A remarkable group of women came together last night and laughed and sang, shared inspiration and “broke bread” together. There were poems and one-liners, songs of hope, and a feast for the stomach and soul.
Ann shared a poem by James Crews called “Tenderness”:
You know how a half-buried stone
in the yard will clear all the snow
from around itself, little by little,
leaving only a hollow of warmth
and a cushion of moss you want
to rest on, until winter finally ends?
That’s how tenderness works in us,
some heat rising up from beneath,
then spreading outward to touch
the lives of anyone who comes near –
slowly, softly, making a safe place
for them to stand in, melting away
the coldness that gathers around us.
Carmen shared the prayer of Saint Francis of Assissi: “O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.”
Rebecca shared a poem by Clarissa Pinkola Estes called “How to Silence a Woman.” Here’s an excerpt:
When someone says, “Your ideas are dangerous.”
Say, “Yes, my ideas are dangerous, and why are you
so afraid hombre o mjure?”
When it is said, “It’s just not done.”
Say, “It will be done.”
When it is said, “It is immature.”
Say, “All life begins small and
must be allowed to grow.”
When it is said, “It’s not thought out.”
Say, “It is well thought out.”
When they say, “You’re over-reacting.”
Say, “You’re under-reacting, vato.”
Rosemary and Deidre shared the beauty and opportunities of the transitions they find themselves in, and all they’re learning from these transitions. Claudia was asked about her work on “The Kindness Project,” creating the label of “The Kindness Town” for her town of Edison. Peggy passed out the inspirational hand-woven “HOPE” tapestries that she creates on her loom. Bev shared the poem by Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”: “…Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
And the amazing Tracy Spring moved us to tears with the beauty of her songs: “Little Rock in the River,” “Love Doesn’t Care Who You Love,” “Walls Come Tumblin’ Down, ” and TR Ritchie’s song, “Somewhere to Begin.”
It was a wonderful evening with talented and inspiring women. I really needed this.
Here’s the poem I shared:
I wake and feel Life quivering
around me and through me.
The presence of Love is here
and I am within the presence,
connected to the Cosmic Body.
Not a “Borg” body –
not a matter-body of
computer chips and nanoprobes –
but the Body of Spirit,
the Body of Love.
Faces pass in front of my vision –
loved ones who’ve died and loved
ones who are with me, here.
And I’m connected to all of them still
– not separated by time or space or place
in this Body of Love,
I feel Earth breathing through my window
smell her sweet breath of dew and life
and know she is embodied in God’s body, too,
and we are connected – all of God’s creatures and I.
We are nothing less than the perfection of Love.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell