Brave the Glass

A couple of weeks before beginning the 31 Days of Her Voice challenge I started a practice of seeing women. I had noticed a trauma-related practice in me of scoping out a room from a perspective of “who has the power?” and making the assumption that that is always  men. There I would be, exploring how they used their power and letting my experience be shaped by the male ego even further than it already has been.

Well, I’m not them, and that’s not my ego. I’m me, I am distinct. Why don’t I be shaped by me?

*Breaking news*: me is a woman. So, I started reversing the male-focused practice by making a habit of seeing the women in a room first. Who do I see? What does she look like? How is she carrying herself? Where is she putting her power? What this has brought about in me is inexplicable; it’s a surge of power within. A brawny wind tickles my soul as I notice that women DO have power, that the whisper of men being stronger, more, or even fundamentally different, is simply an illusion.

….To see women is to see so much in all corners of the human experience. Everywhere we are waiting in lines, rolling our luggage, honing our crafts, cooking meals, closing shops at dusk, sweeping floors, reading and writing books, recording podcasts, creating theatricals, cradling new lives. We try new foods, make friends, pierce our noses, walk miles to get bread and milk for our children.

…Pardon my lingering stares, ladies. I am falling in love with what we are.

Woman is a living, breathing organism.

We are what unites us, one in Being, hopefully expectant.

Hopeful because our men hurt us without knowing how or why, with our breath we often take life instead of give it, and with the same ears that hear lullabies we hear lies about our worth and capabilities.

Expectant because we know that our men are made of glorious star-particles same as we are, and because our ears and mouths were made for the gentle give and receive of life life life.

We, right now, decide what feminism is for the next generation. We create the framework on which the girls who follow us will hang their lives. Will we make it restrictive or expansive? Will we pave the way or construct a gable?

.

I will live for all the women who are stuck

for if I am coming un-stuck, then liberation is not far from us all.

If one of us can be dislodged even slightly from the mire, then in taking that step

all gain a glimpse

of our re-birth.

 

But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. ~Isaiah 43

 

I will never stop growing & being re-born, ever.

It doesn’t stop next month

next year

ever.

This life is a growth spurt–

pains and all–

but it doesn’t end.

There is no damn ceiling.

 

 

Rosa was a freedom fighter
And she taught us how to fight

Ella was a freedom fighter
And she taught us how to fight

Audre was a freedom fighter
And she taught us how to fight

Angela was a freedom fighter
And she taught us how to fight

Sojourner was a freedom fighter
And she taught us how to fight

Assata was a freedom fighter
And she taught us how to fight

~Jamila Woods, Blk Girl Soldier

(^^best 31 Day discovery yet!)

 

 

 

Poem Full of Hope

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She carries her cross, terrified and fully aware of surrounding and indwelling dissonance;

she knows she was made for more, a more she knows nothing of, which makes her ache with hope and agony.

 

Terrified, she treads deeper into the forest landscaped with fear and uncertainty.

She carries her cross because she needs more to live for.

 

Children who have yet to see the forest edge, for them she carries her cross.

While they can’t muster hope she, terrified, touches one more toe down.

 

She carries her cross, brown-eyed and unstable.

Terrified, the woman is Jesus, come back to lift the poor from the hopeless heaps we’ve put them in.