From Cacophony, I Show Up

“But you exist somewhere. Something of you remains.” – Virginia Woolf, The Waves


When Ramona Reeves asked what she could do for herself and others because she didn’t have to wait, she flung open a red tent in Austin. Making space for others often begins with making space for ourselves. How often do we, as women, bring fragments of our own lives together in order to liberate our deepest need like Lauren White, find ourselves in the cacophony like Anna Dixon, and show up like Katherine Rocheleau?

In opening spaces for ourselves and each other, we find our existence and
share what remains.

We invite you to read Lauren White’s invoking “Boxes” in full below.

Lauren White, “Boxes,” My Deepest Need, The Q


Floating Tales, art submitted in The Q in response to My Creative Identity by Belgin Yucelen.

Anna Dixon, Where I’m From, The Q

Katherine Rocheleau, How I Live My Purpose, The Q



by Lauren White

Tucked away in my closet
There are boxes, inconspicuous

The first is labeled “Things”
My old graphing calculator
Other dusty, miscellaneous nothings
Shall I call it my metaphorical attic?
Safe are the items I thought I’d need again
The things I thought I might want later
But have forgotten I possess

Next is the one with “Stuff”
“Feel better, buddy,” on an old ziplock bag
The scent of Snickerdoodles long gone
Remember that time I was in the paper?
Old laughs, randomness, and stupidity
The stuff that I was gifted long ago
That the givers do not remember

Then, there’s the “Ideas” box
It contains all the cut out recipes
For things I forgot I wanted to make
Oh, you thought it held my eurekas?
No, nothing so special as that
Only the ideas I did not acknowledge
The magic I have suppressed

Lastly is my box of “Secrets”
Journals and notes I’ve written to myself
About Versailles, lost loves, people I once knew
How many poems have I not finished?
Scribbles, fantasies, and incomplete stories
Secrets bled from my veins into words
That no one will ever read

They have one commonality, those boxes
Stifled by lids, reserved for silence
In the empty spaces unfilled by trinkets
Listen! Can you hear the whispers of the past?
There are ghosts fighting to be free
Intermixed with the future I fear
The intangible me I cannot let anyone see

Under years-bred layers of lint
Born of trepidation and negligence
The things and stuff I cannot let go of
The ideas and secrets I cannot tell
A glimmer of my hidden heart
I beg you! Unearth me! Open me!
Let loose my passion, my authentic soul

Tucked away in my closet
There are boxes, inconspicuous
Tucked away in my closet is me

Author: A Room of Her Own

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