Maybe it is all the time I spent at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts last week that got me thinking about all the fantastic women writers whose lives were cut short due to depression so profound it led to suicide.
It may be because my depression has reared its head and one of the ways I motivate myself is “give voice to those who aren’t able to speak for themselves” and “There are women writers who wrote despite their depression.”
Sylvia Plath is certainly one of those women who wrote her way into success at a young age and when she couldn’t take it anymore, she killed herself. She was born the same year as my mother and died the year after I was born. She was thirty-one years old.
In contrast, there is Charlotte Perkins Gilman who you may have never heard of until this precise moment. She lived in the 19th and 20th Centuries and was not only a writer, she was also an activist, feminist, mother and she fought her depression and won.
Her doctor told her not to pick up a pen, a pencil or a paintbrush if she wanted to remain stable. She chose to take her child and move to California from the Midwest, hunkered down in Pasadena and wrote her way to fame.
She lived until she was 75 and since she had inoperable cancer, she committed suicide very consciously long before Dr. Kervorkian became known for his campaign promoting assisted suicide.
When it came time to create art for a women’s art show in November, my pieces focus on “the women’s sphere” via photos and women’s words collaged onto household objects: a plate, a bowl and then, the most conventional, a photo-word collage in standard 2-D form.
I refuse to be conventional anymore.
In highlighting the loss of so many fine women writers, I am giving them voice, again.
This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
- Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
- Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
- Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
- Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
- Link up your post at All.Things.Fadra
- Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.
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Julie Jordan Scott