Today, I watched the first serious woman contender for the White House give her concession speech and throw her support behind the man who won. Hillary Clinton, looking good and sounding relaxed, gave a great speech endorsing Senator Obama for President and urging her supporters to work as hard for Senator Obama as they have for her.
(Scroll down for more pics.)
Well, this isn't exactly the party I'd planned, but I sure like the company.
(APPLAUSE) And I want to start today by saying how grateful I am to all of you, to everyone who poured your hearts and your hopes into this campaign, who drove for miles and lined the streets waving homemade signs, who scrimped and saved to raise money, who knocked on doors and made calls, who talked, sometimes argued with your friends and neighbors...
... who e-mailed and contributed online, who invested so much in our common enterprise, to the moms and dads who came to our events, who lifted their little girls and little boys on their shoulders and whispered in their ears, "See, you can be anything you want to be."
To the young people...
... like 13-year-old Anne Riddell (ph) from Mayfield, Ohio, who had been saving for two years to go to Disney World and decided to use her savings instead to travel to Pennsylvania with her mom and volunteer there, as well.
To the veterans, to the childhood friends, to New Yorkers and Arkansans...
... who traveled across the country, telling anyone who would listen why you supported me. And to all of those women in their 80s and their 90s...
... born before women could vote, who cast their votes for our campaign. I've told you before about Florence Stein (ph) of South Dakota who was 88 years old and insisted that her daughter bring an absentee ballot to her hospice bedside. Her daughter and a friend put an American flag behind her bed and helped her fill out the ballot.
She passed away soon after and, under state law, her ballot didn't count, but her daughter later told a reporter, "My dad's an ornery, old cowboy, and he didn't like it when he heard Mom's vote wouldn't be counted. I don't think he had voted in 20 years, but he voted in place of my mom."
So to all those who voted for me and to whom I pledged my utmost, my commitment to you and to the progress we seek is unyielding.
You have inspired and touched me with the stories of the joys and sorrows that make up the fabric of our lives. And you have humbled me with your commitment to our country. Eighteen million of you, from all walks of life...
... women and men, young and old, Latino and Asian, African- American and Caucasian...
... rich, poor, and middle-class, gay and straight, you have stood with me.
And I will continue to stand strong with you every time, every place, in every way that I can. The dreams we share are worth fighting for.
Remember, we fought for the single mom with the young daughter, juggling work and school, who told me, "I'm doing it all to better myself for her."
We fought for the woman who grabbed my hand and asked me, "What are you going to do to make sure I have health care?" and began to cry, because even though she works three jobs, she can't afford insurance.
We fought for the young man in the Marine Corps t-shirt who waited months for medical care and said, "Take care of my buddies over there, and then will you please take care of me?"
We fought for all those who've lost jobs and health care, who can't afford gas or groceries or college, who have felt invisible to their president these last seven years.
I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I've had every opportunity and blessing in my own life, and I want the same for all Americans.
And until that day comes, you'll always find me on the front lines of democracy, fighting for the future.
The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States.
Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him.
And I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me.
I have served in the Senate with him for four years. I have been in this campaign with him for 16 months. I have stood on the stage and gone toe-to-toe with him in 22 debates. I've had a front-row seat to his candidacy, and I have seen his strength and determination, his grace and his grit.
In his own life, Barack Obama has lived the American dream, as a community organizer, in the State Senate, as a United States senator. He has dedicated himself to ensuring the dream is realized. And in this campaign, he has inspired so many to become involved in the democratic process and invested in our common future.
Now, when I started this race, I intended to win back the White House and make sure we have a president who puts our country back on the path to peace, prosperity and progress. And that's exactly what we're going to do, by ensuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of the Oval Office on January 20, 2009.
Now, I understand -- I understand that we all know this has been a tough fight, but the Democratic Party is a family. And now it's time to restore the ties that bind us together and to come together around the ideals we share, the values we cherish, and the country we love.
We may have started on separate journeys, but today our paths have merged. And we're all heading toward the same destination, united and more ready than ever to win in November and to turn our country around, because so much is at stake.
We all want an economy that sustains the American dream, the opportunity to work hard and have that work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford that gas and those groceries, and still have a little left over at the end of the month, an economy that lifts all of our people and ensures that our prosperity is broadly distributed and shared.
We all want a health care system that is universal, high-quality and affordable...
