Moon marked and touched by sun
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.
—Audre Lorde, from “A Woman Speaks”
"I am who I am, doing what I came to do, acting upon you like a drug or chisel to remind you of your me-ness as I discover you in myself."
Audre Lorde, Eye to Eye
Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
"But women have survived, and our feelings have survived. As poetry. And there are no new pains. We have felt them already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, they lie in our poems, and it is our dreams and our poems that point the way to our freedom."
"You cannot use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you have it."
"So this is a call for each of you to remember herself and himself, to reach for new definitions of that self, and to live intensely. To not settle for the safety of pretended sameness and the false security that sameness seems to offer. To feel the consequences of who you wish to be, lest you bring nothing of lasting worth because you have withheld some piece of the essential, which is you."
"We tend to think of the erotic as an easy, tantalizing sexual arousal. I speak of the erotic as the deepest life force, a force which moves us toward living in a fundamental way."