WOMAN/WOMEN

Traffic signs should change. The go should be red, not green. Green makes me think of a forest or an open plain. It is there that I want to linger. Red makes me think of blood, of flowing, of moving, of…going.

It makes me think of being woman. Maybe this is why all of my best thoughts start in the car. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Right now red means stop. So let’s stop for a moment. Let’s be, red.

To be red, to be woman. What does it mean?

Is it found over $5 martinis with a best friendship created behind a register, cultivated on an island?

Is it found galloping down the highway, well over the speed limit, with the reckless notion that the masculinity that is the police force couldn’t. possibly. touch. you. Not in this sphere. Not in this place.

Is it found in heartbreak? In stillness? In meekness? No. It is found in Going. The grand Going. The capital g, Going.

The essence of womanhood is change. Change means birth, yes. But it also means death. Because to live is to die is to live is to die again and again. (And I wonder why I love fall.) The essence of womanhood is the entire body from the head down. It is the feet that compel you to wander, the legs that hold you steady when the world shakes, the pelvis that ushers cycles of birth and not birth, the hips that bear the weight of the world, the heart that keeps a thousand secrets, the throat that exclaims gratitude and anger and love and hope in one breath, the neck—oh the neck—that supports it “all.” All: the head.

Spoiler alert: it’s not really all there is. To live in the head is to live at the expense of the entire body. A body filled with everything that it is to be human. The varying levels of emotions that we all experience. The differences, the desires.

This is why, I’m convinced this is why, society has feared women for as long as it has been allowed to get away with fearing women. We are wild creatures, wild things, that are at our most beautiful when we are unkempt, unbroken. We go when the world says stop, we stop when the world says go.

There is a depth of emotion within all of us, flowing through all of our blood, our Womanhood, that is beyond what most of us care to experience. We have birthed nations and we have started wars but we have also ended nations and ended wars. We are at the beginning and the end of everything. Because we are women.

Fear us, love us, revere us, demean us but you cannot take away the power that is Woman. Because to be Woman is to be in the dark woods, under a naked sky, staring up at Creation, counting the stars and beckoning them closer to you. To be Woman is to barrel down the highway, until the light pollution ceases, to be in community with God. To be Woman, is to seek, to hunt, to connect, to birth, to destroy, to allow Life to flow through you and with you without trying to control it or yield it. To be Woman, is to Be.

It was at this revelation that I laughed at the sky and said, “Of course. Of course to me, You would be a Woman.” I am a woman and I am Womanhood and I am here. For you. Amen.

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