... so that parents don't have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead-end jobs simply to keep their insurance.
This isn't just an issue for me. It is a passion and a cause, and it is a fight I will continue until every single American is insured, no exceptions and no excuses.
We all want an America defined by deep and meaningful equality, from civil rights to labor rights, from women's rights to gay rights...
... from ending discrimination to promoting unionization, to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families.
And we all want to restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, and once again lead by the power of our values...
... and to join with our allies to confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.
You know, I've been involved in politics and public life in one way or another for four decades. And during those...
During those 40 years, our country has voted 10 times for president. Democrats won only three of those times, and the man who won two of those elections is with us today.
We made tremendous progress during the '90s under a Democratic president, with a flourishing economy and our leadership for peace and security respected around the world.
Just think how much more progress we could have made over the past 40 years if we'd had a Democratic president. Think about the lost opportunities of these past seven years on the environment and the economy, on health care and civil rights, on education, foreign policy and the Supreme Court.
Imagine how far...
... we could have come, how much we could have achieved if we had just had a Democrat in the White House.
We cannot let this moment slip away. We have come too far and accomplished too much.
Now, the journey ahead will not be easy. Some will say we can't do it, that it's too hard, we're just not up to the task. But for as long as America has existed, it has been the American way to reject can't-do claims and to choose instead to stretch the boundaries of the possible through hard work, determination, and a pioneering spirit.
t is this belief, this optimism that Senator Obama and I share and that has inspired so many millions of our supporters to make their voices heard. So today I am standing with Senator Obama to say: Yes, we can!
And that together we will work -- we'll have to work hard to achieve universal health care. But on the day we live in an America where no child, no man, and no woman is without health insurance, we will live in a stronger America. That's why we need to help elect Barack Obama our president.
We'll have to work hard to get back to fiscal responsibility and a strong middle class. But on the day we live in an America whose middle class is thriving and growing again, where all Americans, no matter where they live or where their ancestors came from, can earn a decent living, we will live in a stronger America. And that is why we must help elect Barack Obama our president.
We'll have to work hard to foster the innovation that will make us energy independent and lift the threat of global warming from our children's future. But on the day we live in an America fueled by renewable energy, we will live in a stronger America. And that is why we have to help elect Barack Obama our president.
We'll have to work hard to bring our troops home from Iraq and get them the support they've earned by their service. But on the day we live in an America that's as loyal to our troops as they have been to us, we will live in a stronger America. And that is why we must help elect Barack Obama our president.
This election is a turning-point election. And it is critical that we all understand what our choice really is. Will we go forward together, or will we stall and slip backwards?
Now, think how much progress we've already made. When we first started, people everywhere asked the same questions. Could a woman really serve as commander-in-chief? Well, I think we answered that one.
Could an African-American really be our president? And Senator Obama has answered that one. (APPLAUSE)
Together, Senator Obama and I achieved milestones essential to our progress as a nation, part of our perpetual duty to form a more perfect union.
Now, on a personal note, when I was asked what it means to be a woman running for president, I always gave the same answer, that I was proud to be running as a woman, but I was running because I thought I'd be the best president. But...
But I am a woman and, like millions of women, I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious, and I want to build an America that respects and embraces the potential of every last one of us.
I ran as a daughter who benefited from opportunities my mother never dreamed of. I ran as a mother who worries about my daughter's future and a mother who wants to leave all children brighter tomorrows.
To build that future I see, we must make sure that women and men alike understand the struggles of their grandmothers and their mothers, and that women enjoy equal opportunities, equal pay, and equal respect.
Let us resolve and work toward achieving very simple propositions: There are no acceptable limits, and there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st century in our country.
You can be so proud that, from now on, it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary state victories...
... unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the president of the United States. And that is truly remarkable, my friends.
To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all of the way, especially the young people who put so much into this campaign, it would break my heart if, in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours.
Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on.
As we gather here today in this historic, magnificent building, the 50th woman to leave this Earth is orbiting overhead. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House.
Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it...
... and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.
That has always been the history of progress in America. Think of the suffragists who gathered at Seneca Falls in 1848 and those who kept fighting until women could cast their votes.
Think of the abolitionists who struggled and died to see the end of slavery. Think of the civil rights heroes and foot soldiers who marched, protested, and risked their lives to bring about the end of segregation and Jim Crow.
