Kate’s poetic reflections hit me exactly where I am at this moment when she writes: “Growth is suffering, growth is exposure, growth is moving towards the things which make us flinch, perhaps even terrify our hearts.”
Growth is not measured in the present moment It is always by looking back, seeing the difference Between there and here, that we are able to take a bearing Growth is not linear, it is not lateral It is perhaps more accurately, a series of curves that only a certain spatial awareness gained from standing…
For this week’s Sunday post, I had planned to share my reflections on “shifts in being” needed for deep adaptation to our planetary climate and ecological existential crises unraveling in real time. While regions of our planet face heat waves, wildfires, droughts, floods, and other Acts of God, our political leaders fumble, grumble, and stumble to implement the solutions proposed and agreed upon at the United Nations Climate Change Conferences held since its establishment in 1992.
I could not find the right framework to put my reflections into words. By the end of my workday on Friday evening, I had scrapped four unsuccessful attempts. After clearing my mind with a touching father-daughter movie, Don’t Make Me Go (Prime Video, 2022), I returned to my writing task shortly after 10:00 p.m. At 2:24 a.m. of a new day, with frustration taking hold, I scrapped another four drafts and went to bed.
My Poetry Corner July 2022 features the poem “My President Asks Me about Redemption” from the debut poetry collection The Wild Fox of Yemen (Graywolf Press, 2021) by Yemeni American poet Threa Almontaser. Born and raised in New York City, Almontaser earned an MFA in Creative Writing and a TESOL certification from North Carolina State University. She is an editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal and a juror for both the Pen America Writing for Justice Fellowship and the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. A translator and English teacher to immigrants and refugees, she lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Winner of the 2021 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, The Wild Fox of Yemen is Almontaser’s attempt to showcase Yemeni experiences, underrepresented in the Arab American literary world. In an interview with Dana Isokawa for the Poets & Writers Magazine in December 2021, the poet said: “I couldn’t find contemporary work written by an Adeni American of this generation. It makes me sad to know a culture so rich and ancient is hidden in this way.”
The system of patriarchy can function only with the cooperation of women. This cooperation is secured by a variety of means: gender indoctrination; educational deprivation; the denial of women of knowledge of their history; the dividing of women, one from the other, by defining “respectability” and “deviance” according to women’s sexual activities; by restraints and outright coercion; by discrimination in access to economic resources and political power; and by awarding class privileges to conforming women.
Excerpt from the last chapter (p. 217) of The Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner, Oxford University Press, New York, USA, 1986.
GERDA LERNER (1920-2013), an Austrian American historian, was the single most influential figure in the development of women’s and gender history since the 1960s. In 1980, she won a professorship at the University of Wisconsin where she built America’s first PhD program in women’s history. With the conviction that patriarchy was the first and ultimate source of all oppression, she undertook a massive research project in the 1980s that she published in two volumes: The Creation of Patriarchy (1986) and The Creation of Feminist Consciousness (1993). She served as President of the Organization of American Historians from 1981 to 1982.
The majority [members of the US Supreme Court] would allow States to ban abortion from conception onward because it does not think forced childbirth at all implicates a woman’s rights to equality and freedom. Today’s Court, that is, does not think there is anything of constitutional significance attached to a woman’s control of her body and the path of her life.
In the twenty-first century, in the world’s most powerful and democratic nation, The Court finds that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition, so declares the majority on page 2 of their June twenty-fourth decision. Our Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves. For sure, they did not intend for the Constitution to remain rooted in eighteenth century norms and traditions. They knew that conditions change over time and specified the process for amending the Constitution, when needed.