April is National Poetry Month, which always brings to my mind this passage from Audre Lorde, self-described ”black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet”:
For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.
Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.
— Sister Outsider, reprinted by American Public Media
Reading the essay (and I encourage you to read or reread the whole thing), I have to wonder: Is blogging purely a luxury, or is it sometimes, like poetry to Lorde, a “necessity of our existence”?
Not every blog post achieves or even aspires to the latter goal. Some fall far short. I admit to many posts myself that are silly, frivolous, or simply informative, with no deeper purpose. But underlying this whole blog is a desire to make a better world for my son, even in some small way, and to work towards a society where all families are treated as equal. I make no claims to Lorde’s brilliance; I merely think I understand a little of what she means by words as necessity. I daresay I am not the only lesbian blogger who writes in order to ”predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change.”
Whether you write poetry or prose or find comfort in the words of others, here’s to finding the words we need.