23 October 2015

Permaculture, sustainability, activist, community, and other words we hide behind...

I'm gonna stop using the words "permaculture," "sustainability," "liberal," "activist," "community," "movement," etc. 
So much rhetoric, so little time. I feel like I have used these words in the past to obscure the raw fact that I need to be loved. Not in a sexual way (ok that too!) but LOVED in that myriad of other ways.
Yesterday I was hanging out with a dear friend and her three year old son, Oliver. He was trying to make a point to us and said "Well I NEED a Mommy and a Daddy!" I was struck by his unabashed willingness to declare that he NEEDED people to help take care of him. I was like: Heck Yes Ollie! I NEED that TOO!! 
I call myself a feminist, and to me that means I have sovereignty over my own life. It means that I get to choose what I do, how I think, what I feel, and who I spend my time with. It also means that I have a responsibility to make those choices with care, intention, and the knowledge that, while a choice may seem like the perfect opportunity at one moment, later it might reveal itself as a hard lesson in disguise. 
I'm going back to using words like Home, Food, People, Friends, Family. Love. Need. Hunger. Help. 
I am going back to feeling comfortable being vulnerable. I love you. I need you. It's simple, human, honest. I think it's gorgeous.
What are the words that you hide behind? More so:
What have you got to lose by being vulnerable? Do we all have to be so tough all the time? Can you need me? Can we be hopeful in the world together, gardening and sharing stories, because we both need and enjoy that experience, rather than because we think we have to save somebody or fix something?
Can now be enough?

06 October 2015

Women, Gossip and Solidarity

When I was in my 20's, I had a lot of strong women friends. We had a sort of solidarity but there was always the subtle competition, backstabbing and gossip, and sometimes even to an extreme.

It hurt.

I perpetrated it myself, and I was also victim to it.

And then I started studying Flamenco with Martita Santiago​. The class was always full of women who were so devastatingly beautiful. And Martita insisted that we love each other. She had no tolerance for gossip or catty behavior.

She said, "when a more beautiful girl walks into the room, that's HER moment. You shine your light on her, give her your power so she can shine too. Your moment will come soon enough." And so there we all were, everyone thinking the other was more beautiful, shining our lights at each other all night long.

Over time, I learned to embody that love and solidarity.

Now, 15 years later, I see something magical happening between myself and the other fabulous women I know. We ENCOURAGE each other to be more beautiful, more powerful, more successful than ourselves. We lift each other up. It's just GORGEOUS to feel that authentic solidarity, to participate in it, and to forgive myself for being such an asshole when I was a kid.

This one goes out to the women I have known for years, who have somehow stuck it out with me, no matter what. And to the women I have more recently met, who don't care which of us is younger or hotter or smarter, because we all know that our strength is in the perseverance of our unconditional love for ourselves and each other. RRRAAAR!

(photo by Lauren Howland​)