What You Learn When Your Voice Shakes by Marisa Goudy


As I heard my voice rising over the half-eaten breakfast, something inside me began to splinter.

“We cannot effectively ‘open lines of communication’ with racists and fascists!” I exclaimed. It was followed by an impassioned speech (perhaps you’d call it a tirade) fueled by news of migrant families separated, my own helplessness, and other people’s tweets.

My family didn’t greet me with stunned silence. They’ve watched me get worked up over politics since well before I could vote. All of us are accustomed to the pervasive, ever-escalating outrage that’s been part of the new normal for the last year and a half. And when one of us gets loud (ok, it’s always me), nobody tends to get offended.

But, as I said, something cracked within me when I heard the brittle desperation in my own tone.

When I stopped talking, I heard the echo of my own voice

I know this part of me, the part whose words rise above everyone else’s. It’s harsh, frantic, and shadowed. It’s driven by disconnection, adrenaline, and fear.

This is the part of me that only knows how to react and exclaim, not how to consider and respond.

This is the part of me that tells you to bury your thoughts and prayers ‘til the end of the battle.

This is the part of me that loses track of personal, grounded truth in order to parrot collective indignation.

This is the part of me that forgets every spiritual truth and every bit of healing wisdom I’ve gained.

This is the part of me that retreats and leaves her weapons to rust, once again exhausted from all that seemingly fruitless fighting.

This is not the part of me that is truly empowered to change the world. This is not the part of me that is confident she’s contributing to the work of peace, justice, or divinity. This is not the part of me that is teaching my daughters how to create a livable, equitable society they want to live in.

That said, I forgive her. After all, she’s also the part of me that’s trying.

Yes, we need to raise our voices.
The passion often makes our voices crack.
Sometimes, those cracks show us our own fragility, fault lines, and beautiful sacred edges.

…Tomorrow, Part Two

Marisa Goudy is a story healer and writing coach with a passion for everyday creative magic. Currently, she’s working on a book project called Sovereignty Lessons which invites women to “free the princess, crown the queen, and embrace the wise woman.” Marisa is fascinated by the Irish Sovereignty Goddess and how her many expressions in myth and contemporary understanding can guide us through 21st century life through life. A graduate of Boston College’s Irish Studies program and recipient of an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama from University College Dublin, Marisa lives with her husband and daughters in New York’s Hudson Valley. Visit her website to sign up for the free community writing practices sessions she holds regularly and for the #7MagicWords challenges that she offers at the turn of each season. 

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Categories: Resistance, Women's Voices

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10 replies

  1. Wow! So well stated, can’t wait for the next installment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brava. Profound and true. I’m also waiting for tomorrow’s installment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know that “me”, Marisa! Looking forward to the next chapter. Please hurry before I explode.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love these words:”Yes, we need to raise our voices.
    The passion often makes our voices crack.
    Sometimes, those cracks show us our own fragility, fault lines, and beautiful sacred edges.”
    Thank you for reminding me that I am simply human when I go over the edge… an easy thing to do when we are so fear driven by what is happening… to the Earth and to Ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hugs to you and your humanness, Sara. We need to fall over the edge to know its true nature, to know the true nature of our jagged, broken world. And then we forgive ourselves, find sisterhood, and plant our feet in the solid ground of sustainable resistance and recreation of a new spherical world that’s so much better than this flat one.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Marisa, for putting words to my own roller-coaster feelings and behaviors–at times thoughtful, at times frantic. Thank you for reminding me to be kind to that fractured part of myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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