When Someone Else’s Defacing Creativity is Better Than The Original Sign

I’m starting the MFA program at Columbia University in the fall. Literary Non Fiction. I have no qualms about going back to school, but once I started walking the hallways on a deserted Friday afternoon, the doubts began to echo as my 35 year old body passed by ear budded and beat covered ears, youngish faces with no signs of parental lines of worry. I went to the bathroom to collect my thoughts and found this: IMG_5910

It made me half smile. The rewording/defacing private property is something I would have done ten years ago. Something I would proudly do with my feminist friends, searching for our space in the world, restless to reclaim a corner of a university that has a harrowing record of its treatment toward women.

I feel secure in my age. Signs of age on my face have accompanied the deliverance of wisdom and understanding beyond my 20 something year old self could have imagined. And I am curious to see how this MFA program mixed bag of writers will mesh, in the classroom or the Women’s Womb.

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When Jeanette Winterson Says Something That Saves Your Life

For me, language is a freedom. As soon as you have found the words with which to express something, you are no longer incoherent, you are no longer trapped by your own emotions, by your own experiences; you can describe them, you can tell them, you can bring them out of yourself and give them to somebody else. That is an enormously liberating experience, and it worries me that more and more people are learning not to use language; they’re giving in to the banalities of the television media and shrinking their vocabulary, shrinking their own way of using this fabulous tool that human beings have refined over so many centuries into this extremely sensitive instrument. I don’t want to make it crude, I don’t want to make it into shopping-list language, I don’t want to make it into simply an exchange of information: I want to make it into the subtle, emotional, intellectual, freeing thing that it is and that it can be. – Jeanette Winterson