What do you think?

In anticipation of Breaking the Silence’s debut – the first Monday of May 2008 – which topics do you hope to find in Breaking the Silence? Take a moment from your busy day to let me, along with the wider intimate world, know!

I first reflected on the phrase “Breaking the Silence” while teaching a speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in which he powerfully exposes relationships between poverty, racism, and the US war profiteering machine. Visit here to read and hear his words:

One of my life tasks is to break everyday silences. First, I had to learn why I could not breathe a word about many topics including menstruation (from its onset) and sex (as a teenage newlywed). Then I had to learn how to speak – to move beyond the throat clench, the physical freeze from eyes to knees, that buzzing fear between the ears.

During this process, I learned about the inheritances that wrapped my day-to-day life in silence. I also learned how my decision-making process compounded silence’s brutality. And, thankfully, I began to challenge the barbed wire dug into my flesh, psyche, and soul.

So I couldn’t find a more appropriate phrase for what I aspire to “prose” in these essays: an on-going refusal to bow under the weight of unfounded shame, and a celebration of silence breakers.

While Breaking the Silence will consider my personal efforts – past and present – to remove the bondage of silence, you are key to the conversation. You are invited to take part in this journey, to break silences otherwise choke-holding us all from breathing in truth. Share Breaking the Silence in conversation and/or by email. Post a challenge and/or affirmation with testimony and/or documentation.

Responses – in opposition or in kind – are welcome with identification: no anonymous replies will be published on Dey of the Phoenix. As I stand by my own truth, even as it changes, I invite you to share yours.

“Breaking the Silence” is a series of essays by Melissa Dey Hasbrook.
Post updated: 26 January 2009.

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6 Responses to What do you think?

  1. Micah says:

    Melissa (and others),

    I like the idea of contesting silence. The un/spoken truth is very powerful and much needed. There are many ways that silence occurs and each one of us has our own “silences” and unspoken and un/spoken truths as individuals and people who share experiences and meanings. I look forward to reading your work on the site.


  2. Not all religious people approach it that way, but I think that the absolutist “I’m right” (and you’re wrong) Truth stance is a real risk. It’s a risk that comes with what I think of as doing idolatry around doctrine.

    It’s possible to take an approach to religion and spirituality that’s substantive but does not involve doctrine at all. Much more potential to find important areas of common ground I think.

  3. melissahasbrook says:

    Paul, glad to read your comment! My response is listed under the post “Spirituality & Religion” http://deyofthephoenix.com/blog/?p=63#comment-35 , which I figure is what you’re writing about.

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