Just One Millionth of an Inch

To become a feminist was a difficult decision for me. I made the decision in nineteen seventy-three out of necessity.
It was difficult because I did not like women, I never have, for numerous very good reasons.

Nineteen seventy-three was the year of my divorce.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that divorce is easy.
At that time it was however, better than marriage.
Still, I did not like women and my dislike grew. This dislike began with my mother.

We are programmed for change, often thought of as the hardest of life’s tasks.
We hear it all the time: “People don’t change. They can’t, change is too difficult.”
And then you will hear: “The older you are the more difficult it is to change.”
In summary it is to be believed that: “I am a feminist who doesn’t like women and who cannot change.”

This is all wrong. Anyone can change, anyone can shape-shift.
We only need willingness, the willingness to change.
But let me say that it is harder at sixty-five to change than it was at twenty-seven, really, truly.
Willingness is the key – which means that it is also the key to happiness.

Be willing to move over just one millionth of an inch.
Be willing to see life from a different place. Change your focus just one millionth of an inch.
One millionth of an inch to the right or left or up or down, change your view just one millionth of an inch from the place in which you are accustomed to viewing.

Today I see women differently. Today started nine days ago. I have long known that “women hold up half the sky.”
I just didn’t want to hold it up with them. But old ladies are different.
Old ladies can wear purple with confidence.
Old women actually do “hold up half the sky.” Whereas too many young women are crushed as “half the sky” weighs them down.
Today wearing purple I too can say that I hold up half the sky.
I have been welcomed into the sisterhood of women at last.

© Liz Rice-Sosne September 2012

Shared on OpenLinkNight at dVerse Poet’s Pub with gratitude.

This poem is dedicated to Sherry, Jeannie, Jamie, Becca, Sherrill, Brian and Karen. They are steadfast, loyal, constant, good poets and important to me. Oh, Sherrill may or may not be a poet. She is a friend from Facebook.

International Women’s Day … Occupy Blogoshere

During the News Hour last evening we listened to a piece on the horrors of living in The Democratic Republic of Congo, for women. This story is for me not new and one of the saddest upon earth. The women of Congo have been caught in the middle of a decades old war over the rich resources and precious minerals beneath ground. These women are systematically raped, murdered and tortured as tools of war. There is a long history of kidnaping children in Congo and inducting them into armies. This is because children have no fear and no conscience and are therefore willing participants. Children soldiers turn into the men who commit these acts against women with absolutely no conscience. As a result this is a country filled with sociopathic men. Last night’s piece was about a physician and his wife who started Heal Africa. Heal is an acronym related to their work of rescuing and healing the women who have been the victims of these atrocities.

I have always known how lucky I have been being married to David. He said something last night during the News Hour story that he has said many time in the past. Precisely he said to me: “I know I have said this before but I will say it again and again; if you gave your foreign aid to the women of this world instead of the men, governments or agencies, many if not most of the problems that exist in the world today would cease to exist. Hunger, war, poverty and inequality would greatly decrease if not disappear all together. To that end on International Women’s Day I write this haiku.

Credit here.

peace in each magnolia blossom held by woman