Friday, December 23, 2011

Mary

So one of the best parts of Christmas is seeing This Bird. It's a production put on by the theater teacher at my school, and many of my good friends are in it. Also, it's just amazing.
I think my favorite scene is called "The Birth". The poem that goes along with it is "Mary Keeps All These Things" by Susan Elizabeth Howe, it reads

Each cramp I feel the pain can grow
no more, O Lord, no more. And yet
I have given my word and will
to bring this child. My body
opens and opens its passage between
my womb’s constraint and the chaotic

clash of life. I will, in my extremity,
remember I have a name. Mary is
my name. I will split open, part
the shadow that keeps this child
from light. He must come, is coming,
comes. At last, his brash infant cry.

Meanwhile, this is going on onstage:



I can't stop thinking about Mary. (this is perhaps related to the fact that I am having reoccurring baby dreams and they're freaking me the hell out. I don't know how to tell my subconscious that it can't go all baby hungry for  at least 15-20 years). Mary, who represents the best of woman, in a stunningly beautiful way. But there's also something super sexist about the whole "worshipping virginity" thing. I'm still figuring out for myself how the femininity and feminism go together. I know they can coexist. But I'm having a kinda hard time figuring out how these two parts of myself go together. But isn't that what being 17 is all about?
About little while ago, I made a list of reasons I love being a woman. Because being a woman is really really wonderful. But, I want to publish this with the disclaimer that this is what it means to me, and I know this list is not true for all women. I'm not trying to make blanket statements here. Women are complex.

Things I love about being a woman:

1. Women are strong and women are fighters. Women are resilient and persevere, but women still allow themselves to be taken care of.
2. I have a quiet fiery temper that is entirely feminine.
3. Girls smell better, their skin is softer and their hair is silkier.
4. All cultures have traditions that bind women together.
5.  I can say it like it is. And that does not mean I'm a bitch.
6. Women communicate. We say what we're thinking, what we're feeling, what is going on. Conversation is what women do.
7. Women’s devotion is a force to be reckoned with. We think about those we care for, cry for another’s pain, laugh when the world is a happy place, and feel protective over those we love.
8. The title mother belongs to women. We can create life. This amazes me.
9. Women's emotions are potent. And even though it sucks when they are discounted as hormonal or over-reactive, it is infinitely better to have violent emotions than be numb.
10. I can cry freely and fully and vulnerably. Tears communicate sadness and joy and empathy and the things I can’t say.
11. Connections with children strong enough that they trust me to show their discoveries of bugs and flowers, to ask me to tell them a story, to crawl up on my lap. The feeling of holding a crying child until they calm themselves and rocking a baby to sleep while singing a lullaby.
12. Women have a sensitivity to things that are beautiful.
13. The connections I feel with other women. The instant intimacy that can exist among women. Women are supportive of and rally for one another.
14. The female intensity. Because women are leaders. Women cause change. Women are important and few things on this earth can match the female intensity.
15. Women can bring people together. Women recognize the hidden softness in people. And women can nurture; there are always things and people to nurture. Nurturing makes me feel peaceful and fulfilled.

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