Once Were Women

Not entirely sure how the strangeness of this poem came about. I found the trail and followed it, is all.

Once Were Women
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

There was a woman who lived in a very
small house. She had small rooms
and small chairs and her door was
small and her windows were small
and when she spoke, her words
came out small and her life was just so
small and no one was surprised
when she ran away from her small house
and went to live in the wilderness.

That other woman lived in a crooked place
and her paths were crooked and her
couch was crooked and the pictures
were crooked on her walls and crooked
was her way of walking and when she spoke
the words tumbled crooked from her mouth
and everyone understood when one day
she stood up straight and stretched her spine
and went to live with the small woman
out in the wilderness.

The very tall and thin woman with
a thin, thin smile, one day she smiled
wide and went to live with the women
who lived their wild lives in the wilderness.
And the woman who tried to be invisible:
she let herself be seen one day and she
ran out to join them, too, and the woman
who used to start every sentence with “Sorry.”
And the one who ate only leaves,
and the one who had headaches,
and the one who bought all the shoes,
and the one who painted everything grey,
and the one who swallowed her song,
and the one who was afraid of the rain.
Off they ran, and they became wild
as the animals, and some of them became
animals and some of them became
raindrops and some of them became
the red oak leaves quivering in the wind.
And they lived.
Happily.
Ever.
After.


Gratitudes:
1. I came downstairs this morning and Youngest (who is in a negative and defiant phase), said, “Ooooh! I like all those colors!”
2. We saw a fox on the way to school! I took a dirt connector road that I’ve been avoiding because the farm cats on that road don’t seem to have enough fear for cars, and trotting down the road ahead of us was Red Tod himself. He ducked into the underbrush before we passed.
3. There’s a Moms group at our school that gave each teacher a gift bag this week: yummy snacks, coffee, tea, mints, trail mix, a Post-it notepad, and a shiny silver pen. It was a big morale boost.
4. At least now that we’re definitely going virtual for a while, it will relive me of the sense of something impending. This feels like a really good call. I was just beginning to feel unsafe.
5. Having hard conversations–I feel like I am growing in my ability to engage conversations without getting defensive and without trying to appease, just sitting with the challenge of it, saying my part, and listening empathetically. (I hope I didn’t jinx myself by saying that.)

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“Walk fearlessly into the house of mourning, for grief is just love squaring up to its oldest enemy.” —Kate Braestrup


“Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything.” —Neil Gaiman


“Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors, but today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.” —Kahlil Gibran


“To write is to ask questions. It doesn’t matter if the answers are true or puro cuento. After all and everything only the story is remembered, and the truth fades away like the pale blue ink on a cheap embroidery pattern.” —Sandra Cisneros, Caramelo


“With guns, you can kill terrorists.
With education, you can kill terrorism.” —Malala Yousufsai


“The [one] who moves a mountain
begins by carrying away small stones.”
—Confucius, The Analects


“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?” —Wendell Berry

Maker’s Monday

Look at that violet and indigo swirl of cloud above the barn.

Not much to say today. I’m going to make masks, make zines, create writing prompts for a project, crochet the arms of a doll I started over the weekend. Read. Make a cherry cobbler with the sour cherries my neighbor gave me. Watch for Beauty. Plot the Revolution. Pet cats. Stretch and walk and learn some more Spanish. I suppose that’s my Gratitude List for today–looking forward to a week of making and noticing and working on inner transformation in order to keep participating in world-changing events of the day.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“I sometimes visualize the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior is equivalent to walking fast on the conveyor belt. The person engaged in active racist behavior has identified with the ideology of our White supremacist system and is moving with it. Passive racist behavior is equivalent to standing still on the walkway. No overt effort is being made, but the conveyor belt moves the bystanders along to the same destination as those who are actively walking. But unless they are walking actively in the opposite direction at a speed faster than the conveyor belt—unless they are actively anti-racist—they will find themselves carried along with the others.” —Beverly Tatum


“The Holocaust was not the holocaust until it was too late.” —James Regier


“People are hard to hate close up. Move in. Speak truth to bullshit. Be civil. Hold hands. With strangers. Strong back. Soft front. Wild heart. ❤️” —Brené Brown


“We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!” ―Wangari Maathai


“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” ―Joseph Campbell


“Every person who has ever achieved anything has been knocked down many times. But all of them picked themselves up and kept going, and that is what I have always tried to do.” ―Wangari Maathai


“It is the people who must save the environment. It is the people who must make their leaders change. And we cannot be intimidated. So we must stand up for what we believe in.” ―Wangari Maathai


“How many kinds of beauty exist in nature? A sunset’s beauty is not the same as a river’s beauty is not the same as a newborn’s beauty is not the same as a kind act’s beauty is not the same as an old oak tree’s beauty. And yet, they are the same. Why do you think that is?” —Jarod K. Anderson


“The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. . . . To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.” —Terry Tempest Williams


“The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” ―Malala Yousafzai


“There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.” ―Edgar Allen Poe


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ―Mark Twain


“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. ” ―Rachel Carson


“…drink in the beauty and wonder at the meaning of what you see.” ―Rachel Carson