Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bread and Roses

Today is International Women's Day. A day for "Take back the night" marches on college campuses across the US. This day always reminds me of my time with the women's movement when I lived abroad. Last month saw the passing of a friend and a leader of the movement there. She lived a long accomplished life, and had been ailing for several years. Her death is not unexpected. In fact, each of the last several times I went back to that country, I made it a point to see her. We both agreed that each visit was an unexpected gift given to both of us. She had a chance to meet my partner and Epsilon. For this I am very grateful.

This post will not be a tribute to her. My words cannot do her life justice. Instead, I mark this, my first International Women's Day without her with a few things that I think she would have enjoyed.

I start in song. ... Because you can't beat the Joan Baez/Mimi Farina combination for some things:

While you are listening, for your skimming pleasure, the history of this song in the Lawrence Textile Worker's Strike. While this happened after initial celebrations of a women's day of any sort had started in the US or world wide, its a historical touch point for the day, and what it means.

As with many women of her generation, my friend was educated as an afterthought. She wasn't enrolled in school until she was 7, and had to fight to go to college out of state. As an adult she was an influential columnist for a major newspaper. I think she would have been amused the following Peggy Seeger song.

I cannot think of today without dwelling on the contraception/abortion chaos of this election cycle. However, given my friend's generation and location, the thought of explaining the nuances of the "debate" to her is beyond me. However, if I step back from the details of it all, here's a message she would understand. (Source.)

Finally, and on a completely different note, the last time I saw her, as we were leaving, she commented on how much she would have loved to once experience leaves turning color, New England style. (Source: lokidude99)

You will be missed.

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