I keep coming back to pictures of birth lately. Maybe it's because some of my deepest relationships are with women who have held this space, who have nurtured physically- but also met the soul needs of the women who came to them, without question or judgment. Maybe it's an intuition about my fellow mamas and sisters right now, in the wake of these past two days.
I can't help but think this particular time, even in all of its horror and despair, is calling us- women, sisters, mothers. We're in transition. Time has slowed and we feel stuck and exhausted and think there's no possible way we can keep going. The waves come, and even as we fight to stay on top of them, nature takes over. "The only way out is through." Women know this on a cellular level, in a way that men never will.
The waves of grief have been coming steadily now and it's real. We struggle for our own breath during school drop off, we shake with rage, feel the bile creep into our throats when we read about ten year-olds who played Roblox and took dancing lessons and had just made the honor roll. We recognize this fog, though we shouldn't have to.
So we do what we know to do- and have done since the beginning of time: we light candles and hold our sisters in the water, as the tears come, as the pressure builds, as the primal wails surface. And we tell each other to dig deep because it's about to get real, but we're not in it alone.
When rich white men in power sit back and do nothing, they are actually positioning us as women to do what's intrinsic to us- what we've always done. Change is coming. I don't know how, but I do know in my core that women will be the ones ushering it in.
The only way out is through.
photo © Patience Salgado