Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh Woman

Oh woman
remember who you are
it is the whole earth

-Joy Harjo

I speak to women now because there is a time to speak woman to woman, but that does not mean that I am not speaking to everyone.  Women, we know that there is something not right in the way that the world has gone; that we all live as aliens - almost it seems - in a world that is not a home, that is becoming ever more rigid and lifeless, ever more superficial.  I thought about all of us, with our knowledge that is hidden in our bodies, in our dreams, and it seemed that there was nowhere for this knowledge to go, that we were powerless.  How are we to find the power to bring our knowledge up into the world?  Would we form a political party?  A Union?  Some other kind of organization?  How are we to counter the strength, the deadly will, of those who have lead us to these industrial waste-lands of concrete and asphalt, from which life has been banished and which turn all of our souls, piece by piece, to stone? 

Then I realized that we, women, already have all the power we need.  It is a hidden power; it has been hidden from us for so long we don’t even recognize it anymore, much less know how to use it.  Or if we do use it, we use it wrong, we use it against each other or for small and petty purposes: for seduction, for sexual manipulation, for stealing, for competing against each other in a game that only turns us into objects of desire -  objects, powerless.  That is what we use the enormous power of our bodies for, to make ourselves powerless.  That is what we have forgotten, that is what has been hidden from us.   Still it could not remain hidden forever, and it rises.  Our mothers have struggled for generations now  to become strong again, to win back control  of our own bodies, to have a voice.  We have raised a generation of young women who are stronger than ourselves.  In remembering who we are, we clear the way for them.  

We are the axis of life around which the wheels of civilization turn.  The glow of life hidden deep in our bodies is what civilization tries to forget  and obliterate, and then re-invent, but cannot, and grows sick with longing.  We are the home of the human species: its mothers, its aunties, its sisters, its foundation.  We are the ones that have kept faith with our bodies and our children, with giving birth and making milk, with the house-cleaning and the laundry, with the blood and bone, the sunlight, the garden.    We must remember who we are, now, remember all the wisdom hidden in our bodies, wisdom that our men and children sorely need, now, at this moment of choosing.  Our bodies know what is real and essential: food, shelter, kindness, gardens and forests, a world that is clean but not sanitized, a world in which many different kinds of animals, plants, bacteria, insects, yeasts, lichens, fungi can exist, because they are all part of the world-body.  We must give voice to our longings, support each other in bringing the beauty of bodies and animals, of life, back to the world, back to the center of our daily lives.  

1 comment:

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

you have stated here so well that which I believe to be fundamentally true about women.

thanks for putting concise language to an amorphic subject; you've done well.