People are going to want explanations from us, they're going to demand why's and how's and what were you thinking's, they're going to be angry because it's not what they would do and how could you do something so differently? People will call us irresponsible and reckless, they will levy judgement and advice and say we owe some kind of justification for all of this. They will say that we have a debt of knowledge and they will demand that we pay.
To steal a page from my friend, Dave O'Connell, "We know it is futile to explain things... I can give you an answer, but I won't believe in it. I can give you something to believe in, if that's what you want."
I could give them pretty answers, wrap the answers up with pretty excuses, but I wouldn't believe it. I could open my mouth and let the apologies fall out, but they would be lies because I refuse to be sorry for this. I refuse to bow my head to appease their sense of outrage; when my hair fell forward, it would only be hiding my smile.
I won't for one minute be sorry for bringing my child into the world. My child. I'm some body's mother, as of right now. Eight months from now, I'll be able to look that person in the eye and know that I never regretted or was ashamed of him because today? Today my job starts. Today I begin protecting that person, and the first thing I will protect him against is myself. I will not allow myself to be sorry for his life. (How could I be sorry? How? Why would they want me to be?) I am afraid, so afraid... But I will not be ashamed. I will not make excuses or explanations. I don't know how this happened, I didn't think it would. But it has, and I won't undo it, and so we must move forward. Together, the both of us. The three of us, if the universe is kind.
I know we are going down the same path so many people have gone down before us, only we're moving along it in our own way. I know this will be offensive to some people, and I'm sorry for that. I don't want to distress anyone. I know it can be alarming when people are unrepentant under extreme scrutiny and pressure, and I feel badly that I will be the cause for that alarm.
I hate it for them. But I love it for me.
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.