Yesterday a group of us got to chatting. I said I thought we needed–now, today–to follow Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation and set up this congress of women to work toward a better future for the world’s children. Rochelle seconded the motion and suggested the group to begin it. Mara responded immediately, said she’d love to see the Proclamation itself re-written for today, but she didn’t think she had time. Within an hour, however, she had created the powerful document which follows, carrying the urgency and intensity of Ward Howe’s original, and weaving her own voice into the heart of it.
A NEW MOTHER’S DAY PROCLAMATION FOR 2013
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your home be city or country, forest or field!
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our children shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of kindness, benevolence, compassion and patienceWe women of one country will be too tender toward those of another to allow injustice and destruction to continue.”
From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Make safe, make safe!”
The work of war is not the balance of justice. Blood will not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As we have forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let us meet first, as women, to lament and commemorate the dead. Let us take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing into our own time the sacred impress of love.
Say firmly: “We will not stifle our voices when the voices of so many go unheard. We will speak for the speechless, cultivate comfort for the desolate, foster hope for the fearful and give them room to trust.”
From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Seek healing, seek healing!”
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, we earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objectives, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
Say firmly: “We will no longer turn away from violence in any form. We will challenge the dominant paradigm, offer exchange to dissonance, exemplify compassion and cultivate communication.”
From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Speak your truth! Tell your stories!”
We will not rest our heads on the pillow of oppression. We will not eat the food of tainted fields. We will not drink the elixir of fear. We will not stand by and watch each other’s children go hungry. We will not allow conflict within our homes, our countries or our world to go unnoticed, but instead will work together to find solutions that benefit all living creatures of this planet.
Say firmly: “We are the mothers of nature, the mothers of mountains. We are the mothers of the well and the mothers of the river. We are the mothers of the hearth and the mothers of the heart. We are the mothers of the wind and the mothers of the work.”
From the throat of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Celebrate the solutions! Create change!”
As women, we commit to mothering the world. We will nurture each part, offering comfort, healing and reconciliation. We will turn our attention towards the pieces that we can address and we will offer each other strength in the face of cynicism and humility in the face of arrogance. We will work together, finding our common ground and points of connection and celebrating our differences rather than allowing them to separate us. We will care for ourselves so that we may better care for others. We will make small changes day to day and build upon the larger ones with the outreach of our inspiration, honoring beauty, creativity and radical thinking.
1. New Proclamations
2. Seeing Lady Oriole several times in the last couple of days. Her conversation and manner of dress are less ostentatious than those of her consort. She appears like rays of sunlight in the dappled leaves of the sycamore, and her speech is whispery and even a little petulant compared to his piccolo.
3. The way Jon’s music infects us all. He’ll walk humming through a room, and suddenly I’ll notice that I or one of the boys is singing his song. Today it was Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.” Joss picked it up and started humming it.
4. Julian of Norwich: All will be well, and all will be well. All manner of thing shall be well. And it may not always feel like it, but there’s that glimmer, like a yellow-green bird high in the new-green leaves of spring. You almost can’t see it, but it’s there. All will be well.
5. That viral video of the couple doing karaoke at the gas pump. I smile every time I think of them. I want to know those bright and delightful spirits. Such utter, spontaneous joy and playfulness.
May we walk in Beauty.