Yesterday, November 9, 2016, I did all the things I always do:
I made coffee. I journaled. I gave my daughter a hug before she left for school. I made my bed. I took a shower. I blow-dried my hair. I put on makeup. I got dressed. I spritzed perfume. I donned earrings, necklace, bracelets, ring. I cooked oatmeal and added berries. I perused and posted on Facebook. I answered a few emails. I prepared for and talked with my clients.
You’d think it was just another day.
Which it was, of course.
Which it was not – in any way, shape, or form.
In the midst of doing all the things I always do, my heart was strong-but-heavy. I could not, nor can I yet today, escape the permeating awareness of the days-ago election or tomorrow’s unknown.
But as I did all the things I always do, as I sought to incorporate reality into my psyche, as my day went on and I listened to my daughters, talked with friends, answered more emails, fixed dinner, and prepared for a night of sleep, I found myself thinking of other women.
Centuries of them – who survived atrocities, hatred, violence, genocide, slavery, silencing, shame, and yes, misogyny. Who made the bed and hugged their children and got dressed and cooked breakfast. Who lived and lived and lived.
The more I thought about them, the more I thought about the particular women within the stories I tell. Somehow, despite all the silencing and shame they’ve known, the atrocities of their time, the layers of theology and dogma (and misogyny) under which they’ve been buried, they have survived. And that gives me hope. They give me hope.
Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again. ~ Anne Frank
Yes. Hope is what we need. And hope is what women offer us. Centuries of them. As far back as the stories I tell, even further, and every age since. They rally on our behalf. They rise up and remind us that we are to do the same, that we will do the same.They come alongside us, even still, even today, especially today, in solidarity and strength. They catch our tears, soothe our tired brows, mend our broken hearts, and whisper – call – sing us back into strength.
Can you hear them? Listen closer. They are chanting, drumming, thundering the words they most want us to remember, most want us to believe, most want us to embody:
“Live and live and live!”
There are moments when I feel like giving up or giving in, but I soon rally again and do my duty as I see it: to keep the spark of life inside me ablaze. ~ Etty Hillesum
This is what we will do: live and live and live.
So, my friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come, and there is more work to do. ~ Hillary Clinton (from yesterday’s concession speech)
These are the things we always do – day-in, day-out: we hope, we persevere, we have faith in each other, we do not lose heart, we work, we love, and we live and we live and we live.