Saturday, 18 November 2017

Tanka Project #37: Enough

Sara at Mum Turned Mom is ending The Prompt.

I know. I'm gutted too.

But you know, all good things and all that, so here I am taking part in the last one, because I missed the first.

This tanka is inspired by Sara's prompt - ENOUGH - and by a conversation about endings and beginnings I had recently.

Perhaps for every ending there isn't a beginning, but there is space. That space can hurt sometimes, but it is a space for possibilities. I think. I might be wrong. Endings can hurt so much that it's difficult to notice the space, sometimes the space is covered in rubble, and it can take a long time to slowly, gently, clear it away.

I know Sara will find things to grow in the space The Prompt leaves, and I hope her ideas enjoy their space to bloom.

the last one!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Tanka Project #39: Purpose

This is inspired by a prompt from Sara at Mum Turned Mom. One that I almost missed, so it's appearing out of order - sorry!

The prompt was - PURPOSE - which made me think of all the things we use for something other than what they were made for and what a joyful thing that can be.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Tanka Project #36: Cindy Sherman

Time magazine brought out a great issue in September, with interviews with lots of successful women. One of them was Cindy Sherman, whose artwork I remember studying at university. A quote from her was highlighted on the page:

"Of course we're all feminists, right? We all want women to be seen as equals."
 Of course we are. I thought that was obvious. I mean, what's not to like about equality (barring my comments from yesterday)? But then I thought it was obvious that we Brits wouldn't be stupid enough to vote for Brexit and my own mother did, I thought it was obvious that America was about to get its first woman president, and Jeezo, let's not go there. 

For many and various reasons people go against their own interests all the time, so no, we're not all feminists...


Oh, and this is what a page from my notebook looks like (when I'm lucky enough to have things I can tear up and keep).

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Tanka Project #35: Equal

There is a school of thought that says that feminism is simply the belief in the equality of men and women. It sounds reasonable, but...

...we started from a position of patriarchy - men were in charge and they got to do the most valued things, women had to do the rest, and anything which women did was devalued either because it was devalued first and so women did it, OR (and this is really important) women did it and they were of less value in a patriarchal system (I mean this literally - men were people, women were property), therefore the thing done was less valued.

We are well on our way to breaking out of the patriarchal system now, barriers are being removed to women entering the roles that men traditionally did. We have lots of women in power. Most of those women are childless, and this is really important, because women's traditional roles in looking after people, raising children, all that nurturing stuff is still undervalued because of patriarchal hangovers. Until the value of this work is seen we cannot have equality, because women are still doing it, and men are only just starting.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Tanka Project #34: Dark

We drove home late the other night, and the moon was late rising, so it was really dark, and for once the Scottish sky wasn't full of clouds, so I could see the stars, and search for constellations, trying to remember just how they worked. All of this while my husband was driving so I had the luxury of just gazing up at the stars. It always makes me wonder who else is gazing up, and where they might be.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Tanka Project #33: Parkin

The best parkin I ever ate I ate in Haworth, where we used to go on the train because we would get these awesome train passes which let you go pretty much anywhere in the Yorkshire conurbation, and you could get as far as Haworth.

Haworth was really important to me as a teen because I wore clogs, Walkley's clogs, made to the shape of my feet and then sprayed silver with car spray, finished with metals to kick up the occasional spark, make a fantastic noise (a lot of noise, there's no creeping in clogs), and let you slide around corners in supermarkets. You can't walk in snow though. Sorry.

Haworth also had a fab occult supplies shop called Spooks, the Bronte parsonage, for all your cultural needs, the cute old fashioned chemists at the top of the hill for present buying, and some rather special cafe's.

As you've no doubt gathered, I grew up in Yorkshire, and the moors are where I feel at home, and we all know that Heathcliff lives on the moors (apart from when he disappeared). I spend a lot of time thinking about Heathcliff. He is ridiculously sexy despite being a very bad human. I don't do the bad-boy thing, I don't like to expect little of men, nor expect women to pander to them, yet still, I find Heathcliff sexy. Why?

Partly I think it's because women were for a long time not supposed to be sexual (which is odd when you think that in Victorian times that was the very part of their nature that they were supposed to repress), and so a man who would force himself upon her would remove her need to consent. That is obviously tied up in the whole abhorrent rape culture thing, but hey, it's culture, and at least if we can see it we can know it's abhorrent.

Heathcliff though. Betrayed by those who should have loved him, and taken away ostensibly to be cared for, but never to be as good as the others around him, not even to the woman he loved. No wonder he was furious.

Today is Fraggle's birthday. He wore clogs too. I've lost him now, but hope he has a happy birthday.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Tanka Project #30: Lost

Once a month I get to go to an amazing poetry group at the Glasgow Women's Library (which is also an amazing place). This is one of those things that you do and it feels like the universe has gift wrapped it just for you. I get to work with brilliant women and it is totally inspiring.

This month we were looking at a gorgeous poem by Dana Gioia, Nothing is Lost, which someone else has shared here. In it Dana imagines a coin once held by you as a child coming back to you as an adult, and the different ways that you'd understand it at the different times. There is a call there to pause and reflect on the little things and there is also a nod to the things that end up in pockets.

As a parent, pockets and bags can be filled with weird things, things that not only you chose for their shape or look or oddness, but other people's little hand-holdy things.

The other day I had a blue dinosaur in my pocket. It probably wasn't the one I had in my pocket in my childhood, pulled out from a cereal packet and squirrelled away. It probably wasn't the similar one in the Charlie and Lola story. But it had the same long neck, the same pleasing bumpiness to caress in the pocket.