Because of them, I grew up taking for granted that women could vote and, because of them, my daughter grew up taking for granted that children of all colors could go to school together.
Because of them, Barack Obama and I could wage a hard-fought campaign for the Democratic nomination. Because of them and because of you, children today will grow up taking for granted that an African-American or a woman can, yes, become the president of the United States. And so...
... when that day arrives, and a woman takes the oath of office as our president, we will all stand taller, proud of the values of our nation, proud that every little girl can dream big and that her dreams can come true in America.
And all of you will know that, because of your passion and hard work, you helped pave the way for that day. So I want to say to my supporters: When you hear people saying or think to yourself, "If only, or, "What if," I say, please, don't go there. Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward.
Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next president.
And I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort.
To my supporters and colleagues in Congress, to the governors and mayors, elected officials who stood with me in good times and bad, thank you for your strength and leadership.
To my friends in our labor unions who stood strong every step of the way, I thank you and pledge my support to you.
To my friends from every stage of my life, your love and ongoing commitment sustained me every single day.
To my family, especially Bill and Chelsea and my mother, you mean the world to me, and I thank you for all you have done.
And to my extraordinary staff, volunteers and supporters...
... thank you for working those long, hard hours. Thank you for dropping everything, leaving work or school, traveling to places that you've never been, sometimes for months on end. And thanks to your families, as well, because your sacrifice was theirs, too. All of you were there for me every step of the way.
Now, being human, we are imperfect. That's why we need each other, to catch each other when we falter, to encourage each other when we lose heart. Some may lead, some may follow, but none of us can go it alone.
The changes we're working for are changes that we can only accomplish together. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights that belong to us as individuals. But our lives, our freedom, our happiness are best enjoyed, best protected, and best advanced when we do work together.
That is what we will do now, as we join forces with Senator Obama and his campaign. We will make history together, as we write the next chapter in America's story. We will stand united for the values we hold dear, for the vision of progress we share, and for the country we love.
There is nothing more American than that.
And looking out at you today, I have never felt so blessed. The challenges that I have faced in this campaign...
... are nothing compared to those that millions of Americans face every day in their own lives.
So today I'm going to count my blessings and keep on going. I'm going to keep doing what I was doing long before the cameras ever showed up and what I'll be doing long after they're gone: working to give every American the same opportunities I had and working to ensure that every child has the chance to grow up and achieve his or her God- given potential.
I will do it with a heart filled with gratitude, with a deep and abiding love for our country, and with nothing but optimism and confidence for the days ahead.
This is now our time to do all that we can to make sure that, in this election, we add another Democratic president to that very small list of the last 40 years and that we take back our country and once again move with progress and commitment to the future.
Thank you all. And God bless you, and God bless America.
Press from everywhere around the world, Holland, Japan, Russia, Fox (which Goddess knows is a foreign nation) were there, eager to talk to Hillary's supporters. I stood in line with a school teacher from Alexandria, married to a preacher, who told me about the great gingerbread workshops that the National Building Museum does every holiday season so I'd be able to bring G/Son, and with two gorgeous young women from Texas who just arrived in DC this week for interships.
At the entrance, Hillary's staffers were getting people to take off any buttons that said anything about Hillary for president. Luckily, the one that I wore just showed her graduation picture from Wellesly, so they let me in with it.
Inside, I got a spot directly on the rope line next the entrance. I stood next to a woman with Parkinson's who regretted the lost 8 years of stem cell research that Bush has cost us. Her friend kept saying, "You'll be sick all month from standing this long," and she kept saying, "I know. But it's worth it." Turns out, both of our dads worked in the union movement, hers organizing textile mills in Alabama and mine writing speeches for the Teamsters. A wonderful young man who just finished his first year of law school at Howard was standing and chatting with us as we waited.
Noted notables: Barbara Mikulski, Billie Jean King, Ted Danson, Chuck Schumer, Sheila Jackson Lee.
When the curtains opened, I grabbed Hil's hand and sent all the energy that this old witch knows how to send, Hil's eyes opened wide and she was on to the next person. I shook hands with Bill and touched fingers with Chelsea. Wow, is that young woman gorgeous.
I thought that her speech was pitch perfect. It was inspiring and focused and very supportive of Senator Obama. The loudest cheers were for her mention of the Supreme Court: Think about the lost opportunities of these past seven years on the environment and the economy, on health care and civil rights, on education, foreign policy and the Supreme Court. She knows her audience.
