nobody will believe you

…and finally here we are at the very centre of the project, at the very heart of the space which holds my words, my thoughts, my memories, and the faded memories of others who share my DNA.

this is what lies uncurled in the paleness, the soft folds of fabric, open for anyone to see, for anyone to see, for anyone to see.

but also, there is this: i know that those who know, will already know that there are things that you might try and tell with your mammal mouth—the one right in the middle of your mammal face. the mouth that only wants peace, that only wants to be led to safe pastures, to that spacious place where a body does not have to eat adrenaline, and cortisol, and fear, and anticipation.

because words are a weapon and they can strike, and they can bind, and they are able to hold captive, and maybe that is why God has always said, use them wisely, use them with great care, and some people will hold them up to your face and dangle them there like the keys that they are, and you soft mammal, folded into fear will have no choice but to believe them, because of what you have seen, because of what you have heard, but my hope for you is this:

that you will find within your deepest, deepest, deepest places a small bird that sings, and that you will reach in with your own hands and maybe this is the not the first time you have done this, and how this numbs, and how this terrifies, but i hope you will try and pull the words from your throat, up past the thorns, coax them up through the dust, already i know that you will be unbelieving that they might be allowed to open themselves up, to unzip their way out to where somebody, anybody, might stop what they are doing on some fine morning, incline their head, stoop down to listen to the story, and say:

yes, i believe you, let’s get you some help, let’s get you safe, let’s get you out of this war zone…

but listen! it can happen. it can happen. it can happen. but first you must do this: you must unbelieve the power of the keys dangling in front of you.

you must believe that there is someone out there who wants, with all their might to pick you up and lead you to safety. and also, you must know that you are not the only one.

therein lies a small piece of power.

you are not the only one. you are not alone. somebody will believe you.

© Liezel Graham 2022

some more detail from the apron project. this piece is right in the centre of the apron and holds the gaze, as it should. this is not a pretty piece of embroidery. this project does not ask for beauty, or prettiness, or skilled stitches, or for being acceptable.

this project is a second mouth, a second voice, and she speaks with quiet determination.

she says:

‘nothing is what it seems. there are no perfect lives. there is a way out. you will have to search hard for it, but it is there. it will require more courage, more skill at being unnoticed, more adrenaline, more cortisol, more fear than you ever imagined, but there is a way out, and you must start by believing that someone will believe you… do not believe the power of the key that is dangled in front of your face…. you are not the only one, and there are people who will hold you, and welcome you, and help you to a safe place…’