I put this song up earlier last week, but then left it because I couldn’t think of a thing to say in response to it, let alone write anything coherent in relationship to it. Actually I think I was hoping that by going through the actions of posting, I would somehow find the impetus to begin. Didn’t work, obviously.
So what is really blowing in the wind, other than my disconnected thoughts? And when I say disconnected, what do I really mean? Perhaps more like awash, at sea in the midst of a storm?
No land in sight and certainly nothing to hang onto. Yet, water is a symbol of life, ever moving, hoping to evolve, to become. But, become what? If this were a dream image it might mean that all hope is gone. I refuse that thought. I’m still breathing. How does that make a difference? Does it make a difference?
This is a photo I took in my sister’s backyard, several years ago. It has always spoken to me of individuality and personal power. Those things seem so far away from my grasp, at the moment. Although still beautiful to my eyes, it speaks far more strongly of fragility at the moment. An already brief existence dictated by the whims of nature. Yes, it is forever pictured here for as long as the photo lasts, but how long does that mean?
The big question here, is when and how did I become so aware of my own fragility? When did I decide to withdraw quietly and become a stilled life? I’m not sure. The world around me has altered in so many ways that I often feel exhausted by the mere thought of going out into it. But, I think the real tipping point was an article I read about a judge, who with the full power of his position actually tried to rewrite criminal law into his own preferred view point.
I am an abuse survivor, but I am first a woman. I know that I learned very young that the world I live in is not kind to women. Have spent over half of my existence trying to help others find their way out of that reality. Knowing also, that yes, to some extent we can, but only to a certain extent. We must also never let down our guard, must also be constantly aware that we are prey. Especially sexual prey.
I think I began to recede when a self-defined sexual predator was elected to the highest office in our country. His excuse? “It was just locker room talk.” Yet, there are 23 women who have claimed to be his victims. His response, “It’s all lies, fabrications, bids for attention and to make money, and besides, ‘she’s not my type’.
So perhaps, it shouldn’t come as a shock that some male judge would take it upon himself, under these new parameters, to redefine the act of rape as something else? That a sixteen year-old boy shouldn’t be tried as an adult, because he comes from a good family, gets better than good grades, and will probably be accepted into a better than good college? That the teen-aged girl victim hadn’t been properly counseled about how her attempt to seek justice might ruin this young man’s life? That she and her family were misguided in bringing these charges against him? Furthermore, that his videotaping of the rape was not just filmed, but that he invited his buddies to come along and further abuse her leaving bruises and welts on her body, and then posting the video online, and bragging about how his first sexual encounter was a rape, was no more than the foolish bravado of a foolish young kid who had no real idea of what he was doing? And that after all, the only thing that was lost was her virginity?
Yes, I know the judge has been called on the carpet for his actions. But does anyone really believe he is a somehow demented singularity? That the result of our own choices haven’t created the atmosphere in which he, and we, now exist? How much more time must pass before women are no longer left blowing in the wind?