Although women’s words have been censored or eliminated from much of [our] heritage, in the midst of the pain of dehumanization women have nevertheless always been there, in fidelity and struggle, in loving and caring, in outlawed movements, in prophecy and vision. Tracking and retrieving fragments of this lost wisdom and history, all in some way touchstones of what may yet be possible, enable them to be set free as resources for transforming thought and action. ~ Elizabeth A. Johnson, She Who Is
This is probably NOT the stuff that keeps you up at night. But what if it did? What if this was the conversation we were all-and-always having – women together, women with men, even men together? What if we were consumed with the painful history of women? What if we were determined to “track and retrieve fragments of lost wisdom and history?” What if we believed that this was crucial to “transforming thought and action?” What if, indeed.
How do we take the time to talk of old stories? How do we find the threads of our own history as women? How do we somehow weave them back into our day-to-day lives?
I wish I knew.
Here’s what I do know:
If we don’t, if we forget from whence and whom we came, we are destined to repeat the same patterns.
The plight of women does not improve. The conversation does not change. The world does not transform.
To shine a spotlight on the censorship and dehumanization of women is the very thing that helps us – now, in this moment, in our day-to-day lives – understand why we think the way we do, why we often feel slightly crazy, why we struggle with ways to articulate our position or stance, why we are disconnected from our bodies, why we witness people in power deny the harm they inflict and attempt to silence the brave women (and men) who name such anyway.
It’s hard: the work of remembering.
We want to move on, to move forward, to make headway, to not look back.
I get it. I’m not all that crazy about having to remember my own story. It’s hard to look back and honestly acknowledge the places in which I’ve known harm and perpetuated it against my very self (and others). But it is only when I do so, that I experience any transformation and growth; it is only when I do so, that I can have the perspective and wisdom needed to make different choices today – not only for myself, though that is paramount, but also for my daughters, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my community.
If this is true for me, for each of us individuals, how much more so the collective – all of us together?
Mmmmm. Yes, this. All of us and always – remembering, telling, naming, honoring, acknowledging, truth-telling, “tracking and retrieving fragments” so that we can discover the “touchstones of what may yet be possible.”
May it be so.