May-June 2009 - Women's Press
2 Women’sPress Courtney’s Quill As spring lopes by and the weather toggles from cool to extremely warm, I can’t help but look forward to summer. While I have made it my goal to be present in the moment and to appreciate each day in its singularity, I long for lingering summer days and warm evenings. Perhaps it’s because I’m a teacher: the late nights I spend grading papers, the low pay, and the persistent term “budget cuts” looming around the halls gets erased the minute I submit my grades and bask in the knowledge that for two and a half months all I have to do is play with my kids, read for pleasure, and tend to my garden. So while I am trying to be present, I am also lost in my day dreams of a near future. But before summer comes my most cherished personal holiday, Mother’s Day. Maya Angelou once said, “A mother’s love liberates.” To me this sums up my ultimate goal as a mother. I want to liberate my children from hate, from unhealthy ego, from narcissistic desires, from…well, from all the worst the world can offer. And while this lofty goal is not completely possible, I do believe that it is somewhat attainable by trying to be a mother that is aware, lives with intent, and teaches forgiveness and humility. And as you can see from the amazing articles women submitted about mothers, my sentiment is shared by many. Women’s Press also would like to announce our official entrance into the world of online technology. Yes, Women’s Press has an updated and hip website. Please visit us at www.womenspress-slo.org. Furthermore, we are also twittering. Follow us at twitter.com/womens_ press. And finally, we have a Facebook page. Find us under our email and add us as your friend. Whew… are you still with me? I know this is a lot to take in, but I also know that by staying connected and in touch, we are much stronger and more vocal. How did we get so technologically savvy, you may be wondering? Well, it is not me. I must give overwhelming praise to our amazing intern, Cassandra Carlson. Cassie has been working with us for six months and has diligently put together our website and twitter account. Cassie, a journalist major at Cal Poly and feminist advocate, also helped build this issue, showing us a few things about content and design. I anticipate that Cassie will have a long and successful future ahead of her, and I can only hope to always be her friend. Finally, our next issue will have a special section focusing on creative women in celebration of Day of Creative Women (August 8, 2009 in Mission Plaza). Please send us your thoughts, articles, and ideas. Until the next time, thank you again for your continued support. Courtney MAILING ADDRESS: WO M E N’S PRE S S Women’s Community Center 880 Industrial Way San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805.544.9313 Managing Editor: Courtney Brogno firstname.lastname@example.org Layout & Design: Benjamin Lawless email@example.com Cassandra Carlson, Intern Photographer: Lynda Roeller Advertising Team: Beverly Cohen, Renee Sante, Kathleen Deragon & Benjamin Lawless Submissions Welcomed! Articles, essays, opinion pieces, letters, artwork, poetry wanted & appreciated. The Women’s Press reserves the right to edit all submissions for content, clarity & length. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-544-9313. The opinions expressed in the WO M E N’S PRE S S are those of the authors & do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Women’s Community Center. The Women’s Community Center does not necessarily endorse products or services advertised in the WO M E N’S PRE S S. Drum Circle Magic Part Six: ASHE By Francesca Bolognini Welcome back to the circle. Our adventures in rhythm have covered the universal to the personal, modes of instruction and experience, the heart and the vocabulary of drumming. We shall next explore how drumming affects our shared consciousness and by extension, our culture. The term “Ashe” is an African word, translating as “so be it”. Almost indefinable in our culture, it refers a state to being, completely in the moment, balanced mentally, physically, spiritually, and sexually, in touch with Divine energy which is seen as genderless, channeling both love and sensuality in a conscious, connected way. In this state, timing becomes perfect, the flow becomes intuitive, and the groove irresistible, healing, and transformational. Such connection requires surrender to the moment, without the crutches of analysis and critique as comfort zone. Focus must range to the center, embodying group consciousness. This is a pivotal time on our planet. We are in a unique position to affect the future of all life. To successfully heal serious environmental and social imbalances, it is imperative that women become empowered to bring the divine feminine principles back to a prominent position in collective consciousness. Values of nurturance, love, and sensuality are essential to both men and women. Men must have safe and enjoyable ways to express this energy as well. We, as women, however, have the advantage, in that this energy is natural to us. For those 6000 free copies distributed in SLO County. Subscriptions available. Beverly Engel Jeanie Greensfelder Judythe Guarnera Ali Hatcher Hilda Heifetz Charlene Huggins Laura Grace Judythe Guarena Evelyn Adams Barbara Atkinson Cassandra Carlson MaryAine Cherry Suzanne Delinger Kathleen Deragon Bailey Drechsler Anne Dunbar Cynthia Fatzinger Ani Garrick Angela Henderson Margaret Hennessy Jane Hill Susan Howe Contributors Volunteers who have been stifled, discouraged, traumatized, or prohibited, it is still just below the surface, and for the good of all, must be reconnected to our Souls. In her must read book on the history of drumming, When the Drummers Were Women, Priestess of the Drum and accomplished author Layne Redmond lays out an