We have chosen each other
and the edge of each others’ battles
the war is the same
if we lose
someday women’s blood will congeal
upon a dead planet
if we win
there is no telling
we seek beyond history
for a new and more possible meeting
Unpublished Poem - Audre Lorde
Never take fire from a woman, wrote Audre Lorde. Yet, many of us feel we are without fire, or are lone flames in what can seem like an insurmountable darkness, an impenetrable forest. Yet, even the forest knows fire can be a force for change rather than destruction.
The forest fire, built from a billion flames tears down what there was, leaving clear open space for something new to grow as a product of the whole forest. The forest fire dismantles the old dry wood and reinvests it into a clearing of the new, with limitless potential. What does that clearing look like 5, 10, 15 years later? The forest falls victim to decay if it does not change and grow.
So it is with us too.
Audre Lorde also wrote “When I Dare to be Powerful” and we must dare, because that is how we will be heard, not through dreaming but through daring.
We are seeing the start of a wave of change, the Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements are casting light on the misdeeds and misbehaviour of institutions and those with power within them. Each action they take inspires more of us to add our voices, our experiences, to the cause. Daring to speak our truths, speaking powerfully about our experiences, daring to go against the status quo, activating our personal power through the simplicity of our truths.
Until one day, we create change, and that change allows growth for everyone.
True, change can be painful. So too can growth. Is it better to endure the pains of growth and change than to wallow in stagnation, living out a role defined for you on the basis of something you had no control over such as your age, your skin colour or your sexuality?
Yes, because everyone gains.
There is no change only for us, only change for everyone.
Everything that has a beginning, has an end. Suffrage and struggles do not last forever, they will end, but only if we act, only if we grow and inspire change, if we act together and turn our flames into a fire.
Which can only happen if we dare to be powerful.
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