We are midwives, sistas. We are here to assess the situation when surprised with a challenge, to be clear on how much we are prepared to invest ourselves, we ground ourselves, and then we teach tools for coping so that people in crisis can have a chance to shift their trajectory. We midwife them through the coming changes.
Having said this, I wanted to explain why my sign for 1 Billion Rising didn't have some horrid statistic on it. I saw a lot of signs on Thursday, 1,000's of women murdered, raped, abused, 100's of thousands, mollifying statistics... every 7 seconds... it was horrifying. To a PTSD survivor, it was also triggering, and thank Goddess, I have developed some coping skills of my own. I decided to pass them on too. I anticipated the plethora of violent pornographic graffiti on those signs, it wasn't my first women's rally... and how did I counter it?
By being the rose among the thorns.
How many decades have women held signs bemoaning their miserable lot? What good has it done? It informs but who really reads those signs? The middle school kids? They're just formulating their lives and trying to make sense of the world around them, perhaps a few of them might take the mortality of women into consideration, as their mothers, sisters, aunts, friends but to the rest of us who have experienced this... those signs are powerful reminders of what we've already put up with.
My sign said 'Free Hugs'
1 Billion Rising to me means Rise and Hug. We know the bad news. Let's counter it with some good news. Free Hugs.
I was hugged by babies and elderly suffragettes from the good old days, by hordes of school age children all in a puppy tumble, and by sobbing women who felt like they'd been broken open in public. I was hugged by hundreds of people. I took in all the energy of all their good hearts and I buzzed on that all day. I could have made a sign that was another representation of what women's inequality has done to our gender, but I just couldn't.
I wore my outrageous big Czarina coat and I stood like a big German mother goddess with my free hugs sign. I waited and people filled my arms.
I am part of the solution I told them. 'If you can read it', I said, pointing to the sign, 'You need it'. And they came and brought their friends.
I so appreciate the efforts of the women who put the event together, the women who participated by rehearsing for a month in advance, and for all the people who turned out. I appreciate the signs I saw, triggering, for sure, but it was expected and I had my armour and my solution.
I am a midwife for the coming changes and Susan Ayres, Lillian Sly, the midwives who helped me birth my daughter Grace, taught me well. That birth was a metaphor for what I see happening now and I will role model what I learned. Be loving. Be generous. Be genuine. Be a part of the Good News. Be someone who shows the way to do things so that new coping skills take the place of what's no longer working.
I am wearing that sign all summer.
Come get one.
p.s. If you were at the Saltspring Island 1 Billion Rising event with a camera on Valentine's Day and got a photo of me that is interesting, I would love to post it here with full credit. Thanks to Jen Maclellan for her awesome shots of the Sourceress at play... Also to www.kyleheebphotography.ca for the big pic of the sign with me waiting for my hugs to start, muchas gracias!
Witness the SSI contingent here: Your authoress is upper left at the 1:23 mark! Thanks BananaJssi!
Listen and watch the 1 Billion Rising video to BREAK THE CHAIN here: We are beautiful creatures!
www.facebook.com/sistahoodz is an online Facebook comoonity that gives the wise women who are the midwives of the present a safe, welcoming place to hold space, get inspired, have conversations and to find support, moral or otherwise. Come see what the cackling is all about.