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by Abigail George
2015-08-02 12:38:15
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abi01_400In another life, I was a socialite floating from the hub of Newtown to Windybrow Theatre in the centre of Hillbrow to Jan Smuts Avenue; introduced to all the fellowship of the wild that Johannesburg had to offer on gossamer wings made of fairy dust. Film school, friends a dime a dozen, banter was in another life, the life of the ancient me. Old me had packed away her gossamer wings made of fairy dust and settled down to become a serious writer of romance, books for children, a writer of tragedy, of the prophetic voice, of characters like Moses and Elijah in the Bible and a writer of stories for the screen. Now I am told that I have a testimony to deliver. I have been given another chance, a new lease on life and a new path; I am awakened to a different journey to the one I travelled on before, a spiritual one.

One in which I believe and pray to a living God. One in which I have the ‘gifting’. A word a prophet uses and men of the cloth, pastors, bible and prophetic school students. The prophet says restoration will take place in my life, a great deliverance of healing and there is still so much for to live for, to reach out for and for once I don’t try and say too much or too little, I say enough in a squeaky voice, seeming shy, out of place, fixing my hair in the bathroom, staring at the moon that is my face and wondering what on earth in all of creation bought this man to my house of all places in eternity this night. He looked like Martin Luther, this prophet. Light of complexion but dressed not in robes but in a snug jeans, sweater that said ‘Nevada’ on it and trendy sneakers. Neville the man who had come with him was also dressed casually.

‘Being drunk on the Holy Spirit is like being drunk on wine.’ The prophet said. ‘I know you.’ I did not want to talk about my sketchy past especially in front of my parents. I was a bit embarrassed about it to say the least. He made me feel comfortable and at ease with myself. I began to feel a little confident although I will not lie, I did shed a few tears. ‘That is healing taking place right there.’ He said when he caught me wiping my eyes. He says. He speaks of God but not too much and not too little. He chooses his words carefully. He pauses artfully, throws his head back and laughs spontaneously willing you to laugh with him. There is an art to everything he does. ‘It was a relationship. Someone hurt you badly and it stuck with you all this time because the pain went very deep because all the time you had feelings for him, you wore your heart on your sleeve.

It is time to move on. It is time to forgive and let go. Surrender it to God. He understands. You have grown from that experience and you are much more mature now than you were then. You were young and inexperienced.’ Neville the other man who had accompanied the prophet smiled at me, nodding his head in agreement. I did not feel anything but inspired. My parents sat there their eyes glued on the prophet. ‘She was always different. Then she was in high school and then it was as if a shutter just came up and she just was not the same anymore. She was always so outspoken, loud, fearless and then nothing after the two years in Johannesburg. She is coming out of her shell a bit now but she has not left the house in years.

It has been eight years now. Neville spoke to her in English, ‘Have you completely forgiven them, the people who wronged you?’ ‘Yes, at least I think so.’ ‘Tell me this, if you saw those people again what would you feel?’ She decided to be honest, upfront and straightforward. ‘I would feel angry, hurt, disappointed, as if my trust was broken again.’ Her mother chimed in. ‘She’s always at her computer writing, so that keeps her occupied. At least she’s busy.’ The prophet turned and looked at me straight in the eyes and said, ‘So, you’re a writer. I’m writing something too.’ Neville said ‘Hallelujah’ quietly under his breath and prayed in tongues. My mother said, ‘Thank you Jesus, son of David.’ and ‘In the name of Jesus.’ Under hers. They prayed for my father’s tremors in his hands.

It was so bad people often mistook it for Parkinson’s. I knew of only one person who had Parkinson’s and that was the prizewinning fighter Mohammed Ali. How many obstacles and challenges did he not have to face especially over issues about race? They prayed over the pain in the lower part of his body that he was fighting now on a daily basis in his legs. It was dangerous for him because he was a diabetic. They prayed over the pain in his bladder when he used the bathroom. All the time the prophet was praying over my father, Neville would walk with his hands in the air, praising and worshipping God, praying in tongues before finally standing behind my father and placing his hands on my father’s shoulders, arms and hands.

