international women’s day: i wish us courage

dear readers,

i swear, i used to love march in the bay area. international women’s day meant acting in loco bloco plays at the women’s building, meant butta and mango were extra hype, meant the empowering women of color conference, which i’ve helped to organize at uc berkeley.

and i still love international women’s day here in nyc. here, iwd meant crisp, near spring basketball at the essex street playground, meant focusing on my arc, my wrists, meant harlem and crossing guard conversations, meant arabic coffee and cinnamon tea, meant thumbing thru “our bodies, ourselves,” a women’s health book that my homeboy/girl is in. international women’s day in nyc meant a walk with her/him through central park, basketball dribbling the whole time, tracing our hopes and fears into edges of the jacqueline onassis lake in central park, bringing the sharp edges of highrises into rippled water relief, the cast down shadow of the horizon blessedly softened by every lake.

too many times today i heard the media talking/writing about rape, in honor of international women’s day. but those of us who’ve been there know that it’s an every day, every breath struggle. and maybe, just on this one day, it’s not our burden to hash it thru so singularly. we should talk about the public health epidemic known as rape more than on this day. and hell, i’ll risk it, it is carnaval, it is mardi gras, and women we deserve to celebrate, dance, move and shake. let’s talk about sexual violence on election day, at the board meetings, when the bell rings to signal both the stock markets open and the meditators to focus on our breath. then we can talk about those vampire souls, the ones who try as they might can never truly infiltrate you with their guilt, their lying and shallow grief. the perpetrators bear a sadness that would hollow out the space underneath our eyes, cause the muscles to pull back under the sheaths of our very organs, oh but victory is more than to talk. it is to feel. feel past the fear, past the vendetta. it is to hone. hone spiritually, physically, mentally. may we have the courage to speak up, and to feel. every minute of every day. engaged.

happy international womens day,
roopa

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