Saturday, November 18, 2006

Must read

T his has been a day of reading for me. I meant it to be a day of productive housework but got diverted into a book. It was the best damn decision I've made in a long time.

  • Women Who Run With The Wolves
  • is important, dangerous, saddening, enlightening, scary, empowering and hopeful. I simply love it. I should have read this years ago. I'm going to insist that my daughter read it. If I could, I'd buy dozens of copies and give them to so many women I know.

    I'm feeling very raw now. Wounds that I didn't know I had are flowing with fresh blood. The scabs on ones I knew about have broken. Scars are tender. It's not comfortable, but damn it, I know that I'm alive, and so many things have been affirmed for me. I also feel very powerful, and I feel like the internal work I've been doing was smart and on target. I feel like the universe is screaming, "Yes! You knew! You know! You've been working on it! Keep at it! Don't stop!"

    I will be howling back. Heck, I have been, even if it's sometimes been with the strength of a kitten.

    Howl. That is so powerful. There are times we simply need to scream, to let the full power of our lungs and larynxes just take over.

    Howl. It's been haunting me. "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed..." I feel like I've seen the best hearts of my generation and of those before me destroyed, muted, constrained, ignored, diminished, denied. So many women damaged by expectations they were never really expected to meet, the bar was set so it couldn't be reached by anybody, and the hurt it put on women feels some sort of sick joke. It's no wonder I want to howl.

    I feel sexist for thinking of women as the "hearts." We've been the minds and the hands and the strong backbones and the tired feet as well, not to exclusion of men but along with them. Yet it is the heart that identifies women the most. Not some doily trimmed Valentine, but that tender, muscular, vital pump that keeps things going. Identifying women with the heart plays into the old saw that women are just emotional things, yet without the heart, there is no life. That's why I can handle the bloodletting now and the pain that goes with it.

    Alive. It's worth celebrating even when it hurts. Howl with joy. Howl in fear. Howl with furor. Howl with ecstasy. Howl at the moon as it waxes and as it wanes. Howl in kinship. Howl in prayerful salutation. Throw back your head and scream and don't worry about who you frighten. It's good to be heard, and some people, some institutions need to feel the fear.


    2 Comments:

    Blogger Theresa Williams said...

    A-hem, I think I have been after you to read that book for a year or so: LOL. So glad you buckled down and did it. It is a life-changing book: it really taught me about the importance of fairytales and myths to our psyche. I especially love the Baba Yaga tales! You know, in my Native American literature course, we note that a number of the authors, male and female, speak of the heart as the primary source of knowledge. Male and female encourage us to "see" with the "eye of the heart." If you can, read LAME DEER: SEEKER OF VISIONS and/or LAKOTA WOMAN. Also a great collection of spiritual essays by Linda Hogan called DWELLINGS. Take care of yourself, sister.

    November 18, 2006 11:55 PM  
    Blogger Lisa :-] said...

    ...send me a copy. :-]

    November 19, 2006 1:51 PM  

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