Today was a pretty decent day. After a most wonderful weekend from which I am filled with contentment and hope, I went to visit a project that gives women who are in a transitional space a place to explore and strengthen themselves at their core. It was a wonderful way to start my week.
After meeting with the volunteer coordinator, the mother of one of the amazing teens that I work with, I attended a reflective art class. Our assignment was simple. We read some poems and quotes and were asked to use art supplies to describe what it was like for each one of we participants to be a woman. I would say that after the facilitator, I was the youngest in the room. I cannot tell you what struggles the women in the room have endured and are enduring. I know that one woman was struggling with addiction. Probably others were too.
We put our creations on the outside and inside of an old wooden crate. One woman made a small version of herself dressed in orange, another wrote a poem and made a collage about going on a date with a woman. I made a little basket out of shades of orange with a touch of green and purple chenille sticks (pipe cleaners) that I hid in the utmost interior corner of the crate. My nest.
Sorry, no photos.
I was thinking of the above Sergio Velasquez painting reproduction that I have above my altar when I made my "Creation." I will now leave you with my favorite quote from our sheet of quotes for you to ponder...
Amazons in Appalachia
"Where are your women?"
The speaker is Attakullakulla, a Cherokee chief renowned for his shrewd and effective diplomacy. He has come to negotiate a treaty with the whites. Among his delegation are women " as famous in war as powerful in Council." Their presence also has ceremonial significance: it is meant to show honor to the other delegation. But that delegation is composed of males only. To them the absence of their women is irrelevant, a trivial consideration.
To the Cherokee, however, reverence for women/Mother Earth/life spirit is interconnected. Irreverance for one is likely to mean irreverance for all. Implict in their chief's question, "where are your women?" the Cherokee hear, " Where is your balance? What is your intent?" They see that the balance is absent and are wary of the white men's motives.