At the end the prophet said, ‘She wouldn’t have come if she didn’t want to be around people.

She would have waited for you to ask her to join our prayer group after we came into the house and then refused to introduce herself to us and dive into her bedroom to escape in reading.’ I kept making notes. They would easily switch languages from Afrikaans to English. I surmised that this would make me feel a little more aware of what they were talking about and more comfortable in their presence. The prophet spoke of the Holy Spirit within me and how it worked itself tirelessly, witnessing in visions and dreams of people that I knew or that I had come into contact with and that I should see my gift through a new eyes. Older men often made me nervous, I felt anxious to please them, but I immediately could sense cool, peaceful, joyous Christian vibrations from them as if I was finally cutting the not so blissful chords of past humiliations of past relationships.

These were good men; men of honour, men of honourable intentions. God had sent them to my parents and me. Neville said in passing to my mother, which I overheard while I was listening to the prophet, ‘Your family in Johannesburg will draw closer to you and your husband and your daughter now. You have God to thank for that. God is good. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord. Give Jesus all the praise and all the glory.’

‘Yes, I could hear God.’ I stared into the warm, kind eyes of the prophet completely taken in and mesmerised by how much he knew of me and astounded by how much God loved me even during the times when I had rejected Him as a teenager, an adolescent and a youth, every time I prayed silently for him to rescue me from sabotaging myself, the arms.

life_05_400We had never met before but this prophet who sat across from me, with his shining, brown eyes, he knew my whole life story. Every history in every fingerprint, my history in every bold move I made to make my indelible mark on this planet and every imprint of religion, the Bible, Satan, the anti-Christ and church burned on my brain. My thoughts were racing, coming thick and fast. So fast, I could not even right everything down. I made notes of notes, scribbling across the lines of the page. ‘You are not alone. There were others, were not there?’ He said. ‘But we don’t have to go into all of that. Know this, that God loves you and accepts you for who you are. The visions and dreams you get come from Him.’

‘I don’t know what the visions and my dreams meant.

‘Good, it means you have faith and realise that the Holy Spirit is within you. All the years the locusts have taken away from you, all those lean years will be restored, that you and your parents can be assured of.’ I was wise and intelligent but not wise enough yet, the prophet explained to me. I needed wisdom and that I could only get from God. If I prayed and meditated on the word of God my life would change for the better and the past would be just that, past. I could filter the good memories from the bad and realise that the both had made me the sensitive, caring, emotional mature person I was today. I think that was the person that Zaid, my Indian friend who lived in Kenilworth, Johannesburg, whose house I sometimes stayed over at the weekends (he would fall sleep on the couch giving up his bed to me after we watched videos after his mother made us a supper of butter chicken), Sechaba who stayed in Yeoville in a house filled with Zimbabwean immigrants looking for work (not finding any stable form of employment you would find them selling chips and sweets on the streets for nothing while he was lucky enough to go to film school with me.

Natasha who was Portuguese and whose mother worked for the consulate, Julian, Lebo, Eddie Mbalo who had seen in me what baffled me, left me morose. Then there was Phybia Dlamini who wanted me to go to the Biko Foundation and every Monday evening I phoned with an excuse. ‘I just couldn’t make it. I didn’t have the time.’ She needed me, I was not there, and this I have and will always regret. However, there is a lesson in all of life. The humiliating ones which left you pitiful, sad feeling pathetic, a king of sorrow, when you had to muster up all your courage to face the bullies on the playing fields of your childhood or the bullies, tyrants in the hierarchy of the workplace. All of these people I counted on when times were tough, when I felt I was being tested like Jesus was tested in the desert, taunted by the devil for forty days and forty nights.

I saw these people as being my closest friends. There are more whose names I have forgotten. Time has stolen them away from me, their names from my memory, but their kindnesses I will never forget, their stoicism in the face of my youthful arrogant candour when I said all kinds of things, hurtful, stupid, silly, laughing at their mistakes, not knowing, not understanding that they would not share the joke. Now I believe in their heroicness. Most of the people I came across did not share the background I came from, my Model C education, O’ levels in Swaziland, my smarts, I was convinced of that and they thought I was a snob, had a high opinion of myself, did not consider others, was highty-tighty, highly strung. They thought I undermined them at every turn, twist of my head, in every debate, that I thought very little of them when in fact I worshipped their freedom to be themselves, their belief in each other, in other people, other races.

