Grounded in gratitude
and the painfilled joy
of being female
Can these things coexist
in one body?
Yes, my daughter,
though you must never forget:
Pain is a necessary thorn in
tender female flesh for reasons
not understood by mere mortals
My mind does not accept this verdict –
drowning in ignorance about me
and the course of my life on this earth
How many of us are there?
Each necessary to the great vine of life
Hanging on for dear life
I’m struck by the strange mix of gratitude and pain uncovered in me on any day of the year. It doesn’t take much. A news item, an ad, an assumption about me or all women, or the absence of everyday examples that might connect with real women and girls. Is this what it means to be human and female?
I’ve given up trying to understand the self-serving, convoluted logic I often hear about being female. Instead, I’m aiming each day for a calm mind, a relaxed body, a singing heart, and a trusting spirit. Whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 5 September 2019
Image of caged bird found at asfmtech.org