“The vision statement of Gather the Women Global Matrix concludes with the line, “Together we can activate the incredible power of women’s wisdom on a planetary scale.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Women are speaking out against rape in India. Women are vaccinating children against polio in Afghanistan and, shockingly, paying for it with their lives. Women are brave souls.
As we start the new year, let us honor ourselves and all women for what we do. When we gather in our circles of women, let us take time to acknowledge our activism, our contributions, our nurturing, our humor, our wisdom, and anything else that we value. For once, set the self-deprecation aside. Speak up. Be true to yourself.” from ‘Activating the incredible power of women’s wisdom’ posted 1/7/13 by Barbara Belnap on Gather the Women’s blog (the name of the group comes from Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book of the same title, Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World.) A fabulous book, by the way, well worth reading. Again and again.
And, of course yesterday, February 14th, was One Billion Rising. Smack dab in the middle of our writing circle yesterday morning, we rose up and danced around the room joining our determined energy with women around the globe to stop violence against women and girls. While true, of course, that a small group of women dancing in an obscure writing studio in northwest Vermont in and of itself will not change anything, the symbolism is undeniable: change starts with each one of us, women and men.
Whatever it takes, we must change beliefs that permit females of all ages to be sexually abused, to be routine targets of senseless violence. There is much to say on the subject, and I for one shall continue to do so. Meanwhile, check out some of the video clips of the day’s Risings around the globe. Read Annie Finch’s Invocation for the One Billion Rising, premiered in Portland ME yesterday. Raise your voice. Write your stories. Contact your leaders. Get involved. Don’t stop dancing and rising and demanding – now is the time and WE ARE THE ONES we have been waiting for (thank you, Sweet Honey in the Rock!).