They thought I mocked them behind their backs when in fact I looked up to them. This is just a story of a story, my story told in my own words. At every end, there is a birth. After death, life begins again somehow, somewhere, a baby is born and his or her cry fills the room, the parents stand looking on, proud. A student graduates from high school, enters university, moves up from year to year and achieves what many dream of – an education but that is not my story. There are so many stories and it will take my entire life to delve into the depths, the enormity of the world, the expanse of the sky, the beginning of the ocean-sea, Christianity, the foundation on which an individual’s faith, church, denomination be it charismatic or Catholic, Methodist, Baptist or Anglican, Hinduism is built on.

It will take the better part of my life, the best years. For years, I had other ideas, groomed them and invented them with illumination, care and imagination. I was positive towards them, always positive, driven by the kick of optimism. I oozed positive vibrations towards them. My mother would suggest that I try something else but I would always say, ‘That, that is not for me.’ People, my parents, my siblings, my extended family will only know of the affect, the impact that they had on me once they read this story. I want to be a sage, had not given it any serious thought up until now. ‘You know what you are?’ the prophet said, his eyes sparkling, grinning away like the Cheshire cat. I liked his grin. ‘You are like me and one day you will be like me. You will be able to read people. You will be a prophet. Don’t you want to be like me?

‘I don’t know. I guess.’ I said not nonplussed for second. ‘Are you saved?’ Neville asked me. The prophet turned to me again. All the focus was on me now. ‘You see, it doesn’t matter if you are saved, or have a water baptism, you have to believe in God in your heart.’ ‘In the span of two hours and thirty five minutes he had not only completely healed me of my own iniquities, he had prayed over my whole family’s lives. I was transfixed by what had taken place.

‘I’m scared I won’t be able to have children. I do not get along sometimes with my sister, we fight, she curses and we say terrible, hurtful things to each other. She is moody, cross or gets easily annoyed by something I say. She is irritable but I do not tell the prophet this. I keep it to myself thinking I must keep something to myself.

 Besides this man is reading me like a book and I must not give too much away. I am a very private person. He is sincere. ‘And I know you want to get married.’ ‘No.’ I say hoping my voice is very firm and convincing. ‘I don’t want to get married.’ ‘Why?’ he asks still beaming. ‘No reason. Just don’t want to, that’s all.’

‘But you must have a reason. Does it have to do something with the past? Are you afraid that history will repeat itself?’ I say relieved, ‘Yes. The men I knew from my past didn’t treat me all that well.’ ‘And you were hurt because like I said before you wore your heart on your sleeve and things didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to with this one man.’ I nodded, feeling shy because all of this was coming out in front of my parents and I felt embarrassed about it.

 I really did not want to talk about it but the prophet persevered. ‘You must face this head on and you can only face it with God on your side.’ I no longer lusted after the fellowship of the wild of Johannesburg. In another time and place, I would have packed my bags and left for the city of Johannesburg, the city of gold. Where dreams are made and broken, all my visions growing dimmer and dimmer before disappearing completely in a haze of cigarette smoke and drinking beer, a man’s arm fitting around my slim waist who whispered sweet nothings all night until early dawn into my ear, a man hoping to whisk me away, body and soul, into the night. However, I was set on a new path with God on my side. I had not been a practising Christian for years but I believed in a higher being, that the human race had a higher purpose, that they were a work of importance, bonded whether they accepted it or not to an angelic, holy realm and that each person deserved to live with the vastness of hope, never diminishing the meaning of their life or undermining others who they judged to be weaker than them.

 Every person deserves to have rights even those who feel that they are the wretched of the earth and nothing can be done in their lives to turn their heads towards the light and bring them out of the darkness. All people have the right to be loved, cherished, accepted for who they are, to make peace via conflict resolutions, not to be a slave to the guts of misery, to glow like a diamond when they are loved, to be told they have the face of a flower when they are cherished, to be accepted when their heart is stuck in the right place and the right to find chips of spiritual awakenings in everything around them. It might be a hymn, a wind chime, a song of hope or deliverance, parenthood, sacrifice, children’s letters to their parents espousing their unconditional love in their simple words for them.

