When the Dali Lama said that the “the world will be saved by the western woman” I felt him, or someone working on his behalf, tap my shoulder. I am a western woman. I am an able bodied participant in life, willing to offer my energy to save the world. But where to begin?
“Secure your own mask first before helping others.”
Okay. Who the heck am I?
I am a writer. I am an artist. And I am a teacher. I make a ton of stuff with my hands. I travel to teach what I teach to places like the International Women’s Writing Guild, to the Ramsdell Public Library in Housatonic, MA, and to Gyurmi, Armenia where on Rustavelli Street I live in a thick walled old stone building. I am a gardener and I love to preserve the harvest, quince, blackberries, or plums.
One thing I should tell you now:
At this moment I wear a heather brown Irish wool cabled cardigan sweater that used to belong to Crispina’s mom, Primm. I knew Primm before I knew Crispina.
When my husband and I first moved to the Berkshires, we had a 2-year-old son. I had left my career as a theatre artist in New York City. One year in, we had a new daughter, much welcomed after a miscarriage. My husband worked from home, in his office in the living room that had doors, which closed. I was lonely beyond measure. I taught myself to knit as a tool for comfort the winter before our daughter was born.
When my girl was a few months old, I saw in the Shopper’s Guide, our free local paper that lists events and stuff for sale, a notice about a new knitting circle forming at a local yoga studio. “All levels welcome.” So, I hauled my baby in her carrier to my first-ever knitting circle while her big brother was at a playgroup.
I stayed with that circle for 14 years.
Crispina’s mom, Primm, was part of that knitting circle. She became a beloved elder to me. She taught and teased and welcomed my family and me in to her life and the wild, colorful cast of characters that were her family. Among them was Crispina, to whom I felt kin. Our mutual passion for fiber, for community, for peace, for plants, for family, and for seeking solutions, has kept us webbed ever since. Though she circulates in North County and me in the South, I am happy when we intersect, which is never as often as our busy lives allow.
Cripsina is why I am here. She is part of something that became a solution for me, a way of being that allowed me to feel related to others in a community in which I knew no one but my Ob-Gyn. So, while we don’t share meals, or knit together as I used to do with her mom, we are connected.
And when someone in my web puts out a call, like she did for the Future is Female, I answer.
I look forward to being here with you all.
This is my introduction post.
I am a woman who lives by connection, who works with her hands, and who loves to show up.
Now I turn it over to you–who are the people in your life to whom you feel related?
And how do you show up when they put out a call?
Sometimes those calls are small–“can you pick me up at the bus stop?” or bigger, “My babysitter just cancelled and I have to go to this meeting. Can I drop the kids off at your place for the night?” or bigger still, “We are doing our will and wonder if you’d consider being guardians for the kids.”
To me, one of the holiest things you can do is show up for another person.
Next week, I will tell you more about my mission and what the Dali Lama’s statement means for me. Til then, leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.
Til next Monday,