Sat and chatted afterwards with a lovely African American woman my age who was there to register DC voters. And, you know, that's how it happens. We old broads keep showing up. In the heat. Through the disappointment. Whenever there's a chance. Of everybody there today, she may have been doing the most concrete good, after Hillary Clinton who went a long, long way towards uniting the Democratic Party.
Out into the bright sunlight and oppressive heat and humidity that remind you that they truly did build this lovely city on top of swamp. And there were the Obama folks doing a v brisk business selling Obama buttons and t-shirts. And, even that was pitch perfect, as they'd waited to set up until after Hillary's concession. Obama has a lovely page up on his website that lets you send a message of support for Hillary. All class.
So, my dream of seeing a woman in the White House, well, that's a dream deferred. But, you know, Lagston Hughes was wrong when he said:
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
Sometimes, it just makes you more determined to see your dream become reality. But for now, it's time to do what we can to keep John McCain out of the White House, That's what I'm going to do and, like Hillary Clinton, I will do it with a heart filled with gratitude, with a deep and abiding love for our country, and with nothing but optimism and confidence for the days ahead.
Hillary Clinton, thank you. May the Goddess guard and bless you.
Back from Hillary's speech, wiped from the heat and from standing for hours. Have a zillion photos to upload and sort through. Will blog it by this evening.
Driving home, I saw the picture I wished I could have gotten: a souvenir store with those life size standing photos of candidates. Hil and Obama were posed standing right next to each other. McCain was all alone. Line of tourists waiting to have their photos taken w/ Hil and Obama. No one taking their pics w McCain.
"We're going to try to reach out to all her supporters and tell them that we want to unify the party," Obama told reporters. He recounted his comments to the St. Paul group: "I understood that they were as inspired by her candidacy as some of my supporters are inspired by mine. They're not alone in drawing inspiration from her campaign. My own daughters now take the possibility of a woman being president for granted."
Yeah, What Melissa Said. Although I expect it to do zero good right now. Too much macho celebrating going on. And, we're smack dab in the middle of a retrograde Mercury, which, doesn't, you know, help.
To which, I'll just add that the oppressors don't get to determine which behavior/language/actions are oppressive. I'm a white woman and that means that I don't get to tell African Americans, "Oh, hell, that's not racist! Grow the fuck up!" If they tell me that my behavior wounds them, there's a 99.95% chance that my behavior is racist, even if I didn't "mean" it as racist and even if I'm "sorry if they got offended."
The same is true of sexism. When you have a whole hell of a lot of female bloggers saying that this campaign has been full of wounding, sexist behavior and comments -- when even today, I was told that Clinton's supporters just need to go see Sex and the City, have a cosmo, buy shoes, and see Chippendales, but when I mentioned the sexist nature of the comments was told that all I had was a hammer so everything looked to me like a nail -- then, you need to listen and consider, in the bowels of the Goddess, that you may be wrong. Your behavior/comments are very likely sexist. And continuing to repeat them won't do anything to help us all unite -- as we need to -- behind the historic opportunity to elect America's first African American president.
What Susie Said About What Melissa Said, but you know what? This is a good thing. It's been too easy for too long for those of us crones who've, bloody but unbowed, achieved some measure of success and financial comfort and respect, and for those of us maidens and mothers who've been able to pretend that the guys OUR age didn't really think like that, to dream that we weren't living inside the patriarchy. We always were. We always were. We always were.
And if this race has done nothing else, it's reminded us that we wake up every morning in a sexist society, that the liberal blogs where we hang out are sexist, that our male colleagues are sexist, that even a lot of our female friends are sexist. One of the dearest people in the whole world to me said recently that, at least with Clinton's defeat, the misogyny of liberal males would go away. And I had to say, "No, it will just go back underground." If we let it. And I'd rather fight it above ground, in the open, with room to manoeuvre and space for sunlight to expose it.
None of us are in this for the short haul. We need to undermine the patriarchy every chance we get. And we get a lot of chances.
Light posting, as I'm hammered at work and with the garden and have a Dark Moon ritual tonight.
