My first promise to Brigid in the ritual last Monday night was to tell the truth, to right now describe with all the courage and clarity I can muster the landscape of my life, the landscape at the beginning of the journey. My landscape is:
1. I struggle to maintain hope and I have total faith in a living, magical world. I am advised by these two opposites. I try to choose faith and also listen to NPR. This is not easy.
2. I am injured; I have an SI joint that won't hold and it sends spasms of pain up and down when I sit for a while. Or bend, lift, do the boot scoot…
3. I’ve been able make a living in the "industrial growth society." I don't know yet how to make a living in The Great Turning, but I see that it is possible and I feel that I must. See Rain Crowe’s lovely message about that.
4. I got a divorce a couple of years ago and I feel as if that act was a stepping from the old world into the new. Not all divorces are, but mine was. In my marriage, I was always trying to prioritize staying married over my own sanity, power, happiness. (This may have been true for my ex too, btw.)
5. I have three friends who are now mid-divorce and all three say some version of this. To quote one: "I feel like I've been reborn. I actually used to think – if I died now it would be okay. I've had a long enough life. Except for my kids. They need me – I was staying alive for my kids.”
Based on this very statistically reliable sample of four, I have begun to wonder what would happen if we could release all of the locked down, acting-alive-but-really-dead-life-force of the world’s unhappily married moms. I feel like the force of that release would make a giant “whock!” noise that would reverberate though the vaginas of the world. In a good way.
And you could add to that some other sounds of liberation, like, say, that of gender cages breaking. Bruce Jenner- from here forward to be known as “Jenner”- is transitioning to female at 65 and finally reaching for happiness! There is so much liberation busting out all over. A couple days ago, I was talking with a couple of my nice liberal Seattle neighbors. We were literally leaning over a white picket fence, I shit you not.
One was talking about how she was at a meeting with a bunch of 20 somethings and a room full of rich donors and the 20’s got right in there and suggested that they start the meeting by going around the room and asking everyone for their preferred pronouns!
My neighbor was a bit mystified by this. I understood. Before I went to witch (band) camp, I didn’t get it. I thought that good grammar was way too important to call an individual “they.” (Writer. Word snob. I was wrong.)
But then I started to see the pain that the he/she causes, not only to queer and trans people- though that would be reason enough- but every single person. There are things that this culture says that I must be, because I identify as a woman, and some of those things are utter bullshit. (Less smart, more nice, ahem less paid. Except in NYC, apparently! In another sign of hope, women under 35 in NYC are making $1.02 to a man’s $1, sayeth Glamour magazine. I was getting my hair cut, what do you want from me? Anyway, I do not mean to imply that I hope or expect women or queers or trans or anyone to make more in the beautiful equitable future we are creating. But when the average for ladies under 35 is .89 to his $1, it’s nice to see the trend bucked.)
Anyway: kicking gender cages! For everyone! And homophobia falling down as a legal structure (Boom! Alabama!) and police racism being confronted! I will write about what I know- being a mom who just got divorced and a woman who has left the privilege of wife for the freedom and power of witchiness, but I hear those other sounds and I put my marching shoes on and all of this helps me choose hope even as I listen to NPR.