Thursday, April 10, 2008

She Speaks

I have the exciting opportunity to offer Gridbook's first guest blogging: a response to the blog by my brilliant and insightful wife...

I yelled at my husband today... because I am a Fortson (and of course a sinner too). It is a generational feature of the Fortsons to become loud as they become increasingly passionate about finding the truth. My grandfather died of high blood pressure. My aunt died of an aneurysm. Of course, I do not know how I will die but it may well be caused by some inner pressure that has just exceeded its maximum. They both raised their voices in direct proportion to their passion. For my grandfather, the issues were spiritual. He would pace the floor with his Bible, becoming more agitated and adamant as he made his point about predestination. My aunt championed social justice. She became incensed over racial inequalities and would work herself into a foul mood over topics of poverty and injustice.

I don't know if my causes are quite as defined. Sometimes I just yell... because of everything I haven't figured out yet; because I haven't yet found a satisfactory social or spiritual hook to hang my hat on, a battle ground to fight my life's fight and defend to the death. I haven't found that thing for which I'm willing to sacrifice my blood pressure and the health of my arteries. But I am a Fortson and I will pace and fuss and yell (mostly in the privacy of my home) until I find it.

In the meantime, my husband blogs. He constantly puts out his thoughts, emotions, and ideas for all to see. And I disagree with most of them. Is that any wonder when the first conversation we ever had was him discussing how he could sympathize with (but not justify) supporters of the KKK? Would you be shocked to know that the first time I visited him at his home, I discovered that he proudly flew the Confederate flag? (These are not things I rushed home to tell my parents.) Yet I married him with love and pride and would do it a thousand times again.

However, I must now speak because my picture appears on his blog, next to his writings. My name is mentioned in his thoughts. My son is discussed in these entries. And I do not endorse all of his views. He will always vote pro-life. I will not. He is unflinchingly against wealth, the upper-class and accumulating materialistic things. I love a cushy lifestyle. He loves to advertise his views by covering his car in bumper stickers. I prefer for my views to remain private unless it is absolutely essential that they be revealed. I could go on about our differences. They are as opposite as black and white. Yet just as our son will reflect our unity, somewhere in our diversity we agree.

I most wanted to say to you, his readers, that he is married to a woman who does not think like he does, respond the way he does, or arrive at the same conclusions that he does. Although I am passionate, I am not public. I do not wish to publish my thoughts or opinions, mainly because they are constantly evolving, deepening, widening, wisening. What I think today may be developed into an entirely new thought after I experience tomorrow.

So while I thought it was “time to speak,” what I want to say is still being formed and developed and perfected. And someday soon, I may be able to say in exactly the way I want why the gridbook does not reflect who I am.

I am the great granddaughter of slaves married to the great grandson of slave owners—I am a black woman. I will soon give birth to a son who even more than me will have to create his identity everyday—I am a mother. I am married to a man who is the antithesis of my views and approaches to life—I am a wife. I am the daughter of a full-time homemaker—I am creating a career. I am a believer in Jesus Christ although I am often ashamed of His followers—I am a Christian. I am both proud and disappointed in my country, its leaders, citizens and policies—I am an American. I believe that everyone should have a choice when it comes to their bodies and their lives—I am pro-life. I am not easily defined. The boundaries around my thoughts and beliefs are constantly shifting; widening, deepening, excluding—I am complicated.

I kept my middle and maiden name when married, adding "Davis" to who I already was because none of me was lost at my marriage to Jonathan Davis. I only grew. I added on. I expanded.


bobw said...

very nice to hear from you Joya. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

joannabug said...

Beautifully said, Joya!

I wish I could hear you yell--somehow I have trouble believing it! (grin)

The fact that you and Jonathan work so well together despite the many differences you've talked about here will be such a backbone for your son as he works through whatever challenges come his way.

Hannah said...

Bravo Joya. After being a subject of so many posts I am glad you decided to express yourself. As always you are eloquent and passionate.

Christy said...

How beautiful, Joya! Thank you for sharing a piece of who you are! It touched my heart.

JD said...

Perhaps I should clarify: My wife doesn't yell at me often. It was a rare enough event that it prompted a blog post.

Orlandrea said...

I am so late, just now catching up. Wonderful to hear your voice Joya. Bravo!! :-)