But I was discussing the racism/sexism/generational thing this weekend with the brilliant and beautiful Athenae from First Draft and I've been e-mailing back and forth this morning with my dear friend E., who's noted that apparently today is: Whine About Racism Demonstrated by Democrats Who Refused to Vote for Obama Day. As E. wrote: "But where's the goddamn mea culpa from all the media, LIBERAL and conservative, about how their overt sexism torpedoed Clinton's campaign? Oh wait - I forgot. The one truly revealing thing we learned in this primary season is that, while overt racism is no longer OK in the US (a good thing), overt sexism is still A-OK, no matter what your political persuasion. How silly of me to expect recognition of that!" It's been interesting to me to watch how many young, white, male bloggers have dumped on Clinton for superficial stuff, even criticizing her when she's done things we've complained for years that the Democrats were unwilling to do, such as scalping the media for bullshit attacks on her daughter or insisting that we should let everyone vote and count every vote (not to mention watching the men complaining that the announcers on her ads sounded "too much like announcers" or that her failure to seriously contest DC (which has few delegates and which she was never going to win) indicated serious problems with her campaign, but voicing no such concerns when Obama wrote off states such as West Virginia). As I said to Athenae, at some point, one begins to perceive an underlying organizing principle behind the behavior. Surprise! A lot of liberal men (who likely consider themselves feminists) are sexists. And I think that's, in part, what's got E., and me, and a lot of other women pissed off. (And a lot of liberal women who don't consider themselves racist are, surprise!, racists. I'm looking at you, Geraldine.)
You can't live in this society and not be tainted by both racism and sexism. That goes for women and African Americans as well as privileged white men who imagine themselves free of any such notions. You can try, you can be self-aware, you can learn, but you can't live in this culture and not carry the taint. And you can't live in this society and not carry those taints because racism and sexism are both malignant symptoms of the same disease: Patriarchy. In the Patriarchy, Power Over is everything. In order to exercise Power Over, one must consistently create new "others" over whom the privileged members of the Patriarchy can exercise power. African Americans and women have been prime targets, but so have gays, lesbians, immigrants, young people, old people, etc. And the Patriarchy prospers when, for example, women and African Americans fight with each other over the tiny piece of the pie that they perceive is available to maybe one, but not more than one, underprivileged group. Arguments about which group has suffered more at the hands of the Patriarchy strike me as pointless. The goal seems to be to rank groups by who has suffered more so that the most harmed group can get first crack at all of the (again, perceived) few crumbs of power that the patriarchs are willing to toss towards the "others." Ranking, in and of itself, is almost always a tool of the Patriarchy.
What's needed, IMHO, is to stop letting Patriarchy define the terms, the concepts, the frame of the debate. Early on, Clinton and Obama could (and, I think, should) have quit playing the winner-takes-all game that Patriarchy wants us to play and figured out ways to co-president or co-govern that would have been good for all of us. They still could. Whichever candidate you support, one thing is clear: almost half of the Democrats supported the other candidate. And yet, in what could and should have been an historic and happy time for both women and African Americans, the Patriarchy has prevailed and, regardless of whether the nominee is Obama or Clinton, one large contingent of Democrats will walk away angry and hurt.
Obama supporters tell me that one thing that they really like about him is his emphasis on change and on a new kind of politics. Those are vague terms to me and I'm not sure what he means by them. He'll have a chance, over the next few months, to put some meat on those bones, to show America what those words really mean. I'd like to think that he'll find serious ways (and I don't mean just a nice speech or a few appointments) to reach out to women. I'd like to think that, in whatever role she plays, Clinton will find ways to repair her heretofore stellar relations with African Americans.
Because we both lose as long as the Patriarchy has us angry at each other.
If your life is anything like mine, there are periods when things seem worried, tense, full of obstacles, and, then, there are periods when everything is simply unimaginably sweet. I've always shorthanded this phenom in my own mind with a saying from one of the Dune books: Some days, it's melange. Some days, bitter spice. Lately, I've definitely been in one of my melange stages. (Don't worry; this is usually how the universe presages a whack upside the head. Another of my favorite lines, this time from the movie Out of Africa: Isak Dinesen's farm burns to the ground. The next day, she's walking with an old friend through the smoldering ruins. Friend: What happened? Dinesen: I had the best coffee harvest of my life. And, then, God remembered.)
Yesterday, I got to spend the day with G/Son. I try, I do, not to turn this blog into Old Woman Tells Everyone How Cute Her Grandson Is. I am not always successful.
