her, then returned her - C’est la vie”. When we asked if he was married, he smirked, “when it benefits me”. We girls straight up hated him. Big surprise, the boys loved him. I was turned in by a loyal boy.

In the nurses office, Mr Martin bellowed, with his greased-back hair, squinty eyes and pock marked face inches from my own, “Do you know what a bastard is?” I don’t think I hesitated, “It means you don’t have a father and it’s a swear word.” Threatening to call my parents, he waved a phone directory in my face. “Go ahead. Try to find them. Their last name is Smith. Good luck.” Pretty quick thinking. I felt smart and powerful. Defiant AF. And like this dude was in trouble.

“I should take you to the principal,” his voice dripping with intimidation. We marched down to the principal, Mr Zollars, as I thought, “yes, I would like to see the principal.” I was ready to spill my guts. Nothing to lose after calling a teacher a bastard. In writing. So I let it rip. All of it. How he essentially said that boys were better than girls. The Bastille day affair, the weird marriage answer, saying, in a way, boys could do what ever they wanted to girls. He did whatever he wanted to girls. He was a bastard.

The principal never called my parents. The following year, Mr Martin was not a teacher at South Ward School.

#metoo in 1969.

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