By Kathy Bernier
All those years when I was trying to find my voice, and come to find out it has been inside me all along. It was the thing I was trying to get away from and it would never let me go.
It’s the deep gritty mud that clings to my rural roots. It’s hair on my legs, and the sound of coyotes calling from way down back on a hot summer night with all the windows open, and the taste of the first spring radish.
It’s breathing in the warm sweet barn smell first thing in the morning, and looking out the bathroom window at the dark silhouette of the fir trees when I get up to pee at one in the morning, and wishing there were enough money in the checkbook to just pay somebody to do stuff and take a day off from worry once in a while.
It’s squeezing my eyes tight and pretending it’s the glare of the sun when I help load the yearling goat that I delivered on a stormy night last summer into a crate headed for the slaughterhouse, repeating the tired old “you can’t keep them all” mantra and knowing it was the only way and refusing to let myself hear the panic in his bleating while I try to swallow the panic in my soul.
It’s giving myself the okay to say words like shit and even the eff word out loud even though I love God. I know he’s listening, but he hears them whether they’re in my heart or in the air, so what the hell. I guess that’s what the voice is, really. It’s the words that God put inside me.
It’s not words I chose, I can tell you that. I wanted my words to be all smooth and polished and chic and sophisticated. Every one just right, every one pithy and impeccable with the swoop of a cartoon princess veil and a rock star chef and an Olympic giant slalom skier oozing from their pores. Edgy in a cool hipster round-framed glasses kind of way. Continue Reading…