Nothing about the news lately has been bearable. Every day it seems that something more heinous, terrible, terrifying, nightmarish has come to life. We do not have enough band aids to heal the wounds.
Out Loud has always been about creating safe spaces to speak and providing a platform for important conversations to take place. Recognizing my position, my privilege, my opportunity, I am calling for an open forum of sorts.
This Sunday, July 10th, after the Poetry Slam I invite you to stay for an open conversation to unpack, to feel, to speak, to start healing, to be heard. We have an amazingly supportive community here, one that listens when we so badly need someone to listen. One that finds the words when we cannot. I want to honor that community in the wake of all this recent tragedy.
The Flying Monkey Arts has been generous enough to agree to stay for an additional 30-45 minutes after the slam for this conversation to take place. This venue is amazing, and we appreciate them. Donate to them. Keep the safe spaces going. Help them thrive.
So I invite you to bring something to share. Maybe you've been to nervous to participate in a slam but you want to read a poem you wrote. Do it. Maybe you want to ask questions. Do it. Maybe you want to say their names, that long long list of names. Do it. Maybe you want to share song lyrics that have been getting you through. Come on out.
I want this to happen organically, kindly, respectfully. One person up to the mic at a time. Everyone who wants to say something gets to say something, gets to be heard. Be conscious of the amount of time you take up and leave room for others to speak. This is not a space for violence, this is a space for love and healing. Understand that we will not be able to solve the problems of the world in one night. We may leave with more questions then we started with. But it's a step. Asking these questions, being with our community, and healing together, this is how we make local impact.
Maybe you aren't ready for this. That's okay, feel free to leave right after the slam, I will not be offended. Maybe you don't want to speak, just want to listen and support and be a pillar. That's okay. There is no pressure to talk. Just come be a part of something powerful, something moving.
Please note, after the open forum if you have more you'd like to discuss, please find an alternate location to do so. The Flying Monkey is already agreeing to stay later for us, and chatting in the hallways or in the parking lots prevent them from locking up and make folks have to stay even later, so lets respect our venue.
Walls down. Hearts open. Feel and heal and keep the dialogue going. Love. Love. Love.