I wish we didn't have to lock up our virgin mothers.
I was thinking dark thoughts this week and it occurred to me that at least once in every decade of my life my heart has been irreparably broken - when I was a sad little girl, an angry teenager, a young mother, a grown-ass woman who should have known better, an exhausted almost-crone. I thought to myself, "Oh woe is me to suffer such regular, unrelieved sorrow. I really should write about it."
Then I smacked my coffee cup smartly into my front teeth, jolting my feeble mind back to reality. Heart-rending grief at least once a decade? You LUCKY bitch!
I wore my sequin dress and new glasses for a while. That's all I've got.
Like many people across the world, yesterday I took note of Senator Wendy Davis as she fillibustered Texas SB5. I checked several times. Yes, it is 2013 America. And, our brothers and sisters in Texas get to fight a battle from another century, from the deep, dark past, yet again. Oy vay. I grow weary of the patriarchy. All over the globe the rage against our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, and the sick, fucking notion that they are chattle, flows on and on and on.
Mrs. G offers her take on attempts to legislate the vagina here. I left the following comment and wanted to record it here, because not speaking out against sexism and attempts to legislate women's bodies is a grave mistake:
"Love you Mrs. G. As I watched Senator Davis yesterday, all I could think
was how desperately I wished our beloved Molly Ivins was here to offer
her hilarious and lucid commentary on the Texas lege. Texas is home to
so many great feminists. In the land where the swinging micro-dicks
shout down anyone without a big checkbook, women like Ann Richards,
Senator Davis, Barbara Jordan, Spinster Aunt Twisty Faster, and Molly
are too often the only rational voices of humanity in a screaming
mantastrophe of rage against women. Thank you for raising your voice in
defense of all the rights of all the pussies. I've reclaimed all the
words - quim, cooch, nunny, cunt, beaver, fanny, muff. Freud had it
wrong. The essential issue seems to me to be VAGINA-envy."
I know my Mama won't be happy about the swearing. She is an elegant, gentle woman. She is also my greatest role model, my touchstone, and an ardent, life-long feminist. She raised me to speak my mind. So, for fuck's sake, I am exasperated by impotent old men and their frightened bed-fellows trying to drag humanity back centuries. These people fear women and they are afraid to be held accountable for their own bullshit misogyny. I'm over it. And, of course, I'm not over it. Because, like that sneaky pile of dog shit your kid trailed into the house, the stench of sexism and the fear of the almighty vagina continues to stink and must be scrubbed clean and washed out-even if you have to do it over and over and over again.
I just turned 50 in December. It is so very fine to be 50, especially when the alternative is to not be anything except, if you are lucky, a memory.
I write the following with no sense of morbidity. The first time my father almost died, I joked with him about what our obituaries or tombstones would say as he was recovering (some people might think that is a bit insensitive or odd, but it worked for us).
My mother and I have also talked a few times about what makes a great obituary. I have read a few that I loved. Mrs. G posted a wonderful obituary to her blog and this reminded me that I had been determined to make a start on my own.
It is a tremendously difficult task to create a portrait in words contained in just a few paragraphs. I do think it is a task worth undertaking when I think it may be the only "knowing" of us that a descendant may have.
Here is my first shot at it:
Kelly is eternally grateful for the great sex, delicious food,
music, books, and most ardently for her family especially her wise and
Her life goals included:
becoming half as good a woman as her mama
sharing the bleak Irish humor she inherited from her grandfather John Kelly with those she loved at the most importunate times
eating all the cake
being an O.K. - enough human being to merit the love of her many fine canine companions
keeping her teeth and hair
practicing patience and kindness and ecstatic mental yoga
upon which of her friends or family you speak to, she was either a
great success or an abject failure at achieving her goals. All will
agree that she was trying.
Kisses lovers. This is what 50 looks like the day before it hits.
I squandered 49 in procrastination and sadness. How incredibly stupid.
I am grateful everyday for my family. I have to keep my attention on fine details because the big picture right now makes it hard for me to breathe. I am trying to let go of fear. That is such a hard thing to do. I am sporadically creative and feel in my bones that therein lies my salvation. Where is the courage required to leap?
There have been years from which I ungraciously took my leave claiming I would not miss them. Hello 2009! But I will. Right now, feeling properly old (thanks Mama for the AARP membership including bright red retro fanny pack!), I see them for what they were. Opportunities squandered. And fuck that.
So, barring Mayan prophecy, 2013 will be wooed. No more waiting for perfect conditions. I'm leaping. And I know I'll land where I should. Like always, I'll land on my feet. Remind me to tell you about how I used to jump off my horse Marmalade at a run and stick a perfect landing every time just for fun. That's how I roll. I truly do love you.