Saturday, March 08, 2008

Women's History Month Challenge | Update

My brother doesn’t use the internet. For Christmas this year, my husband compiled the year’s worth of blogs into a small booklet. It was a wonderful document of the year’s journey. A testament to the way in which each day is a gift of growth. Like watching a sunflower grow from seed - slow and imperceptible until it towers over your head.

It’s time I returned to the softer things. Each choice we make as we walk through our day is political. What we buy or don’t buy. What we read or don’t read. What we learn from our friends. These are great lessons -- if we take a moment to observe and bear witness. (Hence the post below.)

Because of my Women’s History Challenge, I’ve begun to read the blogs of other women chronologically. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is like reading a novel which has been printed backwards. Blogs are designed to be immediate. The design of most pages says, “Now is what is important.” Even getting to the archives, I must diligently steer my eyes away from spoilers. If there are a lot, I have to scroll to the bottom, and click "older," "older" "older" until I feel old. All this time - I have to not let my eyes get seduced by pictures, interesting phrases or catchy titles.

Thanks to one of my Pittsburgh Mamas, I discovered a great blog. The email recommendation gave me a synopsis of her story. Like choosing a book because of the inside cover, I went for a visit. hitting my head on the top of the bunk bed until i faint is a classic story of the daily challenges a woman in modern america faces complete with drama, tenderness and spunkitude.

From 16/02/06
“so valentine's day was r's and my TEN year anniversary. on february 14, in 8th grade, r asked me out in front of my locker with two roses, one yellow and one red. somehow i can't even wrap my mind around the fact that we (at 24, married with a two year old and one on the way) are the same people who were holding hands during our 23 minute lunch break. unfortunately r had to work on tuesday so we couldn't celebrate but dad and maria are going to babysit on monday while we go out"

and later:
“r claimed to be nervous about taking care of a newborn again. bah! this man is a pro. he's the best daddy in the world. maybe a little antsy to get back to work, but the best daddy in the world.”

I know what’s coming. I did cheat and here’s a spoiler:
“i finished in the honolulu marathon
in 12,756th place and there you are
for all eternity, panting with me
across the finish line

i saved every ticket stub, every
brittle yellow corsage and there
you are smiling dumbly with me,
in front of a chinese lantern backdrop

i left you with the platinum stemware,
the dense weight of my dress, well wishes
of 300 distant relatives and two mirrors
lest you forget where you came from”

It is not a blog I would ordinarily seek - and yet - it is certainly one I will return to. Her writing is exquisite. Sometimes I scan. Most times I read. That’s life, isn’t it? We scan some days and scrutinise the next. Even though I know the story, reading it is still filled with suspense. I have an idea of what will happen, but I don’t know what her reaction will be or how “her character” will grow.

It reaffirmed for me that the rhythms of our lives are important. Small moments lead to bigger ones which transform us and make us grateful for the smallest bits of joy. We share so much common ground - regardless of the skin we're in, the size of our appetites or what ballot trigger we pull. Every woman's life is a bestselling memoir waiting for the ego necessary to push it out. For some reason, babies are easier.

Take the challenge and let me know about some ordinary extraordinary woman!

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