The weather is stormy today and I’m feeling the same. A friend sent me an email late last night about an upcoming benefit concert honoring a local young woman who was trying to leave her abusive boyfriend/husband/live-in partner. She didn’t make it. She was murdered by him. She was a horse woman, as is her mom and my friend. I understand that she did jumping events with her mare and that both of them were graceful, lovely, and full of amazing promise. The concert will benefit the terrific Womenspace, a full-service women and family shelter organization.
The anguish her family and friends are feeling must be engulfing. My heart groans and aches for the loss of this young woman while my mind rages about, angry that women are still being killed or harmed by those who say they love them. Right now, I wish I was a storm goddess. Throwing lightening bolts while thundering about and sending copious amounts of tears to the ground sounds pretty attractive. Yet, wisely, those powers are not for humans.
Instead, my powers are empathy and action. Let the thunder be from women’s voices. Let the lightening be from women’s vision. Let the tears of women flow publicly so that they can heal, we can heal, the soul of the world can heal. It’s Valentine’s Day. Not the day of pre-programmed messages of patriarchal love. No! It is the signature day marking our global struggle to stop violence against women. It’s V-Day, day of the Vagina, and One Billion Rising as Eve Ensler has so magically transformed it. Last year I attended the Portland OBR event where we all participated in testimony, prayer, dancing, singing, and marching through the downtown.
This year, I will attend an OBR event closer to home, I will praise my son for being a rock-solid feminist, I will cherish my daughter, safe in the love she shares with her husband, I will embrace love for and from women friends, and I will spread healing balm over the wounds I’ve experienced. Later, in the month of Women’s History, I will attend this concert that honors another wonderful woman who suffered and died from domestic violence. And always, I work and write to change the patriarchal stories that promote such widespread violence toward us. Always, I work and write to be another change agent that this world so desperately needs. Those are my heart messages, my V-day valentines offered to the suffering families here and everywhere.