Women like me

Well-behaved women seldom make history – but they make for lovely girlfriends and wives, wouldn’t you say? Forgive me. There’s something bitter on my tongue today – in my fingers too. The burnt taste and feel of men like you. Wanting a piece of women like me (but never the whole) …

So many times I’ve apologised (even now!) for resisting the border of how much I should be. So many times I’ve nearly believed your limitations. It can drive a person crazy, you know. Being wanted in parts like that. Reflecting another’s need to see in the dark. Never once being seen (loved) as you are.

A reminder: I am light, bright, blinding. We all are, women like me. So keep your shadows, and the length of your arms. You have nothing more to offer a woman like me. Drunk, sober (mostly somewhere in between), I am now solely concerned with what I see.

Aphrodite at body, remember

March

One foot in front of the other, my sisters. One foot in front of the other.

I’ll be there right beside you, every step of the way.

jennifermaravillas-ourbodiesourminds-2

*Poster Art: WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON – JENNIFER MARAVILLAS*

Know your history. Know her story. Seek out Audre, Alice, MayaGloria – seek out all the incredible women who speak bone deep, beautiful truths. Then go tell your own story, loud, clear and proud. Your voice has never been more needed in this world.

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women. ~ Maya Angelou

She’s Someone (let me remind)

She's Someone Image

She’s someone. Your sister, mother, daughter, yes. But more than that – she’s someone. She has a line deep in her bones that takes us back. And she doesn’t belong to you, or with … she’s someone.

You can carve her up, invade her – she’s someone. You can lift your virgins and trample your whores. She’s someone. She has a name not yours to revise … she’s someone.

You can call her a gift then give her away. She’s someone. You can mine for her diamonds then disgust that she shines. You can trade her and blame her but let me remind … she’s someone.

She. Is. Someone. On every continent you raise your flag – she’s someone. Underneath your gaze and your book she is someone. When you shout her down she is someone. When you order her body with gavels and clocks … she’s someone.

Revered. Desired. Punished. Reviled

You have too long chosen and called her mine. When she’s someone. She doesn’t belong to you, or with. This woman, this girl – let me remind …

She’s someone.


rockwithher

Eidyia’s Note: I first posted this back in July, 2013. Something or other would have happened in the news to prompt it. Too many examples, too many possibilities to recognize which misogynistic to and fro it referred to back then. The meme that inspired my post has been doing the rounds once again, thanks to that leaked tape. The original, unaltered meme may have been well-intentioned, but we’re beyond that, right? We understand that a woman – a person! – has value no matter her relationship to others. And that what happens to her matters not when it impacts you and your, but because she’s impacted, now. Peace, love and critical thinking to you all today xxx

I want

… 
  1. to never be a damsel even in my deepest distress
  2. to forgive my past and forget yours
  3. to honour my instinct for the fight not flight
  4. to never ever know my place
  5. to be good without any god
  6. to never add guilt to my pleasure
  7. to be the one who says why not?
  8. to collect more (more!) words every day
  9. to feel small when I look at the moon
  10. to play the game with dice and wine
  11. to never ever settle down
  12. to see the glass full and in my hand
  13. to be the last to fall asleep
  14. to love you because and not despite
  15. to tell the truth or a better version
  16. to reserve the right to change my mind
  17. to never consider my reputation
  18. to make mistakes and make them well
  19. to dance whether or not you see
  20. to be brave enough to let it go
  21. to lose my head over my heart
  22. to challenge what you say is reason
  23. to never hold back ready tears
  24. to sink my teeth right in and bite
  25. to show you just what women I can do …

rock-1

I wrote this little manifesto back in 2012. Revisiting today for #IWD2016.

“Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.” ~ Anais Nin

A place in my body

“This violence, and the constant betrayal Lucy describes, I can feel it in the pit of my stomach.

This place inside me, it seems to hold memories that don’t belong to me. There is rage here, deep in my cells. And fear, too, for what it means to be a woman in this world.

Sometimes, when Lucy talks, there is a place in my body that knows.”