enlightening timeline. She illustrates in concise, inspiring prose and fabulous pictorial documentation, the progression of the ascent to the loss of our feminine focus in “civilized” culture through the gain of rhythmic sophistication and subsequent suppression in the service of war. This book is a real eye opener, explaining the importance of our rhythmic heritage and empowerment to the expression of feminine influence and creation of balance within societies and their interactions with others. To play in circle in a state of Ashe is to reach beyond the self. Often, when I feel exhausted with a certain rhythm, about to stop, one of the players or listeners will step up to dance. Once they begin, I feel I cannot stop because she just started, and so I play a bit longer. Subtly, because of surrender to the movement before me, I am swept up by a wave of renewal, entranced and carried far beyond my previous energy level and into the realm of the Sacred. That’s what I’m talking about. Going beyond the bounds of ego, where dancer, rhythm, and dance become one. So envision a balanced, peaceful world, and allow your sensual, rhythmic self to manifest. Until next time, keep the beat! Angie King Dianne Legro Heather Mendel Berta Parrish Adele Sommers Jill Turnbow Jacqueline Turner Andrea Zeller Roberta Youtan Kay Shirley Kirkes Mar Elizabeth McGregor Mary Norby Sonia Paz Baron-Vine Barbara Perry Anne Quinn Robin Rinzler Lynda Roeller Renee Sante Dawn Williams Tricia Wolanin Karen Wood Women’s Press | May & June 2009 | email@example.com ADVERTISING RATES F O R PUBLICATION-R E A D Y A D S: Business card: $50/one issue 4" x 5": $100/one issue Quarter page: $140/one issue Half page: $215/one issue Full page: $375/one issue Becoming part of the circle By Kathleen Deragon My mother is a party girl, and I figured she was also interested in what her “kookybird” daughter was doing when I told her I was going “drumming.” So recently when Mom flew up from LA for my brother’s 50th birthday celebration, I invited her to come to drumming with me. Initially, she refused, but curiosity and her desire for a good time won out and she came to Oak Haven Gardens and joined ten of us (ages 50-75) for an incredible session. Mom, 82, initially sat outside our circle, but she was invited to join in using some percussion instruments that are always available, such as tambourines and rattles. The beats of our 40-minute improv session soon were inescapable and Mom eventually was shaking and drumming along with the rest of us. She became part of our circle. If any of you readers are hesitant to join in because you have never drummed, heed this story. You, too, will find yourself part of our circle, keeping the beat, and having a grand time learning like the rest of us what it feels like to discover and express the rhythms we all possess. Join us for drumming! We have 100 names on our notification list and would like to see yours there, too. We drum every 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month. Contact us with your name, e-mail, and area of the county in which you live: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover Artist Ashley Wertheimer Our cover artist Ashley Wertheimer, is a art and design senior at Cal Poly, her piece ”Looking Up” was recently shown to the the public in the Cultivated Power senior work art show. Her painting takes a inferior view on nature as the viewer looks up the tree trunks almost looking to see the future. Her use of warm colors “Surrender” are used successfully as the picture exudes a perfect summer day for our May/June issue. In her free time Wertherimer enjoys full moon worshiping and loves to travel. WO M E N’S CO M M U N I T Y CENTER BO A R D Angie King, President Sonia Paz Baron-Vine Robin Rinzler $250/year (6 issues) $500/year (6 issues) $600/year (6 issues) $1075/year (6 issues) $1875/year (6 issues) Workshop Listings $35 an issue 3.5” x 2” logo $10 extra Business Profile: (Logo, Photo & 250 words) $149/Issue CO L O R AD S: AD D 25% AD DE S I G N/LA YO U T A VA I L A B L E A T A N A D D I T I O N A L C H A R G E PUBLICATION-R E A D Y D E F I N E D A S H I G H-R E S O L U T I O N (M I N I M U M 300 D P I) DIGITAL F I L E S IN O N E O F T H E FOLLOWING F O R M A T S : .T I F, .A I, .P S D, .P D F, .J P G, O R .E P S
May & June 2009 | www.womenspress-slo.org | Women’s Press LocalPerspectives: Mother’s Day 3 Mother’s Day The Lady I Called Mom By MaryAine Cherry Photo by Scott M. Liddell Editor’s note: Happy Mother’s Day! Though this holiday is often viewed as “hallmark-y,” many of our readers went beyond the obvious and sent us wonderful snippets of love and beauty. I think of mothers as not just women who have born children, but of women who have taught, helped, lead, and supported, and really have been the foundation for which all has been built upon. I also view the power of motherhood in nature, as exemplified by the name “Mother Nature.” More Than Just Hands By Natalie Mendoza While eating dinner at a prestigious restaurant, I noticed my mother fidgeting with her hands under the table. Discerning my curious facial expression, she quickly responded in a self-conscious tone, “I completely forgot to put lotion on. I don’t even want to show my hands.” My mother’s history of cleaning houses is visibly exposed through her ashy and wrinkled hands. With sympathy toward her concerns I responded, “Don’t be embarrassed. Your hands are the hands of a woman who has worked hard her entire life.” At that moment my mother’s hands stood out as a representation of someone who has physically struggled and fought to survive, a representation of someone who has suffered through backbreaking labor. My mom’s withered but sturdy hands represent who she is and the challenges she has gone through. Looking down at my own hands, with not a scratch to complain about, I felt I should