untold

Maya Angelou, a wise woman with whom I share a name, said that

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 

When I was born it was seven degrees in Texas.  When I was growing up we lived off the grid.  When I was seven I learned that people believe in hell.  When I was ten Exxon put a pipeline down our road.  When I was fifteen my dad was diagnosed with leukemia.  When I was sixteen the fumes and smells of fracking made the outside world seem less safe than it ever had before.  When I was eighteen I was depressed because I didn’t know I needed to go outside.  When I was nineteen I remembered that I loved the moon.  When I was twenty-one I learned that rural community in Arkansas was being impacted by natural gas production.  When I was twenty-two I learned that people will tell you anything if you ask and that I was much stronger than I had previously thought.  When I was twenty-two and one half my eyes were changed.

These are stories that I carry.  At times they well up in my throat and when I am brave they spill out like birds that scatter in the wind.  I have kept journals for most of my life, filling pages with whispers and worries and wishes in the form of words.  These journals line several shelves in my room, holding a space for the journeys I have traveled.  Once or twice a year, back in my parent’s house, I riffle through them, thinking of who I’ve been and wanted to be.  These journals are, however, largely an act of conversation with self and, even as I write my story, the ‘agony’ remains within.  My journals are untold stories inside me.

My Grandmother is ninety-two.  I recently was given all of her journals.  Skimming their pages I am aware that much of her life has been an untold story.  The agony of her words makes this clear.  I do not want to spend the next sixty-nine years of my life using my journals to have a conversation with myself about my untold story.

This project is an attempt to alleviate the ‘agony’.  A friend recently told me, “if you want to be heard where you are, be heard.”  I want to be heard.

When I was born it was the winter solstice.  When I was seven I dropped the tip of a pencil down our well and spent months worrying I had lead poisoned my family.  When I was sixteen I had my first kiss.  When I was nineteen I ‘dropped out’ of school.  When I was twenty-one I watched a lunar eclipse on my birthday.  When I was twenty-three I the Keystone Pipeline carved a red scar through my community.  And.

I began to tell my story. 

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9 thoughts on “untold

  1. Your story, your stories, intersect with mine on deep levels, and so I welcome greatly this blog you have created, and the intention to “story.” On the day you were born, I was there. Even before that, before you came “out here” into this world, I began to speak to you “in there,” whispering prayers and songs and stories into your still forming ears, into your still forming heart. Often they went something like this: “Come, dear one, come into this world strong and healthy and with clear mind and heart; bring with you into this world all that you will need and also what this world needs at this time. You are loved and will be loved and supported always by All That Is, including me.” I have watched you grow, and I have loved you and who you are and all that you yet may be. My gratitude to you for being included in your announcement of your blog. Speak to us. We are listening. We will respond, here and also in your musings and meditations and actions. Your stories are important! You are important! Your connection to us is important! Thank you.

  2. Rock on Maya! I’m inspired reading about your poetic passion and articulate expression of essential issues to discuss in our time and era. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing and in turn enacting change 🙂

  3. I too, have known you all your life. I held you for several hours at your first Norm Central and I know one thing certain about you, Maya. You are stronger than you know or realize at this point in time. I have watched you grow through the years to arrive at the place you are now and i feel your strength through your words and actions. I am excited for you as you move through this wonderful world, and to read about what touches your soul and passions. You know Denbie and I are always with you in spirit and hope your journeys bring you by our door at times. You are always welcome. Peace and Love.

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