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sowing seeds

like you i
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky-blue
landscapes of january days.

and my blood boils up
and i laugh through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.

i believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

and that my veins donít end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle for life,
little things,
landscape and bread
and the poetry of everyone.
-roque dalton

shortly after my sixteenth birthday, after a long time of feeling passionate and pained and poignant, and having no outlet for my vast array of emotions, i finally began work on my webpage.

i was first inspired by an evening i spent searching the internet for pages about surviving sexual violation. that night, i shared my complete story for the very first time. when i had finished writing it, and sent it off, i felt the most incredible surge of healing energy i could imagine. it was as if courage itself had suddenly rushed through my veins and was now inhabiting each of my limbs. my body tingled with its own strength, and i felt as though my very soul was singing. loud, joyous, boisterous i-will-be-heard-now singing. thatís when i knew what i had to do. i had to express myself, my shame, my pain, my secret.

for three days i pondered how i was going to do it. it was when i received my first email of congratulations and thanks that i knew that i wanted to reach out to other survivors. so i began emergence. at first it was strictly for myself, in hopes that i might gather a small community of people who had been through what i had been through, and could relate somehow instead of distance themselves from the truth of what had happened to me. but the more healing i did, and the more i worked, the more i realized that i was not only exploring these issues for me, but also for the people i was sharing my webpage with. the survivors, the friends, the lovers, the supporters. those people who visited my webpage from around the world, around the block.

since i created emergence, i have become more and more active in the community, in working toward a world free of sexual violence. i wrote and choreographed a theatre piece for the troupe i work with, centered completely around societyís ignorance when it comes to this subject. as soon as i have had enough training, i plan to begin volunteering at the local rape crisis center. eventually, i hope to do work for r.a.i.n.n. or as a rape counselor.

working against sexual violation has become a very important part of my life. i devote a great deal of time, energy, and spirit into working to heal the wounds and combat the causes of sexual violation. the work i do with the webpage, with the troupe, and with the people around me has changed the way i feel about myself and about the world so much i know i will never be the same. i feel stronger, more motivated, and ready to stand up for what i believe in. if every one of us who feels this strongly against sexual violation can stand up, speak out, and cooperate with other activists to create a culture free of such a shameful legacy, the world would literally be our oyster, and the fruits of our labor would be the most valuable pearls any of us could imagine.