I went to sleep to the sensual delight of an open window after so many weeks shut to the cold (after so many months soaking up the pleasures of scent & sound.)
I woke to a dream about the election and looked over at the clock to see a series of 1’s, but not four or three, but a stream…
I lifted my head to inquire further and realized that the red glow of the digital was reflecting off the headboard behind my husband’s head. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
There I was in the center of a stage, seeing my feeling state reflected back by an amphitheater of fans.
There was FEAR, huddled together, down low, dressed in black cloaked garments.
I was surprised to find myself waving at FEAR, and soothed by my own connection and compassion.
Above the dark mass, there was HOPE, fanning out and filling the stands, waving banners and cheering enthusiastically.
My spirits lifted higher. I smiled and waved at HOPE too, realizing they clearly outnumbered their brethren below.
As I drifted back to sleep,other feeling states on a series of more alarming topics–national, global, personal–were reflected by the crowd.
There were the darkly dressed, huddled ones, who never grew much in size and simply desired connection and safety; and above them, in the stands, the crowd that dwindled with each ensuing topic, until there were only one or two remaining, who weakly waved flags.
It occurred to me then, it’s not that we must rid ourselves (or this nation) of FEAR, nor dismiss or ridicule it, but instead pack the stands with HOPE.
Other marginalized groups.
International leadership, learning & listening.
Protected natural spaces.
Diversity of species.
Will the time come when we don’t have to work so hard on a relationship?
No, the time will come when there will be no lapse in our efforts…
to be kind.
Gail & Hugh Prather
In my mind, one of the essentially revealing comments of the current occupant of the White House is what he said about marriage, just after his third:
I don’t want to have to go home and have to work at a relationship. A relationship you have to work at, in my opinion doesn’t work.
And about bringing more children into the world with her:
Sure. I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids.
About about his wedding vows if she were horribly disfigured in a car accident.
Totally, no question in my mind… How do the breasts look?
Earlier this week, I couldn’t tell say if she was a pop star or a film star, only that she was well after my time and probably never my taste, but when I heard about her instagram post, I went looking for it and it was so good (human rights front & center) that I later read it aloud to my husband.
Lots of people registered to vote because of it.
And even though I’ve had a string of challenging health days, I dragged myself to the coast of Maine, having been waiting for that unusually warm autumn day to instigate such a journey, and while it didn’t change anything, deep within something shifted, so that waking this morning in a sea of orange-leafed trees in the Green Mountains of Vermont, I find myself hopeful again.
I am so angry. And grief-stricken. And weary! (As a woman.) And yet, so very, very delighted (as a mother) to have our youngest home for an entire week so that I get to remind him again and again to get off his phone, and do his chores, and move his laundry, and go to bed.
After the past 6-week half-life without him, I’m savoring the day-to-day ordinariness of simply having him around without wanting anything more. (Except. Mid-terms.)
A personal allegory on Saturday afternoon.
Another’s blessing this morning.
These are the ways I’ve attempted to express what it is I feel about the SCOTUS confirmation–that which is beyond politics & procreative rights–as if when it comes to women, anything is separate.
I hate to claim it, but I think that names it.
I could barely speak when it was final.
My niece just home from college with friends echoed the same. “The car fell silent,” she said, about hearing the news over the radio.
The world is much too quiet.
In this absence of sound, Juan Ramon Jimenez’s verse comes to mind:
My boat struck something deep. Nothing happened. Sound, silence, waves.
What if all the women went mute from this trauma? What if we remained silent until others hollered on our behalf?
The men who are protesting MOVE me. Those who don’t get it, won’t get it, mock it, deride it, dismiss it, skirt it, KILL me.
Don’t give me your Republican/Democrat bullshit. This is UNIVERSAL.
But it is too quiet.
Nothing happened? writes Jimenez. Or perhaps Everything happened…
And here I take liberty with his verse, understanding that my silence, our silence, the silence, is a tidal wave forming:
…And we are sitting in the middle of a revolution.
May it be so.
TO THE MEN: WADE in the WATER!
Women hold the water while men stay safe on solid ground.
I don’t know what Senator Collin’s deal is; what the story is about her husband and Russia; I don’t know what anyone woman’s deal is if she doesn’t get the stakes with this administration and this appointment.
What I do know is that the Patriarchy has their foot on our necks. Relies on us for beauty, support, warm fuzzies, flowers, holidays & gatherings, greeting cards & gifts, compassion & tenderness–the “You play it soft, so that I can play it tough” charade–in order to perpetuate the privilege of ”real men” (those not born of women) who don’t have to feel into all the yucky hard stuff that comes with vulnerability–his own and those around him.
She does the feeling for Him while He gets to have everything:
Senator Steven Daines, Montana, told The Associated Press: “This weekend there’s going to be a new Supreme Court justice and that he is going to walk his daughter down the aisle.”
He sweeps in at the right moment, while She holds the water, and then from time to time, behind closed doors, He collapses in Her arms before numbing himself again with certainty, telling Her how it is, as if She didn’t change His diapers or nurse Him at Her breast or hold Him while he sobbed.
So afraid of his dependency, He will convince her that She relies on Him, and if He is not convincing, He will hurt Her, because He has detached from what makes Him whole and if She won’t let Him suck Her dry, He has no purpose for Her.
Women can no longer be the hosts for men’s wholeness.
Men, WADE in the water!
AND clean your mess up.
I believe in you.
Women, men are not our solid ground.
Each time I see a photo of men with other men protesting (like right in our town last night), or I see a call for men to do the same, or a video of young male students standing together holding signs that say: WE BELIEVE, I am brought to tears.
Not because women need rescuing, but because we need more and more men to take the baton that is theirs.
As my friend Jess put it: Patriarchy is a men’s issue.
We are so tired. We have been holding this alone for too long. Silently. Shamefully. Sinfully. All the ways we were told we were wrong. Because of what men did. (Or didn’t do.)
I am so touched. I am so grateful. I am so relieved. To the men gathering with men. You have restored my faith. My hope. My sense of what we can do together.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I am so grateful. Despite differing faiths (or lack thereof) as well as homes in vastly different parts of the country, along with different income levels and lifestyles—most all, if not all, of my many, many siblings and their grown children! (including my own) are engaged when it comes to the politics of gender, race, hate, discrimination, healthcare, poverty, the planet and LOVE; while significant swaths of extended family are similarly informed/inspired, speaking out and showing up for others and this nation with intelligence, commitment, devotion & love.
It took me a day not to turn away from this.
I woke like I rarely do—belly down; and like I never have—with my palms crisscrossed under my throat.
It’s as if the men are saying: We were once entitled to you. You were our spoils. And you can’t take that away. Maybe we can no longer grab you. But we could once. And it’s unfair to change the rules we made about your bodies.
I’m sooooo grateful to all those speaking up, listening, learning and echoing the human rights of women. THANK YOU!!! You encourage me.