Over the past few months, I’ve been struggling to write posts. This month is no different. I am currently sitting with four different half-drafts on three semi-related topics, none of which I seem to be able to complete. I’ve gone back to each of them numerous times. I write. I erase. I rewrite. I copy bits of one into another to save for some other time. I’m left with one sentence: this week’s Torah parshah is Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8). Great. Glad to know that. Now what?
When writing, I often find myself in one of two camps given the current state of the world. Either, I have so much to say that I have no clear idea where to start, so I write three pages of more or less nonsense. Or, I find myself just so inundated with information that I don’t know where my opinion begins and another’s ends. I write another 3 pages of completely different nonsense. I get fed up with both. I start praying better thoughts will just write themselves. They don’t.
Continue reading “Write on Lilith! (Write on Eve!) by Ivy Helman”
As I painted her icon, I knew that “the room of one’s own” must engulf more space on the canvas than she did, her heart beating in the room and outside of it, and her arms outstretched as though she is inviting other women into the room.
I first encountered her in the lyrics of a song. The Indigo Girls shaped my adolescence, molding me into a young feminist as I sang in harmony with other teenage girls:
They published your diary
And that’s how I got to know you
The key to the room of your own
And a mind without end
And here’s a young girl
On a kind of a telephone line through time
And the voice at the other end
Comes like a long lost friend
So I know I’m alright
Life will come and life will go
Still I feel it’s alright
‘Cause I just got a letter to my soul
Emily Saliers and Amy Ray (the Indigo Girls) were singing about Virginia Woolf, naming the song after her. As I belted out the lyrics with my soon-to-become-feminist friends, I had yet to learn who Virginia Woolf was and how her life and work had shaped my own. All I knew as I harmonized those many years ago was that this woman must be special if the Indigo Girls dedicated a song to her. I felt a longing to know her, to learn more about her, for her to call me on that telephone line through time and tell me I’m alright. Accordingly, Virginia Woolf is our Holy Woman Icon for September. Continue reading “Painting Virginia Woolf by Angela Yarber”
I normally don’t get too personal in my blog posts. I figure if I’m going to take up space on the blog I might as well offer up something other than me, my voice, my body, and instead some good old fashioned commentary on those categories of feminism and religion “out there.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about sacred space over the past year (occupy wall street, Durkheim, the public sphere, Park51) and only recently have I begun to really think about personal sacred space. This week, I haven’t been able to avoid it. My long-time boyfriend and I recently broke up not-so-amicably. In the past few days he has contacted all of my friends and relatives in order to say “goodbye.” I began receiving a swarm of confused questions from close friends, who informed me of the texts, messages, and phone calls they were receiving. While I won’t dwell on the details, as you can imagine, these acts have intruded on my mental and physical space to the point where space in my immediate world has been temporarily possessed by someone else. As dated as first wave feminism is, Virginia Woolf’s salient message in A Room of One’s Own is exactly what I need. I realize that though my affective, physical, emotional, and mental spaces are conjoined and cajoled by my cultural and material surroundings, it’s vital that I feel that, in some way, these spaces are mine. This is what agency is for me. And I would call it sacred. Continue reading “A Room of One’s Own: Sacred Women’s Space by Amy Levin”