They Had Had Too Much

The day the women had had enough will be remembered. 

I believe, after the dust settles and the men get over themselves, we will come to revere the anniversary of the Women’s Rebellion.  For years people have spouted that famous proverb  “When sleeping women wake, mountains move.”

We have awakened.  We are woke.   And we have had quite enough thank you very much.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

I was proud to be with the women of my town on what began as a sleepy Saturday, August afternoon.  Congress made their announcement, timed for the weekend so as to escape the news cycle.  During the dog days of summer when they thought we were sleeping.  It was my birthday and I thought,, “How dare they!”  HOW fucking DARE THEY.  And I don’t use that word.  But I used it a lot that Saturday. 

On my birthday.  To make such an announcement.  I was not surprised, but I was outraged.  I hadn’t considered that all of womanhood would be as incensed. 

My ire knew no bounds and my grandmother noted my Irish eyes were flashing.  Hers were as well.  She’d been outraged for a good 80 of her 92 years.  “We are going backwards,” she said.  How dare they.  My heartbeat rocked at a frenetic pace with the flashing of my eyes.  A strobe light of rage.

We felt the need to get out of the house and so we did.   Headed to town in my car, dusty from our dirt road.  I vowed to wash it.  I tend to clean when angered.  Rage cleaning, I called it.

But a funny thing happened on the way to town.  I began noticing cars full of old women and young women and girls.  All headed in the same direction.  Some of them began honking.  Rolling down their windows and waving their fists. 

We formed a line.  One by one, the cars fell into formation.  Horns blaring.  As we passed houses, women saw us, grabbed their keys, and joined us.  Word was spreading fast.  We reached the downtown area. The riverfront park where concerts and festivals were held.  Convenient parking.

Oh yeah, we parked, and then we marched.

I don’t remember who began the chant.

We are women!  We are mad!   We are women!  And won’t be had.

Now one would think that the men would have had the forethought to get out of the way.  But, oh no.  the majority of them lined the streets waving their fists and chanting Back to the Kitchen.  Back to the Bedroom.  Back to  Where You Belong.

Some men joined us.  Precious few.  But they were there.

My husband was not one of them.  He had disappeared.  But I knew.  He was somewhere chanting the loathsome words.

It was the death knell of our marriage.  It was the death knell of society as we knew it.

Gasoline had been poured on smoldering cinders and then the men had foolishly tossed in fresh wood.

Yes, we will revere this day.  Every year we will remember the Women’s Rebellion and the changes the revolt provoked.  Our daughters and granddaughters and their daughters will hold memorial marches – victorious.  And the little ones will be taught the history.  All of it, so it never happens again.

Redbud Winter

It was so terribly cold.  Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Dark still.  The early morning sun yanked away.  The early spring taken too. Winter.  Full blown and the calendar reads March 14th.  Not too late for cold and snow, but there had been such hope.

I hope the daffodils survived.  Early and glorious this year.  A field of yellow outside my kitchen window.  I kept meaning to cut some for my office.  Today is the day.  If they are not frostbitten.

Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash

There were hard frost warnings last night.  Which winter does that make this?  It’s too early for Redbud winter though the dogwoods are already blooming. Or are those pear trees? White blossoms on the hillside. 

A soft winter.  A warm winter.  No snow to speak of.  Climate change is upsetting the rhythms of our life.  Wait until it really gets going.

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Dante: The Divine Comedy

“In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.”

The Divine Comedy

Well.  As you can imagine, I was quite startled.  Imagine meeting yourself in a dark forest when you’ve lost the road?  Or found it, depending on your perspective.  The two of you, literally, standing there.  Both in shock.  Mouths open, staring.  The one a hunter and the other a gatherer.  Would there be nervous laughter.  Both of us are me so I imagine there would be.  With a divine comedy, laughter is essential. 

Talk about a midlife crisis.  Two of me.  The adventurer and the homebody.  The urban dweller meets the hermit who lives in a large tree trunk.  Both me, neither me.  We need to integrate.

Photo by Niels Dewulf on Unsplash

Or do we?   Can’t there be two?  The introvert and the extravert?  Yin and yang.  Ego and Id.  One for desire, one for need.

Should life be a straight Roman road?  Sunlit and laid out before you?  Or a winding country path verdant in dappled shadows hiding and seeking. 

Is it a conundrum or a dream?  Sacred or profane?

Questions. Which of me will ask the most questions.  I imagine the hermit mostly silent, observing and taking it all in.  The traveler babbling trying to make sense of the few details I’ve noted.  Like two of me.  In a forest.  Lost. 

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