I draw lines. Timelines and deadlines, time’s-up and too-late. I draw a small box and try to pantomime my way out. How do I become trapped inside a false construct of my own making?

I don’t know why my subconscious draws these lines and boxes. But I know the fastest way out is writing. I write my way outside the lines, beyond the box, the limited thinking. I read my way outside them, too.

“In graduate school, professors said you had to choose one thing or the other: you could be a creative writer or a scholar, not both. The creative writing professors said you had to choose a genre: poetry or fiction, not both. You could be a feminist professor in a classroom or feminist activist on the streets, not both.

It was all too reminiscent of the old divisions long demanded of us: you must think or feel, not both. You must be a mind or a body, not both. You can be pretty or smart, not both. You can have a family or a career. Why did intellectuals in the 1990s continue to invest in such reductive binaries? Why the urge to bifurcate, to build retaining walls between the multiple truths of our experience?”

-Joy Castro, Island of Bones

(Post 123 of 365)


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