~ Maggie, The Memory of Stars

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You have an idea of women

Challenging.

You say I am challenging. Not a challenge – no, that has a different connotation altogether. That suggests some sort of game to be played, a battle to be fought and won. You can prepare for a challenge –  it belongs squarely  in your understanding of the world – you always could stay the course. But a challenging woman – that presents another risk entirely.

You find me confronting. My honesty in particular – which I thought was merely conversation. It gets us into trouble time and again after those first blinkered weeks. I am barely at the beginning of us, the unraveling is why I am here, but you want to press pause, to keep your impression of my best parts. Like a painting best viewed at a distance, I will distort if you get too close. This is how you like your art.

Perhaps I should have left you sooner – left you with your pretty picture. I certainly would have come off better – the girl that could have been, the one that got away. You would have never known my contradictions, my lightening temper, the knife-edge of my discontent. I would have been the curious, compassionate lover, not the difficult, demanding shrew. But you placed the pedestals opposite each other, and I climbed right down from both.

You have an idea of women, I know. All the things we are meant to be. We are allowed to feel passion when the one who reaps the reward is you. But if we provoke, if we poke holes in your sanctimony, if we catechise – it’s challenging. It isn’t nice. And nice is what you go home to. I am reminded of this every day.

But here’s what I know better than you. We each contain multitudes – the glimmers and sparks of disparate parts. Every effort to confine our contradictions is a disconnect. Not just from each other, but from our own essential nature – a far worse schism when the lights go out. You have to look up close, you have to examine the inconsonance in any character.  That is where the honest individual resides. Every cell connected. The sum greater than even its nicest parts.

(They have told you lies about the human experience. It is always, always worth challenging).

Rock at body, remember

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.

Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted,

and human love will be seen at its highest.

Live in fragments no longer. Only connect …

– EM ForsterHoward’s End

(An appropriate re-post for today I think!!)

The Memory of Stars written …

Eidyia’s note: It has been nearly two years since I started blogging here at body, remember and as I (triumphantly!) posted a few weeks back, I’ve now finished the story I began 22 months ago. I have been in an endless cycle of edits and re-writes since the moment I (symbolically) typed – The End – and it has been a new challenge to approach the story as a reader, to consider my writing from the outside – in, this time.

One of the biggest changes to come from the editing process is my realisation that body, remember doesn’t just belong to Maggie Valentine anymore. Though MV remains dearest to my heart, the stories of Anna, the widow, and Lucy, the young woman who triggers the tragedy at the heart of the novel, have allowed me to express ideas and philosophies that I am passionate about.

This is a story of women. The novel explores issues that the women of my universe have been directly affected by – desire, infidelity, betrayal, violence, choice. Each character has lost something even greater than the man she loved, something deeper, and the novel is the story about how they get it back. Separately. And ultimately, together.

All three women are flawed no doubt (there are some … interesting … choices going on!)  but they are also resilient. Thoughtful. Sensual. Brave. Just like the women of my universe, in fact.

body, remember started out as a love story. And it remains so. I’ve just broadened the definition, changed the constellation. So many of you came here via the struggle of I know you don’t watch me walk away. It is my sincerest hope that you stay with me and my girls as we explore what happens next …

Oh! And the whole point of this latest post was supposed to be this. The story belongs to three women now, and the original title body, remember feels like it only expresses Maggie’s part of the journey. So I’ve changed it. The blog remains body, remember but the novel that has grown out of it is now called … The Memory of Stars. A little phrase that has stuck with me since I scribbled it down, right at the start.

Here’s the cover page of my manuscript, and the much-revised prologue (endings, of course!) … from the end, the story begins …
The Memory of Stars by Jacqueline Bublitz

Endings

Did you know that the light we see from certain stars is really just the past finally reaching us? That for our most distant stars, their light survives – even when the star itself no longer exists?

Sometimes it is simply the memory of stars we see written across the night sky. A glittering memorial to all the stars that used to be.

Which is why I look up when I want to find you.

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