check out the big notecard sale in our 'on sale' section

room for it all...

Posted by on

Surprising all of us, we had the first snowfall of the year here in Bozeman. I want to write how we are marking the changing of seasons by pies… how lovely and extravagant this is… from plum-berry to apple-berry. Macaroons move from lavender to chai. Quick breads from raspberry to pumpkin…

There are clearly many other things hatching and dying and twirling and crashing in my life right now, but to choose to write about pie is to celebrate a local bakery’s willingness to act in accordance with the Nature’s changing of seasons… how they are encouraging and teaching us all in this way…

And while on this snowy wet and expectedly beautiful morning, this is in my periphery, something more pressing is as well… it’s a big jump, get ready for it…

I took time this weekend to read about Uyinene Mrwetyana 

This 19 year old’s story moved me off my center and brought me to tears. I kept searching and reading, hopping from one article to another, hoping links would be stepping stones to understanding something in a larger, deeper way, so that maybe I can, even in the smallest way, somehow act in accordance with my response to this violence that is happening to the women of South Africa by men…

My reality is through the lens of a 5'4" slight female, and so I have created a practice of stretching my imagination to include offensive tactics...

In the late 90s, I saw a segment on safety from Oprah. One suggestion was that you carry two wallets – one that holds your ID and anything important, the other with a bundle of bills (20 one-dollar bills wrapped with a $10 will look like a lot of money in the moment). If attacked, throw the wallet with the bills in one direction and run in the other.

A safety defense course I took advised me to “aim to maim” an attacker because if he’s on drugs, I wouldn’t be able to rationalize with him, and he may not feel any pain that I inflicted. My only course of safety would be to completely disable him from coming after me…

Jobs through the years required me to travel alone in the dark, walking between places that were not always well trafficked or well lit. I taught myself to be vigilant. To take precautions. To walk, talk, be in a way that hopefully would not invite unwanted comments, gestures, attacks…

In academia, the violences to women were different. There I taught myself the power of language, the importance of keeping doors open and documenting exchanges.

And yet, a scenario where I could not trust my safety as I went to pick up a package at the local postal office is nothing I have thought to plan for.

To hear a group of 20-something women casually list the precautions they take every day just to get from home to school… brings tears to my eyes as I wonder how we, as a species, have come to this… How my generation has failed to realize an infrastructure that ensures young women can safely attend to their education…

The snow continues to gently fall outside my window, lightly dusting the cedar boughs… it would be much lovelier to talk of pie…

But in every moment, I am both local and global. What I attune my attention to informs my intent.

I wish I had answers to this – how we can acknowledge the juxtaposition... how we can meet all that life brings us with love... how we can stand firm and yet remain permeable to all that might move us… how we can be flexible and playful and laugh and make time to cry and shout as we move through things that are beyond what we have imagined...

how with one voice, we can celebrate the gentle beauty of the first snowfall, and with that same voice speak towards a world that holds us all, equally...

always in motion,

fia

← Older Post Newer Post →


Comments


  • I have no words… simply heartbreaking and makes me feel helpless

    Carla Flaim on
  • Fia,
    I simply don’t know HOW to hold room for it all right now, just after reading the article in The New Yorker from the link you provided. My heart hurts & my head feels on fire with anger…despair…frustration…an overwhelming desire to scream WTF??!!!!!
    It’s raining here in Boulder, and my ACIM lesson for the day reminds me that “Creation’s gentleness is all I see”; so I can bless all those in Capetown who are brave enough to call for long overdue actions that support a gentler, safer experience for women. AND allow natures tears in the form of rain here blend with my own to soothe & comfort me today.

    3 Breath HUG,
    Cheryl

    P.S. I may also bake a pie or pumpkin bread as a form of comfort…

    Cheryl A. Lowitzer on
  • Thank you for writing this. I live in Pretoria, and our violent country is the home I sometimes feel forced to love. Because only fierce love can save us, and yet forced, unauthentic love is partly what brought us here.

    To know that an artist I admire somewhere else in the world is taking notice, comforts me in a way that moved me to tears as I read this.

    Thank you for holding the nonsensical with us. Thank you for moving through the confusion with us.

    May true and pure love break through. The suffering has gone on long enough.

    With my whole heart.

    Maria on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published