We had a v serious thunderstorm with pounding rain and, since I love thunderstorms, G/Son and I went out onto my screen porch to watch the rain. Lightening struck my next door neighbor's pond and the thunder was so sudden and so loud that it startled Nonna and G/Son. We went inside for a minute, and G/Son said: That loud thunder scared me! The one thing that I don't want is for him to be afraid of storms, and the other thing that I don't want is for him to be unable to talk about his fears, so I said: Me, too. That thunder was so close and so loud that it scared me, too. Mostly, I was just startled, but, also, I was a little bit afraid. Let's go outside and yell at the thunder! (Goddess knows, it's been the overriding occupation of my days, yelling into thunderstorms. Really. In more ways than one.)
So, we did. We went back onto the porch and we both yelled as loud as we possibly could at the thunder. (We can yell pretty loud.) G/Son told the thunder: Don' do dat! Be nice! Be loud, but not so loud! No scaring G/Son and Nonna, thunder! Nonna yelled: I can be louder than you, thunder! You can't scare me off my own screen porch! Don' do dat! Soon, you'll be gone and G/Son and Nonna will be dancing in the puddles, you loud thunder! Back off!
Soon, the thunder was gone. We took off our Crocks and our flip-flops and we went outside barefoot in Nonna's yard. The grass was cool and wet and soft and it tickled our toes. I told G/Son about how you can grock that grass loves to be walked on. Rain was still dripping off the lilac bush and beech tree when we walked under them. There was a stream of water running down Nonna's street into the storm drain that goes to the holy Chesapeake Bay. We splashed in the stream and sent little blessings on leaves from us to the Chesapeake Bay. Here, Chesapeake Bay, this is to say that we love you. Here, Chesapeake Bay, this leaf is to tell you that we hope you get better soon from the pollution. Here, Chesapeake Bay, this is to tell you how much fun we are having splashing in the water that will be a part of you! Those leaves floated like little boats and we talked about Viking funerals and sending blessings into the West, which, not too surprisingly, is the direction that the little stream always flows. There were some birds splashing their feet in the water, too, just like G/Son and Nonna, and we pretended that we were birds and could splash in the water and then fly into the oak trees.
This morning, there was no sign of rain. It was a perfect, lazy, Sunday morning in June on Nonna's porch with the pink and deep purple roses blooming in mad profusion just outside the porch and the mint and thyme smelling wonderful under the bright sun. We sat under the lazy ceiling fan, and we ate waffles with strawberry jam and we drank ice water from paper cups with Elmo on them. We read Stellaluna and The Coyote That Swallowed a Flea and G/Son petted Miss Thing (gently!) and fed her kitty treats, exclaiming in pure delight with each one: She's eating it! G/Son swung his feet from the big chair on my porch and we listened to the birds singing in the trees and tried to guess what the birds were saying.
If it gets any better than this, I would be unlikely to be able to stand it. We witches say that What Is Remembered Lives. At two, G/Son's a little young to remember this morning. But if he ever, as an old man, gets a whiff of strawberry jam and roses on a Sunday morning in June and has a moment when he feels safe and comfortable and at peace, I will not die. And, regardless, sweet, sweet mornings like this one can make up for a lot of bitter spice.
Ladies! Listen up! Catching breast cancer early is the key to surviving it! Breast Self Exams (BSEs) can help you to detect breast cancer in its earlier stages. So, on the first of every month, give yourself a breast self-exam. It's easy to do. Here's how. If you prefer to do your BSE at a particular time in your cycle, calendar it now. But, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
And, once a year, get yourself a mammogram. Mammograms cost between $150 and $300. If you have to take a temp job one weekend a year, if you have to sell something on e-Bay, if you have to go cash in all the change in various jars all over the house, if you have to work the holiday season wrapping gifts at Macy's, for the love of the Goddess, please go get a mammogram once a year.
Or: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pays all or some of the cost of breast cancer screening services through its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program provides mammograms and breast exams by a health professional to low-income, underinsured, and underserved women in all 50 states, six U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and 14 American Indian/Alaska Native organizations. For more information, contact your state health department or call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER.
Send me an email after you get your mammogram and I will do an annual free tarot reading for you. Just, please, examine your own breasts once a month and get your sweet, round ass to a mammogram once a year.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."