“Fear of the blank page.” Writing groups, classes, and websites address it. That such a fear even exists is only because, like many other wild and wonderful gifts, the blank page is misunderstood.

The blank page is not there to intimidate or judge or condemn. It does not berate the writer; does not gash red lines through the words penned upon it as it bellows, “NOT GOOD ENOUGH!” On the contrary, the blank page says, “Your thoughts and feelings are worthy of being written. Give them to me. I will hear them all.”

The blank page, though often referred to…


Mi homenaje a viajar

¡VUELA!

En un mundo donde la nacionalidad a veces suplanta la humanidad, donde las fronteras están cerradas para muchos, en un mundo donde estas existen, y en este preciso momento cuando estar en cuarentena se ha convertido en lo normal, visualizo nuevos viajes para recobrar la esperanza. Este es mi homenaje a viajar.

Viajar, tal como yo lo veo, no significa sacar fotos enfrente de monumentos ni comprar recuerdos. Tampoco tachar experiencias de la lista de cosas que hacer antes de morir. Viajar es llegar a un lugar donde no conoces a nadie y salir del mismo…


SOAR

In a world where nationality often supersedes humanity, where borders are closed to so many, in a world where borders exist, and in a moment in time when quarantines have become the norm, I look to travel for hope. Here is my homage to the journey.

Travel, as I view it, isn’t about taking pictures at monuments or buying souvenirs. And it’s not about ticking experiences off a bucket list. Travel is about arriving at a place where you know no one and leaving it with a friend. Travel is learning to see in the person you were taught to…


Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

“Is this what you expected?” Anna asked me on my first day volunteering at the refugee camp.

“Yes,” I told her. A month of research before I left for Greece had well-prepared me for what I found upon arrival: rows of blister white aptly named “containers”, temporary dwellings that some had inhabited for three years; Farsi, Arabic, and Kurdish filling up the air with their exquisite but to my ears incomprehensible sounds; children who approached without caution; women’s eyes that would not meet mine: I was expecting it all.

But by my last day at the camp, I’d changed my…


I’ve just set off the metal detector at the Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain, despite the fact that the one and only piece of metal I am wearing is a single earring the size of a pinhead. And I am only wearing it because it’s still a relatively new piercing, and if I remove it, as I have done every other piece of jewelry that I was wearing before I walked through the metal detector, in a desperate and obviously futile attempt to not face the possibility of being patted down, of having one more damn pair of hands on…


It was a windy day. Leaves shared space in the sky with birds. Blades of grass rippled like a sea. The sun’s light shone, then disappeared, then shone again, perpetually affected by the journey of the clouds.

Meanwhile, I sat upon a park bench, weeping. My life was not what I had dreamed it would be. I had not become who I wanted to be. And the world was full of pain, injustice, and broken hearts. I didn’t know how to change any of these things.

I spoke one word to the Wind, “How?”

In the next instant, a seed…


Imagine if nature treated itself the way we treat our bodies.

Trees would try to be twigs. They would refuse nourishment from the ground. They would call their leaves ugly, repeatedly, until they withered and died.

Flower would dye their petals. They would plea to animals to urinate upon them so that their true scent would never, ever be known. They would beg lightning to sever stems and carve new shapes in their leaves. They would entreat humans to collect the remains, squeeze them into vases three times too small, and make them into what they had been born being.


There are loud ways to sexually harass someone, ways like thunder and fingerprints, though those on the receiving end, for a multitude of reasons, may never be loud about it. Telling someone, “You are a beautiful piece of ass,” is loud. Putting your hands on someone’s body, laying claim to skin and soul not your own: loud. A former boss told me, as he locked the door to the empty language school that we were in, in order to prevent “thieves” from entering while the secretary was on his lunch break and we were upstairs getting books, “Nobody else is…

Jordana Chana Mayim

Author/illustrator, ESOL teacher, travel addict. “There are three things you must do in life: Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.” www.jordanamayim.com

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