ancient births, ancient history, ancient menstruation, ancient women, anita diamant, bible births, bible literature, bible story, birth, blood, book about ancient women, book about periods, Feminism, genesis 34, herstory, jacobs daughter, leas daughter, literature, love, magic, midwifery, moon cycles, novel, periods, rape of dinah, the red tent, women cycles, women literature, women of the bible
I must admit I do not devour books. Reading was not something I grew up with as a child, but I have learned to become a better reader over time. Every time I finish a book, I find some sort of peace. I seek out knowledge through books, and I try to read a little every day. Sometimes though, a book captures me in such a way, that I become obsessed with the world inside it. I live it, I dream about it, think about it and it consumes me. The Red Tent was one of these books.
The subject matter? Women of ancient times. Specifically one woman: Dinah, mentioned only once in the Bible in the Book of Genesis. Her story comes to life. Her youth, her traditions, and the red tent. A place where women of ancient civilizations used to gather during the new moon, to observe their menses, and bring ritual and in some cases honor the life bearing blood that fills wombs every month.
Not only did the story of Dinah, daughter of Lea, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah bring knowledge of ancient womanhood practices, including midwifery and births, marriage, sex, and a young girls turning of age through her period. My journey with these women, made me understand the strength of the covens that formed during times where their stories, and names were barely mentioned.
This story is rooted on the Bible story of “The Rape of Dinah” in Genesis 34, where the episode of her violation by Shechem is later avenged by her brothers Simeon and Levi on the city of Hamor, father of Shechem.
The Bible is a book where the female is scantly sacred, where lineage is remembered by fathers, and where the births of sons is most honorably, and women’s honor is due for the rise of power for man and tribe. Anita Diamant transforms the stories of Laban, Rachel, Lea, Jacob and Joseph and flips it on its head. She remains true to the old written word, but delves into a world lost by time filling in the gaps of Dinah’s story. A woman’s world where magic, wisdom, strength and faith are rooted on the spirit of the female.
I give praise to The Red Tent, for it gave me sight into a world where eyes need to go, where women ought to be honored, and most of all remembered.
If you love history, if you want knowledge of ancient womanhood, and if you want to dive deep into a story of love, magic and blood, then I invite you to open the pages of this book.
Thank you to the author, and thank you to Dinah, whatever your real story may have been, today we remember you had a story too, and we honor your story now.
action, activism, america ferrera, ashley judd, call congress, democracy, democracynow!, fired up, gloria steinem, human rights, inspiration, michael moore, Mushpa + Mensa, nasty woman, nina donovan, resistance, revolution, run for office, save america, stand united, trump, we the people, we will not step back, what can i do, women rights, Women's March
We are fired up!
This is such a special time in our American History, and I am proud to be alive in these times. The Women’s March on Washington is most likely going to go down in our history books as the start of another wave of feminism, and this time, WE WILL NOT STEP BACK.
Mushpa + Mensa were unable to hitch a ride to DC, and maybe all happened for a reason. We were meant to stay at our own city rally in Wilmington, NC. We stayed in our home town, made signs, and shouted, chanted, and participated in the Wilmington’s Sister Women’s March. What a phenomenal experience. Even more amazing was coming back home and seeing the pictures and videos of ALL THOSE WOMEN. Men and children also there supporting. Political figures, icons, celebrities, artists, and humans from all walks of life. All these little pink hats, all these powerful signs. So much to say, yet such unity in our voice. Despite the hiccups of what it means to be part of this march (Can a pro-lifer still be a feminist? Is there space for white woman oppression?) the energy was ONE.
I am so proud of all of us. This light inside me grows. The strength in me grows, and so does the motivation. We are awake, and ready to go.
Despite not being in Washington physically, our collective energy filled every corner of the world, from Berlin, to Paris, from London to Costa Rica. This is not an American movement. This is WORLD WIDE.
The internet has united us, and I have witnessed some amazing and moving moments from the Women’s March. Here a few favorites. I hope you play them, enjoy them, and let them fill you with hope, motivation, and furious energy to fight this culture of hate, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and darkness that has crept up to a mainstream platform.
Without further ado, press play, and may the force be with you.
“We too must stand united….if we fall into the trap of separating ourselves by our causes and our labels, then we will weaken our fight, and we will lose. But if we commit to what aligns us, if we stand together steadfast and determined, then we stand a chance at saving the soul of our country.” -America Ferrera
“I’m not nasty like the combo of Trump and Pence being served up to me in my voting booth. I’m nasty like the battles my grandmothers fought to get me into that voting booth…We are here to be respected. We are here to be nasty!” -Nina Donovan interpreted by Ashley Judd
“We are the people. We have people power, and we will use it…This is the upside of the downside. This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age, it is deep in diversity, and remember: the constitution does not begin with “I the president”, it begins with “We the People.” So do not try to divide us…” -Gloria Steinem
The 4 things we need to do according to Michael Moore:
art, artist, beauty, Cara Reynolds, evolution, gay, growth, Happiness, lesbian, love, Maria Emilia Borja, Mensa, Mushpa, Mushpa Y Mensa, ocean, poetry, queer, self esteem, self respect, Soutrik Das, spirit, Tapiwa Mugabe, You are Oceanic
All she wanted was to find a place to stretch her bones.
A place to lengthen her smiles
and spread her hair
a place where her legs could walk without cutting and bruising
a place unchained.
She was born out of ocean breath.
I reminded her; ‘Stop pouring so much of yourself into hearts that have no room for themselves
do not thin yourself, be vast.
You do not bring the ocean to a river.’
– Tapiwa Mugabe, You are Oceanic
A grandmother imparting a life lesson to her grandson tells him, ‘I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is vengeful, fearful, envious, resentful, deceitful. The other wolf is loving, compassionate, generous, truthful, and serene.’ The grandson asks which wolf will win the fight. The grandmother answers, ‘The one I feed’ .
Yesterday I decided to clean out my e-mails, including my drafts and in doing so I came across this poem, “Reverie” my friend Michelle O’Sullivan, an amazing poet, wrote. This poem says so much to me as an artist. It inspires me. It’s beauty undefined.
The muse doesn’t tempt or ask,
she whispers lightly as she opens
the door, touches your earlobe,
the soft curve of your neck.
She doesn’t beckon or whinge
but takes your hand in hers,
sings low at the side of your face.
Everything, she says, bring everything.
– Michelle O’Sullivan
Michelle was one of the first people I ever let in my life for real, and we may live on other ends of the world now, I in New York City and her on the west coast of Ireland, but I have never lost my connection to her. She is my soul sister, before this life and in this life to the next. I am so proud of her publishing her poems in her new book, The Blue End of Stars, but not surprised.
I love you my friend, through thick and thin, always.
– Mushpa aka Cara