Nov 282013
Illustration from "Forgotten Realms of Cormyr"

Illustration from “Forgotten Realms of Cormyr”

It’s never comfortable to be the lone voice which speaks contrarily to the group, especially the group to which one feels belonging. The hope is that in speaking truthfully, one might still be loved and accepted – even respected for the courage it takes to say the thing that others dare not.

But often you travel these lengths alone, even from your most beloved companions, and it rarely feels courageous while you do so. But if you can stand the terrible loneliness and doubt, there might slowly emerge the young tendrils of understanding in the hearts of others. Then, and only then, will you see that you’ve been tremendously brave.

Instinctively you know that it isn’t enough to stay within bounds. The soul thrives on novelty. It comes alive in the dynamism of change and works at the edges of our perceived boundaries. It doesn’t ask for permission, because it obeys a higher authority. It takes its cues from the rhythm of nature herself, which is always crumbling into chaos, breaking down into the rich humus that fosters creativity.

The artist is vigilant for those places of stagnancy where traditions have been left unquestioned for too long; where establishments have been exclusive to a chosen few; where chaos and inappropriateness have been cleansed, and therefore thriving just below the polished surfaces.

The artist isn’t afraid of decay – she befriends it. She is an agent of collective conscience – outing the unspoken, exposing the hidden, voicing for the voiceless.


Adapted from “Belonging” now available at

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A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.

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  10 Responses to “Outing the Unspoken”

  1. Thank you.

  2. I am an artist. This is true. Something new does arise from the chaos that seems impenetrable.

  3. Thanks for being doing that.

  4. Powerful words, powerful imagery, powerful Truth. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. Thank you! Years ago I spoke up, got no response, and left a spiritual community that refused to deal with a guest healer being sexually inappropriate with members.

  6. I spoke up and hoped to be heard but was attacked and rejected, as seems often to be the case. The path of unwelcome truth is painful, lonely and feels friendless but I’ve learnt a great deal about myself along the way and have strengthened my bones and sinews by standing alone. New friends I have made since are precious to me and the quality of the relationship I’m able to share with them has deepened as a result of my experience.

  7. Yet, again, kind thanks, lovely Toko-pa ✾

  8. This week I spoke up to the aid of a colleague on a Messenger Group . I talked about mindfullness & respect when responding to a post made in message. The response to the post was very rude . I ponder and spoke up respectfully. I felt very alone as the subject was changed. No thumbs up or anything just silence. I felt so all alone . I feel that I wanted to just help but it was not received that way. I seemed to have been the villain in the situation. I have to let it go . But then this post is exactly what I needed to help me “let go.” Thank u so much.

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