ohmygosh, women are beautiful. women are strong. women are underestimated. women are courageous. women are tender. women are emotional. women are smart. women are bold. women are modest. women are utterly and undeniably amazing…
sharing two previous posts that i could not pen better than i did when i wrote them. thank you for indulging me this repetition. with love to the great big tribe called ‘womankind’. xoxo
WOMEN. WE’VE GOT BACKBONE. (dec. 1, 2016)
living with an artist means you get to poke around inside their passion. you get to see the things that paved the way, that set the stage, that were behind the scenes. you get to hear the stories of mountains climbed and deep valleys (read: chasms) scaled. an artist’s story is not a straight line and an artist’s art is fluid.
it also means you get to go through the piles, so to speak. i’ll play songs for him that never made it anywhere, onto any album, nor any stage. he’ll show me paintings or sketches that didn’t get framed or hung or shown or even looked at. sometimes i will just go downstairs into the studio and page through the painting stacks, traveling in time through my husband’s work. color and space and frenetic movement and paintings that breathe air; all tell a story about the place he was in when he painted them.
in a recent stroll through paintings, i stumbled upon this one. i pulled it out and sat down – right there on the floor – to gaze at it. there is just something about it.
grace. strength. i was struck by the beauty of its simplicity.
it made me think of so many women i know. my beautiful girl kirsten, who made her first turkey after spending a day on a snowboard on mountains she had never even seen a short three years ago. linda, tossing hay to a horse with a pitchfork and hugging alpaca, never before retirement dreaming of such a thing. marykay who wisely makes brownies (gf!) for every occasion, creating inroads for people to talk and share and become a part of a whole. jay, who is zealous about the children she works with at schools, a social worker beyond compare. jen, who stretches herself to learn new things at all times, while standing strong for her husband, stunned by changes in their lives over the last year. which brings me to randi, with a similar story and the same dedication and generous spirit. daena, who grades papers and reads elementary school novels in-between playing her handbell parts, because she is more than prepared every school day. susan, who, singlehandedly, day after day raises three young men and teaches them to see this very strength and grace in women. sandy, who quietly and fervently and proudly stands strong for the LGBTQ community. heidi, a writer who bravely serves up pizzas with a frantic pace, because it helps her family. dianne, who tirelessly works side by side with her pastor husband, keeping a full-time job and volunteering for, well, everything. beth, who posts a picture of her stunning chemo-bald self every time another friend is diagnosed with breast cancer. my sweet momma, who was kind every single time and didn’t see differences or lines, even in pain, even in dying.
the list is unending. and it made me think this: WOMEN. WE’VE GOT BACKBONE.
because it’s true. in this time in our world, who of you cannot think of a woman or women you know who are the picture of strength, the picture of grace. i want to celebrate these women. i want to encourage these women. i want to honor these women. i want to celebrate, encourage, honor each of Us.
please forward this to women you know. not because there is a link to purchase Stuff – but because it is a Truth and as many women (and men) as possible need to see it…just to be reminded. add names to the list. in our herculean (and extraordinary) lives, let’s make this a herculean (and extraordinary) celebration.
i can’t think of a better time to further the celebrating, encouraging and honoring than right now. at a time when each of us WOMEN needs to be seen as strength and as grace.
we ARE women. and we DO have backbone.
WOMEN. YOU MADE IT THROUGH. (dec. 6, 2019)
“i want women to see that you do not get pushed around.” (* attributed below)
this piece today is dedicated to all the women who have made it through, all the women who are making it through, all the women who will make it through.
your fire has brought you to the edge of the battlefield many times and you have still made lemonade; you have still prevailed.
you have made it through intensely emotionally abusive relationships. you have picked up the pieces and you have moved on.
you have made it through physical or sexual abuse. you have risen from the ashes.
you have made it through terrifying health scares. you have pulled up your boot straps and determinedly plodded through with massive courage.
you have made it through society’s prioritizing of body image and appearance. you have been measured by your cleavage or lack thereof, by the indent of your waist, by the clothing you choose, by your hair. you struggle to remember you are beautiful. you stand tall.
you have made it through vacuumous times, the middle of chaos, the middle of multi-tasking. you have created.
you have made it through physical summit experiences. you have scaled mountains. you have boarded down untracked chutes. you have trained your body with weights and exercise. you have run. you have skated. you have pedaled. you have breathed in and sighed an exhale. you’ve run thousands of lengths of playing fields. you took the next painful recuperating step. you dove to the depths. you have been on world stages. you have risen with hungry or fevered children night after night. you have competed. you have given birth.
you have made it through falling. you have made mistakes. you have been human. you have forgiven and you have been forgiven.
you have made it through an education steeped in gender-inequality and bias. you have chosen to learn more, to actively seek the resources, rights and opportunities due you, to resist against the discrimination.
you have made it through a system that undermines your success and devalues your value. you have fought for your place.
you have made it through financial challenges of single womanhood, of single motherhood. you have been scrappy and, without complaint, you have layered onto yourself however much it took to get it done.
you have made it through work situations where you’ve questioned how you would be treated were you to be a man. would you be yelled at? would your professionalism be questioned? you have asked these questions. you have stayed, holding steadfast, or you have moved on; you have decided what is best for you and moved in that direction.
you have made it through the skewed-world fray into leadership roles where your every decision is challenged or thwarted. you have overcome; you have triumphed.
you have made it through being-too-young and through aging. and you are not irrelevant.
you have made it through. you have spoken up, spoken back, spoken for. you have written letters. you have marched.
you have been pushed around. but you have pushed back. and, just like the tortoise, you have made it through.
©️ 1997, 2000, 2008, 2016, 2019
(*this quote is attributed to nancy pelosi)