 It could even be poetry that unmasks your true feelings; perhaps you want beautiful, expensive things to surround you or a wife, a husband, children to raise into productive citizens, a family. Those are all my dreams and the prophet knew of every single one. I always believed that there was a supreme, pure being who I called ‘God’. It was drilled into me growing up in Sunday school, by my parents, at assembly and even teachers. I did not bash the Bible though. I thought some of the passages from it very thought-provoking, compelling, thoughtful and relevant to even today’s standards in society and most of all whenever I read them feeling the swarm of a low (meaning depressed or not feeling so hot about myself) or content, at peace with the world and myself, the passages, the words I consumed with renewed energy and vigour, they stood out for me, they were beautiful. I read it like elegant prose and some passages especially the Psalms read like poetry.

I could see the world through the prophet’s eyes now, anew, fresh. His speech was like a missile splitting the country and the negativity that had for seemingly never-ending years spun and revolved inside my head. He had shaped the body called chaos in my brain into crashing bursts, splintered them so that were no longer fuelled by my fear. ‘Everything I do, I do with the power of God. He works through me. Just remember you are giving your power to the fear.’ Over the years, my fear had seemed harmless enough. Nevertheless, it really was the enemy, the grim predator, dulling my social skills, draining the life out of me, making me think I was not being selfish, generous or stuck up. It was sucking me dry and it was warning me.

If I did not expect more out of life, get out there and live I was doomed to live without company, friendships or to share my life with someone and grow old with them. It was too much to hope for that ‘it’, this fear I had been carrying around with me, this depression that had accompanied it, making the perfect alliance for people who felt the loneliness that came with it violently, would instantly be gone. ‘Treat this woman, who cleans your house, who doesn’t smile, who has an open heart, with kindness because life has not been easy for her. It has been hard. Sometimes the people in the house where she lives goes to bed hungry at night. She is between jobs. Therefore, she needs this work. She needs to earn money to pay for bread and milk. Treat her well and you will be blessed. So treat her as you would something breakable, like a caged bird, gently and with care so she will not break.

She eats on the floor in the Indian missus’s house.’

‘Forgive Werner, for he knows not what he does. He does not have a clue that when he leaves your father alone to chat to his friends that your father feels wounded. Your father feels wounded, child of God, because he is sensitive, just like you to the world around him. He lacks confidence, just like you do in social situations and although you might think your father feels humiliated, it is only the ego within him that is wounded.’

‘Forgive your sister too and your brother. They are both wounded. Yes and you are responsible for that. Forgive yourself. They are burdened by the realities of the workplace. They learned to deal very young with your anxiety, your panic-stricken parents whenever you turned on them with hate and vitriol by turning against you, turning their backs on you, ignoring you, being indifferent towards you, guarded and aloof.

They also put shutters up to shield themselves from the outside world. Now they frolic in a hedonist’s lifestyle. They regarded you as mad, called you names like ‘psycho’ because they didn’t have the know-how, the knowledge of what made you different from other people.’

‘Honour your father and your mother and for the rest of your days you will be blessed and I will always be with you.’

‘You were lazy today. You did not make Michael coffee. It was cold. He was cold, chilled to the bone and wet, sad, and lonely. You know his shoes have seen better days. You know you should have made him a cup of coffee to warm him up. Nevertheless, today is long gone, history, past tense. Remember for next time when he comes. Make him some coffee. He appreciates it more than you will ever know.’

I heard this voice as clear as day in my head. I knew where it was coming from. It was the voice of God. Therefore, it was true what the prophet had said. I had the gifting. Would he teach me what to reveal to people and what not? ‘No.’ he said. He could guide me but the teacher was God. He would soon become as real to me like the halo coiled around his head in picture books, making him stand out from the crowds of people that surrounded him. ‘You will be a writer. A good one and make good money out of it.’ My face was one of disbelief harbouring joy at what I was hearing because that was my dream, why I was working my fingers to the bone every day tap-tap-tapping on the keyboard of my ancient computer. ‘Do you believe everything I have just told you?’ ‘Yes.’ I said breathlessly. ‘Yes’.

