It has been a marvelous experience for me, these past few years, to be connected with this community Feminism and Religion. Still, sometimes even good things have to come to an end. I’ve decided to discontinue my regular blog contributions. The organizers have graciously allowed me the possibility to do a guest blog in the future; so I may yet contribute.
Here’s the thing: I don’t think folks who read this blog know fully just what goes on—seemingly seamlessly in the background. So before I go, let me expose how this has been for me, to give greater credibility to my first sentence: it has been a marvelous experience.
I was asked to start blogging with FAR while living in another country, another time zone, and inconsistent internet access. Truth be told, inconsistency characterizes my life-work since I travel extensively and cannot predict the regularity of the internet in some of the parts of the world where I might be located. Still I made the commitment to blog twice a month, every first and third week.
Some bloggers at FAR are more tech savvy than I am. I have yet to learn how to post my blog onto the Word Press forum allowing the organizers to click or button or two (I imagine!) to post onto their site which coincidentally runs every day. Instead, I tinker away at about 1000 words on ANY TOPIC I choose and when I have connectivity I send it to one of them as a regular document attachment.
These background fairies or angels take care of everything from behind the scenes. First of all they are way more organized than I ever am. They do send out a regular “reminder” email allowing the assembly line of bloggers to know well ahead of time when their next post is due. Some of the more disciplined writers will have a note besides their name saying: “Received! Thank you”
This was NEVER next to my name.
I’ve got that idiot savant thing about procrastination, so I tend to dawdle with getting my blog done. I have—on more than one occasion—sent the blog to be posted for the “next” day from some distant shore at the literal 11th hour. At midnight it is posted.
Never once, not even subtly has any of the three main background experts uttered a harsh word, a word of complaint, a snide reminder, or a word of non-acceptance. I have even said sometimes that I could NOT write for my expected twice monthly. (No fear I am usually at least way ahead of the 11th hour on that one: But often only by the margin of a day or two).
So, over many, many months of diverse conditions: internet connectivity-wise, global time-wise or content-wise, there has never been even the semblance of censorship, condemnation or control. Yet still, they have maintained critical scrutiny, asking relevant questions should I chance at occasional oversights or my usual random typographical faux pas when I submit something to be posted. They have taken the time to ascertain if what I seem to be saying is what I meant to say, in a manner respectful of all persons connected with what I was saying.
This is unpaid work. I hesitate to say a labor of love, without adding I use that word “love” as a verb, a conscientious action, and not just its own messy and marvelous emotion. All of these background fairies maintain full time academic careers, promotions, committees, writing, publications, research, public presentations, teaching in addition to full time families, lovers, partners, parenting, and parented.
With the exception of one quick hug at the recent American Academy of Religion I have never been within 6 feet of any of them, yet they seem very dear to me, although we have only met in cyber space. We have also, on occasion managed to engage in other projects related to women, religion, feminism, and spirituality over the time of my tenure. In other words, we have formed a community. We are blessed to live in these times when such a community is no longer foreign or forced. We do have the capacity to support each others’ dreams, aspirations, life challenges and well being while simply sitting behind the keyboard in any number of locations across the planet.
This is true of the entire FAR community: I had blogged before with one of the main bloggers on another cite related to similar issues. I finally met up with another blogger in her native Chile, early in 2013. We are living that future: the one where alliances overcome distances in thought, practice, perspectives, experiences and in miles.
It is the community part I wish to emphasize in my closing and in my ending of this relationship. In some things and at some times, it really does make a huge difference to have the support or the company of others; this for both the technicalities of on-line publishing but also for the spirit of the issue of women, religion and feminism.
I do not leave with a heavy heart. I have no regrets.
I make moves according to a number of motivations and these days I hope to get my web site launched from where I will do my main blogging. I just wanted to take this occasion to announce my great admiration and utmost appreciation for Xochitl Alvizo, Kate Brunner, and Gina Messina-Dysert for their dedication to this blog site, to the greater struggles of honor and dignity for women from within a faith perspective and to humanity at large. You have my heart and I look forward to keeping up with Feminism and Religion as a reader, commentator or occasional blogger.
May your steps be ever firm in the path you choose. May light surround you, and joy come forth from within you! It has been my pleasure.
amina wadud is Professor Emerita of Islamic Studies, now traveling the world over seeking answers to the questions that move many of us through our lives. Author of Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective and Inside the Gender Jihad, she will blog on her life journey and anything that moves her about Islam, gender, and justice, especially as these intersect with the rest of the universe.