Why “Silent Sister”–?

I’m something of a social media addict. I have accounts on just about every social networking site available, and I use them regularly, often to the point of scary over-sharing. Yet lately all I seem to do is write a post and then delete it without ever posting it, because I’m worried about what people will think, or how my friends will react. There are so many things I want to say, not because I need anyone specific to know, but just because I need to SAY IT, need it to be out there, out of my head, loose from my chest. But I’m afraid to say it because I don’t want people to think I’m just digging around for sympathy or compliments or whatever, and also because I don’t want to worry my friends. And more specifically, when my friends are worried I feel the need to reassure them, to say that I’m okay, I’ll be fine, I’m not going to do anything stupid. And I’m just too damn tired to do that right now. And frankly, lately that would feel like the most blatant of lies.

I wrestled with indecision for a few weeks. But I finally decided that if I wanted to publicly post these things it would need to be anonymously. Or at least somewhat anonymously.

I mean, I’m not going through complicated loops to hide my identity or my IP address or anything like that. It’s not like I’m doing something illegal that I need to hide. I just didn’t want these things directly or obviously tied to my real name, where my real friends and real employers and real family could find them.

The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word

Photo mine. Taken at Rockhurst University, 2008.
Photo mine. Taken at Rockhurst University, 2008.

As for choosing Silent Sister… well, “silent” seemed apt enough, and I am sister, to both literal and honorary siblings. But really, it’s a phrase from one of my favorite poems, “Ash Wednesday” by T.S. Eliot (ironically, despite my insistence that this will not be a religiously-themed blog, this poem is dripping in religious images and allusions). I had originally planned to use the phrase “Lady of Silences” which is also from “Ash Wednesday” but someone else had beaten me to it, so “Silent Sister” it is.


And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Silent Sister


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