I said a little louder, with more force this time. I will be thirty-two this year and have learned that children dream when they are awake and while they are sleeping. Adults do not have time to dream. They are always in a rush and when they stop running, they feel self-conscious as if there is something that they have forgotten to do and so it goes on and on. Father feeds the dog, takes the garbage out, mother washes the dishes after cooking a delicious meal for her family, the children do their homework but this is only a mental picture of the nuclear family. Most families are not like this anymore. More and more children grow up in single parent homes, in the location they are raised by their grandmother’s, their mother working in the city sends some money home every month.

Then the others, the AIDS orphans, the abandoned ones live frugally in the location. Daughters and sons of parents who have passed due to complications from HIV/AIDS have to have the mentality of a responsible adult and bring up their younger siblings; they have to find a means of procuring food. Street children are abused; sniff glue, take drugs and live by their wits. They are told there is no home for them here, there or anywhere really. They do not know what to do with themselves, there are no buttons on their shirts, cup air in their hands and have to be wise on these streets, beg at car windows, begging for mercy. I would not wish this kind of livelihood on anyone. There are others who are lucky who grow up with others who were in their predicament in group homes.

They get a hot meal once a day; go to school with clean uniforms, bright, white socks that they scrub when they come home from school. I did not grow up like this. I grew up in the mental picture of the nuclear family. However, the prophet did not get into all of that. He and Neville with my mother’s soft voice in the background worshipped the Lord and then he prayed over me, laying his hand on my head and I felt a cool breeze that had not been there in the room before he had started praying. Chords were being cut loose. Arms sliced through the air. Spirits became more alive and more valiant. A mother was grateful. A father’s pain sank far away like a stone in a ravine. A daughter reached the cross roads, journeying from imprisonment in the cave of despair, I had climbed a mountain of broken glass, buried myself herself under the hurt that was like an avalanche, her Everest towards her gift presented to her by the King of Kings, the Lord of all Lords, Lord Jesus Christ.

I was not a girl anymore swept away by falsity, swept under crises and other people’s insensitivity and dirt. I shed a few tears and wiped them away. Not feeling shy anymore, I felt a bit braver as I faced my parents. I had faced the truth that was at the heart of the matter and they had done the same. ‘One day after all your travelling across the world, perhaps you’ll go to Australia, you must remember to say thank you to those two people sitting there and for everything they did for you. You must say thank you to your parents because what they did for you and what they are still doing for you is the only reason that you are here today on this earth, alive, active, healed.’ Neville was smiling from ear to ear. I got it. I got everything they had come there to say.

I felt omnipotent, released from the figurative chains that had held me back, and as I heard those words, I nodded my head obediently, thanking God in all His great, magnificent omniscience. ‘You’re going to write a book. A book about your childhood and your youth, how you toughed it out, the lean years, the way your loneliness welled up in your eyes and poured down your cheeks when you felt deeply hurt and unloved especially by insensitive people or people who read your actions, your thoughts, your words wrong, when you felt you weren’t a perfect fit when you were with others especially other girls, other women, the storms that you weathered you were delivered from and given a peace of mind that awakened within you this calling.

Down came the rain but still you survived, observing people is a natural part of your nature. It fills you up their views, the forest of their pain that they mask so well from their spouses and their children. You did not have to go to bible school to become a missionary, a pastor, a Sunday school teacher, a leader in the church in ministering to the youth or having a weekly bible study at your house. When you could not find the words to pray, I was there teaching you an important and valuable lesson, when flustered and embarrassed you gave up. It was the lesson never to quit and you had a long history of it. It will be a magnificent book because God will have ordained it within you, given you the inspiration for it divinely. It will be a great blessing and bring a comfort to many people.

