I am inspired by women. I recently have made a new friend who invited me to her home last night. On her living room shelf rested a small plaque recognizing her as a “Vagina Warrior”. I had no idea, up to that point, that a High Priestess was mixing my drink. She is working this Valentines, as I had been previous years, for the love of women. Since W.E.L.L. officially ended and my recent travels, I have been many miles from my female power-ups. I’m resourceful, well-enough-adjusted, and make friends easily via fiction, but still, I wear thin. (By which I mean the big weight loss is over, and I’m tapering out, and need gal pals to hike with me.)
This week I offended myself with my treatment of one Lady in particular, and it has been haunting my mind. I have been dwelling on the women within myself that I have been distant towards. I text with friends that bring me rushes of joy, as much comfort and happiness that Samsung can provide. And yet many of my daily heroines are knees-deep in the fight, understandably and tragically overwhelmed with their own world betterment. Without contact, I hope they know the love I send to them, and I hope they receive the gratitude for their love sent my way.
One brave woman made a shirt with me under the W.E.L.L. Clothesline Event for 2012. I don’t remember her name, but I often rest my mind’s eye on her face as she explained her shirt to me. As I listened to her brief story, my body recalled tears that would have fallen. It was not a sorrowful state, and I am proud to say that I heard her while maintaining the eye contact she always deserves. She had taken a white shirt and very simply added stripes to the shoulders, and a military type badge over the heart. She told me that she was a soldier, and had lived through her war. She’d earned a purple heart.
Yes, she did.
These images, ideas, women I love and women I miss and women I don’t get to see as much as my lifeforce demands; they drench my mind in emotion. I feel honor to have bore witness to so many, to know such Warriors. I feel rage at the injustice that has bonded too many of us together. I feel stark, naked, fear at the way we forget to value ourselves and our sisters. Mostly, I feel safe. I am not alone. Despite the distance from one daiquiri to another, never mind the separations caused by love lost or time passed; we are not alone. We are united-together-we ARE one another. My humor is due to my mother who escaped with it via my grandmother, who gives me my confidence for capability which I’ve passed to friends who share with their sisters and we turn in shawl spins until we collapse into one idea, bread and roses, too, humming about swan songs that last.
In the idea of such hope I still stand at the slightly-higher-ground of Rock Bottom. I’d say I’m more on Sand Bottom now, as I have gained some distance from rockbed. Maybe only by one or two Minecraft blocks, but some distance nonetheless. I have been helped by good people, and I take solace in my blessings. Despite a rough start, I am generously layered with silks of encouragement, that billow around me and give me enough lift to float an inch higher. I can reach the next ledge. I’m almost there now.
And I’m not alone. I didn’t get here alone. This was a team effort. Lordisa willing, it will be like the first falling of stones. May I come out of this crater and bring with me the force of a thousand voices, screaming and fighting, clawing and raging against the conditions of our pasts. We are more than what happened to us. I am more than what happened to me. I am a survivor of my own life, and I sure as hell did not work this hard to stop now. I am going to keep fighting. Right now, I will fight for myself. I am not going to be undone by (insert bullshit item of the moment). I’m much more than that.
If you’re able this week, research V-Day. Look into your local resources and experience love like whoa. No other being has the opportunity to support you as deeply as you can support yourself. At the end of the day, I know that when push has shoved and shit has been fanned out, I save my own day. And if you’ve haven’t gotten there yet-don’t worry. You will. If I can, you sure as hell can! 🙂
Thank you, Women of the World. Many thanks to all of you. Please don’t stop talking. I need to hear you out there.
***To see my V-Day project for 2014, please check out my Twitter account (https://twitter.com/BritWhit7Wonder) under #simpleshortandtweet. I am telling versions of my trauma via Twitter-length verse, and hoping that other folks may find new ways to break their silence. This idea is a combination of a poem in the book The Courage to Heal (under the chapter “Breaking the Silence”), and the ideas RAINN has used with making help come to girls and women despite the medium of the day. Please check out these awesome groups/resources, and tell your story.***