I've been in a people-watching kind of place lately. Maybe it's the cold turn in the weather, but I've been keeping more to myself, and instead, paying attention to the way people are talking to each other and to the stories people tell.
Yesterday I went to my friend Rose's funeral. I had written this poem in the light of her death, although of course, at her funeral it was her poems that were shared, and I was so glad about that, because I'd feared I'd never hear them again, and worse, that I'd already heard them for the last time and didn't know when that was.
I heard so many stories of the inspiration and encouragement that Rose gave to people. I can only hope to emulate that. I will try. I am very glad that her light was not dimmed at the end, but went out swiftly, so we all got to remember her as the vibrant, exciting woman she was.
On Monday I went to my Writing Group's AGM which was busy, with a packed agenda, and I was fascinated to see that the men kept getting heard more than the women. Not because of any badness on anyone's part, just because the men were more willing to expect others to listen to them, while the women would often apologise to the men who interrupted them and give the floor to them. Gender socialisation has a lot to answer for, and I'm not going to pretend that it's not still going on, but I think that noticing this stuff is powerful.
We, none of us, should apologise for letting our voices be heard, but at the same time, we must let all the voices be heard. It's a big issue for me as a woman, as a fat person - taking up space which I often want to apologise for - and especially as a mother. I have to set a good example, I have to challenge the way we think, and help my children to be strong.
And the weather is horrible...
So rather than think this all over on a walk, I tried to render it into a sonnet. I can't think of a name for it so I'll call it...
I hold positions of authority.
I am a mother, and a writer too:
Both jobs undervalued financially,
and yet the two create the world anew.
I've watched respected men and how they speak:
their confidence in their place in the world.
They take up space, talk loud, they are not meek:
point out their gifts without a troubled word.
I too, I see, am worthy of respect.
My motherly duty is to be strong:
to share successes; change I may affect;
to guide my children in what's right, what wrong.
And I'm not only good enough, but I
continue getting better all the time.
© Cara L McKee 28/4/16
I'm linking this up with the Prose for Thought linky. You'll find lots of other interesting posts there too.