It will be a bestseller and there will be many bestsellers to come from your pen. You will be a writer. You will be granted your wish. All your dreams will come true. Wait, see, pray, and read the Word of God. Immerse yourself in it. It will explode into bursts like a bugle within your psyche, your mind and your consciousness. You have faith. Keep it, hold onto it, and never let it go. Surrender to it when reading your Bible. Still and compose your mind and meditate upon the Word of God. He is there in the quiet moments just waiting for you to reach out to Him and confess your sins. Read the Word with poise, underline and highlight anything that stands out to you. It is but the voice of God that will come to you. Perhaps in the past you talked like an intellectual and acted like an elitist with a high opinion of herself but now you will be able to communicate with the people at the most basic of all levels, the grassroots level.’

The voice inside my head said as clear as the dawn breaking over the edge of the horizon as far as the eye could see over the ocean-sea. Now I could fly. I had been given wings. The world was my country. Fly like a bird with intent into the clouds with their linings of silver edges. I was as wise as an old owl and as a child of God; I was beloved and blessed abundantly by the Father even though I did not have perfect twenty-twenty vision. I wore spectacles. Ultimately, I had finally reached my mission in life at thirty-one; to serve God, to believe in him, to covet wisdom, the wisdom of a prophet like Elijah. ‘This child of God was consigned to the care of the Father.’ My Rubicon was no more.


Abigail George has a new book in the Ovi Bookshelves,
"Brother Wolf and Sister Wren"
Download for FREE HERE!

In the same shelves you wil also find one more book from Abigail George
"All about my mother"


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Emanuel Paparella2015-08-02 18:52:35
Abigail, the above is indeed a sterling example of confessional therapeutic feminine writing. It is prominently present in your individual postings as well as the bi-weekly symposium of the Ovi magazine to which you also contribute. As I have endeavored to point out, however, there is another contrasting view-point on the genre by both men and women writers which may be worth exploring and perhaps discussing at some length. I attach below an example of such an alternative view as proposed by Irina Horodinca, Co-Founder at "Livinteresting," a forum on philosophical exchanges. She quotes an excerpt from Annie Kagan’s book The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How my Bad-boy Brother Proved to me there’s Life after Death, which paradoxically could be construed as confessional diary writing.

Horodinca uses the quote to start a philosophical-literary discussion on the issue in “Global Philosophy Group.” It appeared only three days ago on July 30, 2015 and I am a bit befuddled by it.

You may agree or, on the other hand, you may disagree with what the quote is implies; in any case it would be interesting to me, and perhaps other readers as well, to know the reasons why you may agree or disagree with such an alternate view. This seems to me to be rather crucial in a magazine of opinion, as a way of fomenting a dialogue, exchange ideas, and perhaps get closer to the objective truth of the matter which some conceive to be the goal of every piece of writing ever penned. Here is the quote:

“I had often toyed with ideas and images of my future, dreaming up roles to play: as a writer, for example, or prophet, or painter, or whatever it was. All that meant nothing. I was not put on earth to write, or preach, or paint—and nor was anyone else. These things were only secondary. Every person’s true calling was only to arrive at him/herself. He/she might end up a poet or a madman, a prophet or a criminal—that was no concern of his/hers; in the end it was meaningless. His/her concern is to find his/her own fate, not a random one, and to live it out, full and complete. Everything else was a half-measure, escapism, fleeing back into the ideal of the masses—conformity and fear of what was inside yourself.”

Leah Sellers2015-08-02 20:24:17
Ms. Abigail,
You are a Gifting to all who Read your Stories and Insights. Callings come at a Price. Always a Price. And the Wisdom of Cosmic and Earthly Prophets is Worthy of Pursuit, and the prices inherent within that Pursuit. Callings all have a Strong thread of Obsession woven into their Fabric. And Obsessions breed Covetness. Responding to the Call to Seek out and expand Prophetic Wisdom and Vision, however difficult, is always inherent with Sacrifice. Thank you for Sharing your Blessed Gift, and many Wisdoms, with everyone.

