Strange to wake up in nearly complete disconnect from people, habits, my usual work. I had forgotten what it’s like to feel rested. I’m lonely but, to a large extent, cannot bear the company of others. The reset process is terrifying that way. Becoming untethered, bumping about to find the new and right tie-downs to anchor a rebooted vision.
I had high hopes that 2018 would be less ass-whoopin’ than 2017. It has, so far, just extended the ‘proving ground’ of my life.
The recent months of turbulence of my daughter’s life – the loss her beloved dog, a move to a new home – certainly roiled my soul. My husband spent a month seriously ill with pneumonia and a month recovering. Concurrently, the loss of Oakland Women’s Center. Four years of work – good and productive efforts – could not survive what the brilliant singer Jessica La Rel referred to in an intro to her song All We Could Do (I paraphrase here): a scary unwillingness of people to step up to work that needs doing and is bigger than just them.
No pressure. No diamonds.
One thing I’m sure of: a Women’s Center has the most enthusiastic uptake where women have no reliable backstop or support: military conflict zones, slums, and refugee camps. Parts of most major cities are ‘war zones’ for the disenfranchised, but city governments tend to lack incentive to rally/deliver support for the community-restoring power of women. Baraka Women’s Center in Nairobi has made good headway over the past five years, but could be so much stronger with reliable funding.
I believe that women generally are unaware of – or incredibly soft-spoken about – their egregiously compromised ‘position’ in the world. Witness enduring pay inequity, inferior health care delivery – especially mental health services, and pervasive violence against females of all ages – to name just of few of the fixable injustices of millennia–old, swallowed-whole patriarchal values.
I have enduring faith in the efficacy of the Women’s Center Model to help build restorative power bases for women.
I need more and stronger allies to help refine and expand and fund Women’s Centers.