Citying No. 5: Power-ladies

We are all, all of us, doing very well.

It’s simple really. Women need women, and my own soul reminds me of that. There are times in this big city, and in this big house of men, only men for days and days, that I remember women and I ache. Husbands are amazing, but a husband is not a woman. That’s an important thing to note when marrying. Woman can not live on husband alone. Ha! Silly wife, you need your WOMEN!!!

My women are incredible, and I hope yours are too. There are a handful of women in the world that are mine, currently sort of scattered across the midwest. Berea OH, Madison WI, Wheaton, Chicago, little bright spots of women, separate stars in the sky, a constellation of the women I know, the women I’ve sat on rocks with, spooned with, shouted with, gotten cross with and resolved with, driven with, cried with, eaten too much with, thought out loud with, sent too many emails with, celebrated with, and danced danced danced with.

In these full past few months, these months where I’ve been stretching out and thinking and collecting and exploring more than maybe ever before, trying to stretch my arms out as far as I can to gather the world somehow into myself, I’ve been thinking about women and what we can do, our power, our special strengths. I’ve been looking at myself, at my soft and hard, my desire to nestle in and stretch way out, my restlessness, my itching fingers, my empty womb, my heart full of Christ, my weeping for the world, my trying not to stomp on anyone as I run, my heavy and my light. Power, that’s what it is. Power, but quiet, humming.

As I’ve hummed, I’ve also been looking at the women I know and have known for quite a while, seeing, maybe for the first time, the power they possess, the power deep in their gut. Power ladies don’t let life just happen to them. Power ladies do things, think things, go places, try their very hardest and let that be enough. It’s natural. Power ladies can’t help but to go, make, do, try, even when they feel like they’re stuck in miry muck, they’re going. This is a season of my life where I’m learning some of the truth of lots of things. The truth of Christianity. The truth of feminism. The truth of Mary. The truth of myself. The truth of my dearest friends. I know more now than I did before. Little pieces, feelings really, of truth. Things I didn’t ask for but learned, was given, sprinkled on me while I sleep. Growing up, maybe. Dear, dear women who I love, I see you, at least the parts of you that I can see, I see your work, I see what’s waiting and growing and heavy inside of you, and you are POWERFUL. Some quieter than others, some loud and buzzy, all so powerful. I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t see you. And I’m sorry for all the times I won’t see you, that I’ll be wrapped up in my own muck, trying to shout louder and dance faster that you instead of holding your head for a change and hearing your secrets. I’ll disappoint you, you’ll disappoint me, but we will be okay.

We are humming inside. We are young, just beginning, learning half-truths, and powerful.


 

Some of my women are near to me, some are far, and I marvel at the times when I see any of them, when we are in the same room now that we all live apart and travel different lines and think different thoughts. I get excited just by the proximity, the nearness of them, the humming women I love. We wrote a lot of emails, we made a lot of plans, and then a few of my women and I found ourselves in the same room to celebrate and eat beautiful food and laugh uproariously. These are some power ladies, and we are all only just beginning.

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Socks, tiny wooden boats, cookbooks, Amy Grant, pork loin all tied up, cake eaten together and alone, all good things. It all made me think of this quote from Anagrams by Lorrie Moore, one of my most favorite books.

“You know, says Eleanor, if I were to write a book, it would be filled with women sitting around having lunch, talking like this–about God and diaphragms and Middlemarch.”

You, my women, what you say and think and are, are way worth writing a book about. Or at least a blog post.

Thanks for the pork loin, Margaret. Thanks for the power, ladies.

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