What Mama Told Me

winter occupation full moon
I awoke one night to a bright light illuminating the tipi. My first thought was that the police had arrived for their nightly visit and body count. as I opened my eyes what I saw instead was the clear bluish orb of a full moon smiling down on my face, peeking through the smoke hole like a playful friend.
“The woman in the moon looked down from the moon
and sang her beautiful song
‘’tis time for all women on earth to know that they are strong.”
My mother wrote this adaptation of the classic nursery rhyme and it is triggered every month when Moon reaches her fullest smiling down on us like an indulgent and loving mother. The face of the moon really does bear a feminine countenance, in my eyes, rather than the often quoted Man in the Moon we hear of as  children. The rhyme is found in the classic all well known Mother Goose collection of poetry and rhyme. I was fortunate to have a mother who dared to challenge the linear patriarchal presentation of these tales and who taught me, as a young girl, to do the same.
On this night, as most nights, I was the only woman spending the night at the Occupy camp. It has taken me a while to notice this phenomenon. After all I tend to relate to people as people unless something draws my attention to an inequality or blatant discrimination. Recently as if by a subtle nudge from Spirit, the question of womens’ roles in the Occupy Movement or Process has been shining it’s light here and there, much like Mama Moon on that cold winter night. As she made her nightly journey across the heavens her appearance through the opening in the tipi was brief, but undeniable. “Wake up wake up”, she said, her smile mischeviously daring me to look, to think and to speak (or write) the Truth.
In the days that followed there She was again, as male Occupiers celebrated the “freedom” granted to women to prance topless at Occupy Wall Street. “Boobies” gets a thousand hits on twitter”. “whattya think of that?” She whispers. And I am reminded of the time my mother scoffed at the news coverage of women burning their bras over a garbage can as the flames danced within (they were steel in those days). “They’re missing the whole point” my Mother said sadly, as the women joyously yet bashfully dropped their lacy symbols of patriarchy into the flames, much to the delight of male onlookers.
 Or the day when two Union reps, both men, came to visit the site, introduced themselves to everyone with a hand shake. Everyone, but me and the Schizophrenic Homeless man. “Speak up” Mama whispered in my ear.  When I introduced myself, I was greeted with a slight nod of the head, a non-verbal, “ma’am”. Mama Moon shakes her head in wonder, where would these Union guys be without the support of their “Sisters” wives and Mothers.
 When I read the article posted by an out of state occupier, again male, who  visited the camp and interviewed us, Mama Moon was reading over my shoulder. The article mentioned or quoted everyone but me and, again, the schizophrenic homeless man. “He” (the Schizophrenic) “knows my language”, She whispers, “why do you think they call it Looney?” He has spoken great words of wisdom and beauty when his rapidly evolving mind allows for moments of clarity and peace, maybe he’s more like one of us. Brilliant, but frequently invisible.
I am beginning to feel invisible. I wonder, if I’d flung off my shirt and hurled my camisole into the campfire (I rarely wear a bra thanks to the women of the 60’s and a genetic disposition for small breasts)  if I would have received some sort of honorable mention.

© 2010-2012 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard
Moon Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy, http://www.graphicsfairy-diy.com/

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About nanakoosa

Me...I am a trained Advocate and Counselor with 20 years experience working with Youth and Families. My most recent employment brought me to the field of Domestic and Sexual Violence Counseling and support. I myself am a Survivor of violence and have been on both side of the service desk, which provides for a unique, often conflicting, theoretical orientation. I am a regular blogger, journal keeper and story teller. My current focus is to give voice to the experiences of survivors, to shine some light in the dark corners of family life where all the spiders and creepy things hide. I also enjoy writing about my unconventional childhood in the tumultuous 60's and am dabbling in memoir writing. I have three wonderful children, two fabulous granddaughters and an assortment of pets. View all posts by nanakoosa

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