A Triangulated Dialectic

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Published by Ducts magazine and excerpted here.

power differential

Jupiter and Antiope, The British Museum

 

My daughter texts me.

She is in love, a deep and sharp love she has nurtured for three-and-a-half years. It is a love I imagine adorns her library of journals, the older ones bursting with the marks of a high school girl: felt-tip word art, genital-red lips clipped from magazines and strategically placed, angst-riddled poetry, youthful infatuation with adulthood, the secrets of this love’s emergence.

Standing in her abandoned room, I suspect her new journals are filled with the musings of a lyrical college student, bold declarations of fickle intent, brilliant moments of insight, the spatter of salty sorrow. But the old ones, they are everywhere. Packed into shopping bags, buried in the closet under piles of gotta-have-now-yet-only-once-worn clothes. They fill yard-sale valises hidden under the bed amid erstwhile treasures. They are secreted behind rows of Shel Silverstein, Madeleine L’Engle, Roald Dahl, Louise Rennison, Francesca Lia Block, John Steinbeck, Alice Walker, Augustin Burroughs, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Paulo Coelho—the latter books, recommended by the object of my daughter’s love.

He is the high school teacher who had thrilled her with his attentions, who’d touched her heart and her mind. He touched her like she had never been touched before and sent her spirit soaring into an epiphany of self, a miracle of validation. This high school teacher then touched my daughter’s hand, the small of her back, her soul. …

Read the full essay at Ducts.

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Kit-Bacon Gressitt was spawned by a Southern Baptist creationist and a liberal social worker. Consequently, she inherited the requisite sense of humor to survive family dinner-table debates and the imagination to avoid them. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, with an emphasis on narrative nonfiction, and has taught Women’s Studies in the Cal State University system. K-B’s narrative nonfiction, commentary, political fiction, book reviews and author features have been published or are forthcoming in Publishers WeeklyNot My President: The Anthology of Dissent (Thoughtcrime Press, December 2017), Ducts magazine, The Missing SlateTrivia: Feminist VoicesMs. Magazine blogSan Diego Poetry AnnualThe North County TimesSan Diego Uptown News, Gay San DiegoChiron Review (the ancient one, before the internet)American University’s iVory Towerz, and others. K-B was the grateful recipient of two Poets & Writers grants in 2016-17; and she was one of 12 national finalists for the 2016 Kentucky Writers Fellowship. She is a founding editor of Writers Resist, and she’s represented by Amanda Annis at Trident Media.

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  1. Sharon Lynne Thompson says:

    Thanks again for reminding me about the world around us as a woman, and also rekindling how grateful I am to have two sons (grown, now) because raising them to think like feminists paid off. I write, “Me, too” everywhere I can. My sons cheer me on, well versed to events not every mother shares with ‘sons’ because, well, they’re men. Yes, KB, the writing you share is not only political or feminist but about human beings- reminding, I hope, everyone that the way out of this mire is to teach. Is to speak. Is to grab the hand of the nearest human being and say, “I believe this. You may not agree, but listen to all sides. Learn to let me be, teach me to let you be.” Maybe someday.

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