March is Women’s History Month so I thought I’d share this bit with you.
Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history.
The poem below was inspired by the sage advice I received years ago from an elderly lady who truly fought to make a difference in the role (and treatment) of women in society. I feel she made a historical impact by influencing the small groups around her. She certainly left an impression with me.
I won’t name her because her M.O was to act subtly and not bring attention to herself. Surprisingly she got a lot accomplished with her (ur-um) antics. RIP A
We did not burn our bras but wore them proudly; Holding–supporting–glorifying the mammary glands that would feed the next generation;
For the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
We did not give animated voices to our vaginas for the world to hear but let them speak in secret whispers that moved mountains.
We did not make a spectacle in the streets to prove our equality For we knew in our hearts [already] that we were superior.
Hold out your eyes and I’ll give you a little insight into Smoke Free.
Smoke Free is a weird little story conceived in the smoke of a brush pile. The photos below show the cover; the first photograph and the finished cover.
Smoke Free is probably the only book cover we have not changed at least a dozen times. The truth is I have never wanted to change it. I love this cover and the image of that little pumpkin smoking a cigar never fails to amuse me. (I have the husband to thank for that.)
I had never heard of Irwin Smutter before that day and he (like the cigar smoking pumpkin) still amuses me with his absolute weirdness; him and the bizarre world he resides in.
And a bite sized sample of the lunch break tale …
Irwin marched down the stark white hallway with the impudence of a man on a mission. At the end of corridor, a glass door awaited with the words FREE YOUR SELF painted in large gold letters. He raised a curled fist to knock but decided against it. Easing the door open he called out, “Yoo-hoo. Is anyone home?” when no one responded he grudgingly entered the room and scanned its contents.
The room appeared empty other than an oversized sofa. Irwin reposed himself against the frigid vinyl, crossed his feet and sighed. A lively timbered scene covered the wall opposite the door, designed in such a way it almost looked like a window. Beyond the dull sheen of the pretend window was a forest where rays of sunshine cut through a smoky haze. The remaining walls were un-textured, pale and bare. The room smelled of sandalwood and acetone, a bizarre sweetness that sickened and comforted him at the same time. Irwin shifted nervously on the stiff upholstery in search of a warm spot. There was none.
The faux leather, the lifeless walls, the fake window – it was all too unsettling. Nothing is real, he thought, stretching his arms until his hands met above his head. Fads! The world has been reduced to kooks, phonies, and fads. Reassured by his own summation, Irwin interlaced his fingers and stretched further. When the joints in his entwined hands refused to pop, he rested them at the base of his neck.
Smoking cessation.Yeah, right. It was not Irwin’s idea. Irwin enjoyed smoking. The pungent smell of a fresh-lit cigarette made bitter coffee sweet. Smoking was one of the few things he looked forward to each day. A good smoke, a little booze, a lot of caffeine and Evie.
Another Thursday, another November and another Thanksgiving holiday in the USA. Which means the earth has not quite spun off her axis; some of her inhabitants may have but we are here today so let’s make the most of it.
I have shared the following bit of prose in one form or another for … I don’t know… decades maybe?
Occasionally I vary the wording but the sentiment is always the same, so without further ado, here we go…
A Pilgrim’s Prayer
Once upon a time – a long, long time ago (before Black Friday) Thanksgiving was a celebration of harvest and a time to give thanks. Hence the name thanksgiving.
I don’t think the early pilgrims had a Super Walmart, a Sears or a Best Buy. They had never heard of an indie distributor called Smashwords (yikes, imagine how scary that might have sounded)
I’m sure they didn’t have the www to answer all of you questions or a beastly giant named Amazon— yet somehow they managed.
Can you imagine having to grow your own food and prepare it without the help of of a search engine like google?
When did they have time? Where did they get their Stove Top stuffing and who canned the yams and plucked the turkeys? How did those crazy pilgrims do it?
I didn’t really know any of those pilgrims but I did see a John Wayne movie once. John knew a pilgrim when he saw one. He seemed to know a lot of pilgrims but that was a long time ago too.
I propose we are all pilgrims, each one of us on a journey of sorts. Our own personal pilgrimage…
Aren’t we are all looking for something? Be it a quest for self-confirmation, truth, a cure, enrichment, comfort, a friend, a lover, a job, a meal or a place to lay our weary head at the end of another day.
I believe life is a journey, or at least it should be. It would be terrible to think we were just flailing through this experience; killing time on this giant floating gumball while waiting for the next Black Friday specials.
I believe we all have one destination though we travel different roads and I trust that we have choices.
Hopefully we will choose well. On the occasion we do take a wrong turn [and we will from time to time] I pray we have enough sense and humility to stop and seek direction… to reassess our route and to be considerate in our voyage.
So here’s wishing all of you pilgrims a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving from the Hill house and may we all, whatever road we’re on, take time to look ahead, pause and bow our head in thanks.
My personal prayer:
I pray our good seeds of hope, humility, toil and courage produce abundantly; that love and kindness grow wild like the weeds of early spring – fruitful and undeterred. And may our harvest be rich with wisdom and discernment.
Thank you Father, The Creator of all things, for this day and all it holds. Thank you for the days past, and Father forgive me for my wrong turns. Thank you for the day to come and guide me to make better choices. Thank you for all the pilgrims in my life – for those who’ve gone ahead and the ones that come behind and for those who read this prayer. And Thank You Father for the beacon that lights my way.