I am an exclamation point. For many years, I censured my overuse of exclamation marks. But who wants a life that always ends in a period? I want reticence of what's to come, the question marks of the unknown tomorrow, but most of all, I want the exclamation point of a life well lived. Surprise, happiness, or "notes of admiration"to express the excitement of being alive.
As an exclamation point, I overuse superlatives. I feel big. My heart explodes in a thousand exclamation marks, which can hardly contain my sense of awe. I am effervescent, ebullient, and spumescent. To ask an exclamation point to be a period, would be the same to ask my heart, that sings like a chorus of 10,000 people, to not sing at all. And that would be a catastrophe, an alluvion, a cataclysm of unheard consequences. An exclamation point could never cry quietly. An exclamation point can only cry as though in a mexican "telenovela" with the poetry of a shakespearean tragedy.
As an exclamation point, I am each Native American murdered for land, each slave stolen from home then treated as an "other". I am each Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and woman persecuted and murdered. I am each immigrant who left home for a better future, even though it meant hate and illegal status, but then I am each mother who heard a child crying of hunger. I am each animal abused and abandoned and each unwanted child. I am each ignorant person. I am each act of hate, of envy and prejudice, but I also am each conscious that knew better. I am each note of a song that makes one believe in the divine. I am each act of kindness. I am each first kiss and each broken heart. I am each leap of faith.
I am an exclamation point.