When I was young, I couldn’t understand why people wrote allegories. I thought, if you wanted to talk about the Stalin era, why do you have to talk about pigs that are more equal than others? Then you grow up and realize, it’s because oppressive authorities who are on a witch hunt for dissenters are ready to take what you’ve said and use it as a tool to justify why you don’t have the right to speak.
Despite such suppression, people still find ways to tell their stories, and they discover it in creative crevices where they are free to be honest—in poems, in songs, and in fiction. If anyone complains, they can always defend themselves with Oh come on, I just invented that. That was just a figment of my imagination.
If you can write in more forms than one, then it will be extremely difficult to silence you. That’s why I think I must invest in developing my writing skills beyond just creating newspaper articles. Back in college, my concentration was fiction, and I did take some classes in poetry even though currently that’s not my strongest form. I have also been writing songs ever since I was eleven years old, but I’ve stopped hearing songs when I stopped singing. A year ago, I started taking singing lessons, and just last Nov. 18, I wrote a song again for the first time in years. This is good; this is good. If I have multiple channels of speaking, it will be harder to clamp down on me. I’ll be too smart to pin down.
The less grandiose form of allegory is the everyday parinig. In the past, I looked down on people who make parinig, that indirect way of speaking to someone who hurt you. Now I’m learning that there are people who don’t want to listen to you, and I will call them The Mighty Powers That Be. When you feel that you need to speak to their selectively deaf ears, you realize that you might need to speak through the grapevine, and maybe they’ll hear about it. If they do, maybe they’ll understand, or maybe they won’t, but they’ll surely hear it.
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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.