“Could I please take your photo?”

I was heading back from the bathroom when a woman stopped me to ask about my forehead. The bartender leaned in to listen too.

I had just returned from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and I’d asked my husband to meet me in town for a drink, and I had forgotten about the tattoo until I noticed people staring at me (particularly this couple at the end of the bar, and especially the guy she was with.)

They were quite a bit younger than us and didn’t appear to be the Kripalu-type, but I sensed their kindness, and so when she asked, I asked:

“Do you really want to know?”

She nodded enthusiastically, and so I dove in… explaining that I’d wanted a henna tattoo to mark the upcoming 365 days without my menses (ie. MENOPAUSE!), but I had been unsure about how to do it, until I’d spent the weekend with a misogynist.

He brought clarity, just like #45 has done.

“I’d like an emblem of SEEING CLEARLY,” I told the henna artist at Kripalu. “Something that calls out the PATRIARCHY!”

The bartender turned to me and gave me a high five upon hearing this. She had her own bad ass tattoo (a permanent one), while my new friend at the end of the bar responded that she couldn’t have imagined a better answer—it was just what she hoped for!

Suddenly instead of a corny menopausal lady, I felt kind of cool.

After that we talked about everything–women and politics and art and Vermont, and before parting ways, we exchanged contacts; and then her companion who had been talking to my husband fumbled a bit–wishing me well “on this next chapter of my life.”

I was struck by his sincerity, which seemed almost reverant, and also joyful and expectant, and the whole encounter left me feeling hopeful about the world, just as the yoni on my forehead seemed to leave others feeling hopeful too.

(This photo arrived in my in box two weeks later.)


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