“We don’t talk about it.”

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My mother’s side of the family keeps secrets–semi-secrets known, at least, to me. My mother allows the secrets out here and there over the years, gives them some sun and air, lets them stretch and run a little. It must relieve her, a little.

My mother tells me things others might color with shame, maybe because I always ask, always have. Maybe she shares because my own past is splattered and bored through with potentially shameful things. My mother is intimately familiar with most of my dark pets. Most I have come to terms with, and am unafraid to discuss or write down, even publicly. Maybe this lets her know my gaze is safe, that my enclosure will hold her creatures.

The secrets of my mother’s family are known by all her siblings, but they never discuss, have never discussed them with each other. Does that make them less shameful, painful? My mother tells us, the family she built, that her sisters and brother never speak these things out loud. She tells us wistfully: She wants to talk to them the way she talks to us. Maybe this could help them. Maybe there are old wounds still to be healed. Maybe the bond between them could be renewed and strengthened.

What do they have to lose?

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PROMPT

What kind of secrets do you keep? Do you have implicit understandings, pacts with loved ones that prevent certain stories from coming to light? Which tales and facts from your past do you and your people mark taboo?

In your wildest imagining, what might happen if you all agreed to let it loose, opened all the closed doors and windows and allowed that contained, constrained animal complete liberty at last?

Draw a one-panel comic inspired-by or in-response-to. Or, you know, take it where you will.

Tell it like it is.

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