Like water, language flows with its own convention. Words shift and change shape depending on the container, on the cultural barometer, the source of light, bend of ear. An utterance might be rigid as ice, impenetrable and bafflingly cold. A phrase equally inscrutable for its ephemeralness, mysterious as steam, foggy and evanescent. No sharp-edged land can hold back the wrath of a storm, no rock the insistence of a river’s polish.
So, too, words flung in biting inflection or soothing tone can wear down, win over, spark wonder, worry, want, well-being, wrath.
And like water, like words: women.
Chicks, dolls, broads. The fairer sex, the weaker vessel, a damsel in distress. Cleaning ladies, housewives, gentlewomen, maids. The chairwoman, the actress, the prostitute. The sister, a daughter, niece, mother. A maiden, the virgin, mistress, whore. The spinster, the crone. The bitch, the ditz, the bombshell, the jail bait, the shrew. She’s a wild child, tomboy, spitfire, butch, battle-ax, ball and chain, ball buster, cock tease. Smile, you young thing, old hag, waif, wench, witch. Tell us your stories, cougar, hell cat, minx.
“Water is something you cannot hold,” writes Anne Carson in her collection Plainwater. Still, we try: filling trays for ice cubes, glasses for guests, tubs to bathe our families.
Corsets, girdles, Spanx, cabbage soup, SlimFast, Master Cleanse. We can be held, but not contained. We are the egg and the nest and the flock flown south. As lakes flow into rivers, rivers into seas, we morph, move, dance, leak. We flow.
Welcome to Tidal Journal. We are a journal ruled by the words of womxn, whose bodies of water are ruled by the moon, whose muscles flex with strength and softness.
Welcome to Tidal Journal. We are a journal whose very title is the tidal pull and push of pleasure and pain, of stillness and flow, of process and becoming.
Let the tide pull you in.
Arielle Silver is founding editor of Tidal, former editor of Lunch Ticket, and contributor to Matador Review, Brevity, Under the Gum Tree, Gulf Stream, Jet Fuel Review, Lilith Magazine, among others. She teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles, where she also writes for the alumni magazine. In addition, she is a performing singer/songwriter and composer, whose music has been licensed internationally for film and TV. With her partner, she leads retreats and workshops on yoga, creativity, and writing in California and beyond. www.ariellesilver.com