In May, I will officially begin a project I have been working on for the past few months. A companion piece to both the Vagina and MENding Monologues I have called Gentle(MEN) Reminders: Continuing the MENding Process – or The Gentle(MEN) Project.
After last nights Vagina Monologues, I have not been okay. I found out something that broke my heart completely, and I have been tears streaming upset about it all day long. I go through wanting to hold them all, to wanting to lash out at the bastards who hurt them. No quarter.
I began to write, as I do in those moments. First a letter, than an email, then an entry. I landed on intro. I have begun work on the intro to the very first Gentle(MEN) show on May 27th.
I would like to share what I have with you now.
Intro – by James M McCullock
We all stood – All of us – two-hundred plus people showing love and admiration and support and gratitude and heart heart heart in the form of two hands being brought together. Love thunder. Shouts of “whoo” eminating from individual cells who joined together with me to form a single entity. It was powerful. My heart was fire and joy.
The applause began to lighten and the ladies began to sit, and my friend stood up. “No.” As the room settled, people seated, my friend continued walking forward. “No. No, no, no.” She stood tall and strong, the quiver in her voice proof of her warrior heart. She said the words. It was real. “When I was sixteen, I was raped.” My mind screamed “NOOOOO!” Guttural animal noises I did not know I was capable of. “Not another one. God dammit!”
My body had become so full of love and grief and anger and so many emotions, that my insides ran out of room and I began to leak from my eyes. That happens on occasion. In fact, the emotions had taken up so much room; I found that even the space occupied by my lungs had been filled, because I was unable to speak. Even if I had been able to, what could I possibly say? At one point, as I hugged one of the many women I love who has been affected by this ugliness, I managed two very small words. Just two. “I’m sorry.”
You are grace. You are strength and power, beauty and light. You have managed to take something ugly that never should have happened, and you stayed the course. Remained true. And became a beacon in the darkness for others to find their way. I don’t just love and admire you. I am in awe of you. Because, I am not those things. I am samurai sword anger slash fuck you asshole. I am brutal fist pounding ‘til the bones of my hand are exposed. I am go ahead and shoot you worthless selfish piece of shit. I am “Hulk SMASH!” I am AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
However, I know that will not help you. That would be for me. Selfish anger because I couldn’t save you. Because I was somewhere else in this world, completely unaware of the pain you were in. I was somewhere oblivious, probably feeling sorry for myself over something pointless while you were having your eyes changed. Turned from My Little Pony stickers on a folder, jelly bracelets, pigtails and giggles into always looking, always wondering, and never really trusting.
The most difficult thing about all of this is the feeling of not knowing what to do. I am clever. I can create. I can fix inanimate objects, and burn you CD’s. I can play guitar and sing. I can build you a tree house, tire swing and slide. But, I cannot change what has happened. I cannot jump in and put a stop to a great and powerful wrong. This is impotence, not the lack of an erection. This feeling of “what can I do?”
I do not have much, my friends. But I have my words, and I have my heart and they both belong to you as often as you need them. I will scream ‘til the sun almost blows out from the wind in my lungs. I will do everything I can to aide you in your struggle. You own real estate in my very soul.
You are why we stand beside you. Because you are worth it. All of you.