The Wild Honey Buzz: Dancing through '22: Rowing to Shore
Happy Pride Month and many thanks to my friend, Jean, for playing her ukulele for my dance this month. "Somewhere over the rainbow..." A perfect song to express our hopes and dreams for a better future for us all.
"Pray to God but row to shore." ~ Sailor's Proverb
I am one of many people who find the phrase, "thoughts and prayers" to be an inadequate or at least incomplete response to the outrageous number of mass shootings in America. While thoughts and prayers are certainly powerful and important, I feel they need to be followed up with concrete action to try and address the horrific phenomenon. It's time for us to pick up our oars and start rowing toward what seems like a very very distant shore. A shore of freedom that I can't see in this supposedly "land of the free." A land I once called the "United" Sates of America, but can't bring myself to do anymore.
There are so many troubling crisis' occurring simultaneously in the "divided states" now, and I won't try to list them all here. In addition to gun violence, another issue that I find highly disturbing is the threat to abortion rights with the potential overturn of Roe vs. Wade, the case guaranteeing women the right to choose abortion to end unwanted, non-viable or dangerous pregnancies. The emotion I feel when thinking about this is something akin to rage! I can't believe in 2022 we are still fighting to protect access to health care in the form of abortion!
I was inspired by these lines from a poem in Amanda Gorman's book, "Call Us What We Carry" in which she validates my feelings of rage:
She writes, "....when you are told that your rage is reactionary, remind yourself that rage is our right. It teaches us it is time to fight. In the face of injustice. Not only is anger natural, but necessary. Because it helps carry us to our destination. Not dominance, just dignity. Not fear, just freedom. Just justice."
If our freedom to access abortion is denied, one can only wonder if same sex marriage might be next on the chopping block. Something to think about, especially during Pride Month.
Just freedom...just justice. Amen, Sister Gorman! I've also been inspired by organizations such as the National Council of Jewish Women and Catholics for Choice who are speaking out for their religious right to choose abortion. Not all people of faith support policies that deny women access to health care, and abortion is most definitely healthcare. One name we need to remember is Savita Halappanavar, a dentist of Indian origin, living in Ireland, who died from sepsis after her request for an abortion was denied on legal grounds there in 2012. The rage following her death led to the loosening of restrictions in Ireland. For years, women needing an abortion had to travel out of Ireland to access one. "Abortion Tourism" for those who can afford it will become a thing in the divided states as well if Roe v Wade is overturned. It is already happening in some states where restrictive laws require women to travel to other states to receive care.
"For the women of this country, this (2022) will be a summer of rage." ~Rachel Carmona, President of the Women's March.
Rage, not violence. How to channel our righteous rage? How to "row to shore" after we've offered up our "thoughts and prayers?" It's easy to feel hopeless and experience futility, but it's important to take some actions, however small they may seem, to help us feel as if we are moving toward freedom's shore.
Here are a few ideas:
* Rage at a march or rally.
* Rage to your elected representatives.
* Rage at the ballot box.
* Rage on your page...social media or blog.
* Rage by boycotting.
* Rage to God, then start rowing: Practice Radical Kindness!
I love this quote by former Seattle Seahawks football player, Marshawn Lynch, which seems very fitting for this blog post: "I'm just all about that action, boss." Time for us all to be about that action!
A huge shout-out to the states like Washington, Oregon, California, Connecticut, and others who have already taken action to protect their citizens from the abortion bans should Roe v. Wade be overturned! I console myself by pretending that these "freedom loving" states are my country!
One of my favorite lines from Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale which is a cautionary tale depicting a society in which women are forced to give birth against their will, is this one:
"I tried to put some of the good things in (the book) as well. Flowers, for instance, because where would we be without them?"
Where, indeed? So, inspired by Atwood, I am going to put some peonies (the Queens of June) at the end of this blog about rage because they are such good things! I'll call it "The Peony Parade."
What about you? Do you feel rage? Do you feel that rage is a censored emotion, particularly for women? Do you feel anger is natural and necessary in the fight for justice and freedom? What kinds of things make you angry? What injustices make your blood boil, and what positive outlets do you have for expressing your anger and rage without resorting to violence, without harming yourself or others? Have you taken any actions to advocate for issues that cause you rage?
And now, on a happier note, I give you "The Peony Parade"......