Abigail George2015-08-04 00:24:04
You might think that what I am about to say is strange Emanuel. In some way, this journey, childhood, adolescence/youth, my twenties, meeting up with humanity, scholars of trivia, experience, years filled with irrational doubt, sensitivity to the world around me, everything from the environment to my parents, fear, and all of that, school, ridicule has led me to the impossible. What I thought for a long time was 'the impossible'. That I would write. That that would be my calling. I have embraced it, this journey, the destinations it has taken me to, the extraordinary pilgrimage, this strange encounter with projecting my reflection or a persona, like a beautiful stranger wearing an elaborate costume to a party.

For a long time I thought to myself what is this world coming to. I want to have a voice but I also want to make a difference, communicate the issue of climate change in the same breath as I write about battling chronic illness. I am a writer and in the same vein, a poet, an artist but I think that every human life on this earth in their own 'genius' way is a writer, a painter, a poet, and an artist.

In my writing I have discovered both myself and the face of love. I was always 'coming to terms' with something or other as a child and a young adult, 'losing my religion' (perhaps that is why I turned to spirituality and writing.

I am emotional when I write and even when I write I think that I am still suffering in silence. I am more a do-er, a thinker, yes, now a writer too. I never, ever thought of myself as a feminist because my mother was not raised that way. I came across feminism in literature. The books I read and when it comes to accepting the fact that I am a confessional writer (I have to admit that I like the sound of that. Confessional therapeutic feminine writing). I like the thought of calling myself a writer but also think to myself about where do I fit into the literary establishment. I think of my mother, often, long and hard and then I think about myself. About how different we are. I have always kept diaries ever since I started writing and that was when I was a child.

Reading what Leah and you wrote Emanuel brought back emotional memories. Confessional sounds as if I have something to say. Found my place in the world.

Emanuel Paparella2015-08-04 15:48:10
Thank you Abigail for the above elucidation of the confessional feminist therapeutic stream of consciousness poetics which is obviously also your point of view. However, the question I asked was on a quote from Anne Kagan's quote which seems to offer an alternate point of view. That question remains unanswered and may perhaps be addressed in our future dialogues in the Ovi symposium.

Abigail George2015-08-06 03:22:16
I have come across the words 'confessional poets' used to describe the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Robert Lowell in particular but never 'confessional therapeutic feminine writing'. I am interested Emanuel which is why I am going to ask you the following, why did you add 'therapeutic' and 'feminine'? Why is confessional not enough?

Confessional or narcissistic? Is that the perspective you were trying to bring me around to Emanuel? In the individual postings does everything I write sound as if I am writing it in the stream of consciousness style? Does it seem as if it is driven by the time, place, and space of the ego and not humility or grace?(I look forward to hearing your viewpoint on this discussion, Emanuel. I must say I am looking forward to the dialogue).

Emanuel Paparella2015-08-06 10:01:07

The answer to your question can be found in the above piece (open link) which was posted in Ovi at the end of June and was titled "Autobirography, Confessional Writing, and Feminist Literature: A Critique and an Historical-philosophical Survey: 1848-2015.

My question however remains unanswered. Perhaps will be answered in the ensuing dialogue. Cordially.

Abigail George2015-08-06 22:35:30
I enjoy reading memoir but isn't that really confessional writing. I have to admit I do not read for pleasure. I read to learn more about humanity. The world I came from was a world always filled with literature. Is every writer a narcissist? What about art? Is the creator an artist or a narcissist? Do confessional writers suffer from a superiority complex? My true calling is writing and it found me. For a long time I feared what lived inside myself, and then one day I woke up and my nemesis was gone. You arrive at yourself when you arrive in this world. I truly believe that. So, I do not agree with Horodinca. Fate, destiny, whatever is going to happen to you, what happened to me was written in the stars. Art is not escapism as some would have the world, us, human life believe. Art is the future. Always has been.

Abigail George2015-08-07 13:07:57
So far, thank you for an interesting dialogue. Thank you for the link, Emanuel. Why do you write, Emanuel? What governs your thought processes? Is it the same when you are reading/marking/correcting students papers or when you write an individual posting for Ovi Magazine. In case you have not noticed, both Thanos and you inspired and still inspire me a great deal and were both the chief reasons I started writing for Modern Diplomacy, if you must know. I have often looked at what you have produced prolifically and have tried as best as I can to model my literary work on yours with a bit of ingenuity and of course imagination.

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