be the one embarrassed. The toilsome work of my mother only made my placid lifestyle more obvious. Just like my mom’s hands, my hands have a story to tell about whom I am and what I do. My hands reflect my personality. My hands reveal the person I dedicate myself to being. I believe that hands are a direct and basic representation of individuality. Unlike my mother, I do not have a single scar on either of my hands. They are as smooth and well preserved as can be. This is due to my weakness in athleticism and my fear of taking part in risky activities. My preference lies in the leisure of placid diversion. The rush and challenge that athletes feel when playing sports is what I feel when I draw. The ability to be precise and to have stabilized control over my hands is what I have accomplished in order to establish this passion of mine. Although my hands do not have the ability to catch a victory pass in football, my hands are capable enough to create such a vivid image on paper. My hands are objects of my creative mind. I adorn and personalize all of my belongings, my hands being one of them. I add excitement to my life by painting my nails with crazy colors and unpredictable designs. Every new pattern satisfies my need for change; a new combination of bright colors expresses the liveliness of my emotions. I do not like to blend in and fit into what everybody else does. Decorating my hands so that they do not look like anybody else’s demonstrates my belief in individuality. Most importantly, my hands are the multi-functioning hands of a student. They have not been damaged by chemicals like my mother’s. My hands have not been exposed to dangerous conditions, causing them to age with unnatural rapidity. With the joined force of my signaling brain, my hands have adapted to typing and writing papers. I am able to work a calculator with the rapid movement of a couple of fingers. This ability is easily taken for granted by many, but in my perspective, is significantly valued through my belief. By means of careful observation, I have concluded that my hands are the simplest version of my personality at its entirety. They may not reveal such qualities that make my mother the wonderful person she is, but they reveal the qualities that make me unique as an individual. A simple belief in the meaning of hands carries valuable and revealing messages. I noticed when I would call home that Dad answered the phone now, and I didn’t hear Mom wanting to know who it was like she used to. I always talked to Mom and not so much to Dad. I thought the change was because Mom had a hard time hearing with the phone, but she was really just slipping away: when visiting conversations became misunderstood and lost any flow that took place when each person clearly heard the words. I moved back to SLO to be closer to my elderly parents, family, and grandson. I didn’t know what a short time I would have with my beloved Mother. She didn’t talk much, and when she did, it was often as if she was having a separate conversation. She seemed to be enjoying her own thoughts and company. I listened to her reflections on her past and was content to simply sit with her, holding her hand. She often told us we were miracles and special angels sent from God to bless her life. What a mom! I didn’t notice how thin she became because she often wore oversized clothes. When she became very ill, I realized how thin she was as I helped her dress one day. I believe her body was shutting down slowly; her organs were giving up life. As she sat on the couch, her mind drifted to happier times as she told me stories about my brothers and sisters. She said she was going home to her mother and father. They were waiting. I now understand when she started calmly talking that way that she was preparing to die. I miss having Mom cheer me on and tell me how life will work out. When I told her I was getting a divorce several years ago, she simply said, “you haven’t met the right person yet and someday you will.” I never imagined my mother would say something like that to me, not with the strict religious upbringing I had. Perhaps in her elder 89 years, she realized there was so much more to loving and listening. I felt so understood by her that day. After her death, Dad and I went through boxes stored in the garage and found saved school work, rewards, holiday cards, and drawings from our childhood. Five generations and 69 years of pictures were in albums. My mom was a housewife that obviously cherished her nine children and loved her family unconditionally. She saved bundles of letters that were written in the 40’s while Dad was in the Navy and kept mementos from all the places they lived during those early years. In her later years, Mom started painting watercolor nature scenes (all throughout her seventies), giving all of us original works by her. It’s never too late to learn something new. Love, respect, and willingness to try are the qualities Mom gave us, and she was an inspiring, well-loved, real lady. My spirit, like hers, is the strongest part of me and she showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I have to believe in myself like she believed in me. MaryAine Cherry is the founder of Return To JOY! Release, Inspire, Believe. Her website is www.return2joy.com My Mother By Lynne Levine My Mother, Rae Klion, was so ahead of her time in spirit and mind! Her unconditional love for me taught me how to love and her constant reminder that, as a young woman (I was only 24 when she died at 48) Photo by Preston I could be whatever I want to be, has been the guiding light in my life. Love, independence, and compassion were her legacy to me and my children (whom she did not live to know), and has spanned two generations of Mothers -- me and my daughters. Her teachings, by example, have indeed been the foundation of our lives as Mothers.