Wednesday, 31 August 2011

In the Spirit of Feminism - Sunday Features 21/08/2011

The Feminist Spirit is about more than equal rights for women. Whilst it embodies equality for all, it also encompasses every facet of woman’s walk through an ever-shifting world. No matter what season she is traversing, how she views this world and how she coexists in it are what connect her to the Spirit of Feminism.
The works that come into Pink Panther Magazine are full of soul and testimony. These are our stories, for better or worse and in every illness and moment of health they will follow us well beyond the grave. Each image, metrical line and offbeat confession is a direct reflection of the issues that make us the multifaceted women we are. How each woman sees the world is as important as how each woman manages to live within this oppressive humanity. These are the memorials of woman’s spiritual journey.
This week’s feature collection highlights just a few (of many) selections that celebrate the endless areas of woman’s journey.
The cherry blossom has symbolic significance in many cultures and stems of mythology. Power, feminine beauty, a celebration of feminine sexuality, and renewal (of life), are all at the forefront of the blossom’s symbolism.

the cherry tree © by Catrin Welz-Stein

The Liberty Bell is another symbolic phenomena. There is celebration of freedom in the mere mention of this bell ringing to life.

The Bell Has Rung © by ClaireJane
To the music of the soul there is only one conductor, as the arrow of truth silences the liar, in love, the broken spirit of indifference is defied, overcome, call the stars divine and hold every living thing closer, pull multi-colored threads through a silver needle from the brightness of every new rainbow, the future, to have and to hold, to buoy again the sunken spirit, soothe the brow of disappointment, caress the long-neglected psyche, fill the aching heart. Leave the torment, the torture of never knowing behind. The spirit can never be emptied of what it has already earned, the full measure of promise, shared until the warmth is felt in every cell, every frozen vein, every aching bone and rigid muscle, the heavy veil of untruths, the cloak of confusion is returned to its rightful owner, the magic of touch, the dance of abandon, the fireside clapping of encouraging flames, laughter reaching the heavens, returns with joyful step, side by side, believing in inner strength and winning the battle. There’ll always be an unfurling morning rose in the mind of the truth garden. Lay down the shield, the sword, there’ll be no war within, without, no symphonies for belittling mind-games or manipulation, no head-shaking or plotting, no lies or sarcasm, no meanness of spirit or cruelty, no judgment or revenge. The bell has rung.

Just as woman navigates many seasons, so too is she a multifaceted, complex creature.

The Many Facets of Me © by Sandra Bauser Digital Art

Emotional chaos is often par for the course. Just who is behind the wheel?

Flock of Emotions © by Vesna VD
One is pulling the left leg and
The other the right arm,
They are playing with the mind,
are they causing any harm?
They are stretching the limits
to the point of shock,
Who is the leader
of this flock?
flying all over the place.
Is it Happiness
that leads the human race?

One area many women frequently find themselves in is a place of cleverly designed hiding. The masquerade is a wonderful example of the beauty an individual will paint herself behind in order to shield the world’s view of what she believes to be ugly or ill-fitting.

Masquerade © by Nikki Ella Whitlock

To settle or not to settle? That is the question on constant repeat.

Settling down © by msdebbie
I still oppose
the words
Settling down.
Aren’t we meant
to fly, to soar,
to leap, to roar,
rather than
settle down?
Why do so
many people
learn it is preferable
to be with anyone,
than be alone?
Why do we allow
so many to be
utterly letdown.
As the scum settles
on the bathroom tiles,
I emit the softest of sighs.
Contentment is hard to find,
and it’s never light and easy,
indeed, my stomach feels queasy,
whenever someone settles
for one who cheats and lies.
So as a male friend fixes his hair,
or she paints her lips in red
the way he has come to expect,
all I can say is this:
Don’t settle for anything
less than what you desire.
Live your own dreams,
always aspire to rise higher.

If anyone belittles you,
makes you crawl smaller and smaller;
if anyone hits you,
makes you feel weaker and weaker;
if anyone yells so loudly,
it makes you cry mercy, mercy;
then is it any wonder why
the terminology is so derogatory.
Let’s not settle down,
but lift up our dreams instead.
Anyone with whom we share a bed,
should always build us up;
never desecrate or destroy,
never belittle or condemn,
otherwise, to the kerb with them!
…Irrespective of whether they are women or men…

Sometimes the simplest area of feminine strength resides in the power to simply take a stand, even if it’s one for self-preservation.

I Won’t Suffer a Fool © by Glitterfest
"I won’t suffer a fool
Be a slave for abuse
I won’t suffer for anything
or let my heart loose.

I won’t brave the chains of “love”
Won’t let their bondage clutch me
I won’t suffer that kind of fool
Even if that fool is me." Glitterfest

Let’s not forget the universal dream of equality for all, no matter how large or small.

If I close my eyes © by wildwomenlove
If I close my eyes
will I dream a world
where I will be safe
no matter what I wear?
Where my daughter
breaks through the glass ceiling
promoted on acceptance
and ability?
Where my mother
will be valued
even beyond
her child bearing years?
Where a woman’s worth
in parliament
isn’t measured by her dress size
and her preference to give birth?
If I close my eyes
can I dream a world
of equality for all?
Closing, closing…

Here’s a reminder that if woman is not careful she runs the risk of being chipped away at and drained until she feels as if she is nothing more than a hollowed shell. 

Hollow © by Sybille Sterk

What happens to the woman as she is chipped away at and slowly drained? The seasons in life play out in tunes of blue.

life in blue © by RC deWinterlife in blue
young and vital, I sing for my supper
the sea is blue,
the sea is blue
the wife and the mother, I always cook supper
the skies are blue,
the skies are blue
wild and confused, I go out for supper
the night is blue,
the night is blue
rap and beguiled, I dream through my supper
the future’s blue
the future’s blue
tired and lonely, I don’t eat my supper
i am the blue
i am the blue

Taking a stand against cruelty and/or abuse happening outside of the woman’s home or physical reach is also important. And in a world where more heads turn the other way and voice is often given only for the sake of political correctness or the status quo, who is going to (be brave enough to) speak out for the oppressed, repressed, battered, abused and/or neglected?

from within my soul © by Helene Ruiz

And when the erosions of this world begin to wear out the very mind that bridges the gaps between hope and existence, will woman have enough energy and incentive to collect her life’s solutions that have washed ashore during her slumber hours?

ma maison par la mer © by Wordthrift
a mind of sand,
my house by the sea,
waves of life’s solution break on shore
to carry me
into the squall
with all the prayers I’ve sent
hoping they’ve meant
at all.

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