Old friends seem really important. The sharing of a history of linkages which stretches over the years. A remembered collection of stories detailing the relationships, houses, politics, children's follies, work traumas,and buckets of tears. Now the sisterhood returns in a new form; shaping a container around our lives.
The old politics still intact under layers of living in an imperfect world, The idealism of youth popping out now and then in grand pronouncements about Washington, or the state of gender politics.
We marvel at the tenacity, raw strength and fortitude of our friends. The toughness we cannot see in ourselves is so evident in them. They live through illness, death, trauma, poverty, losses and all with sharp retort, a joke, a spiritual reference rarely going down the path of self-pity.
These feminists who championed the right of women to follow their hearts and dreams now some times live lives with insurmountable limitations.They have been to the mountain top yet they dwell at the base.
The realities of a generation who knew in its heart that it would blossom, achieve, surpass, accomplish every goal now deals with health issues, diabetes, reduced retirements, a government strangely alien, and declining hope in their dream of social justice.
Lately, no one calls on the collective wisdom of this sisterhood; we are strangely off, eccentric, curiosities who ranted, wrote, bullied, marched, and strategically implemented a myriad of social improvements.
Those same improvements now enjoyed by arch conservatives, right wing, and fundamentalist women.. The ability to have birth control, to not be pregnant every year, to work outside the home, to own your property; to have day care, to have your own checking account, to get a no fault divorce,
and to adopt children on your own. Not to mention a naming and awareness of domestic violence.
I remember living when men ruled the home, where many women did not work outside the home, where the church had the last say, where hitting your wife was normal, when kids were seen and not heard and where a woman's options were to be a nun, a wife, a teacher or a secretary.
It seems very important to get with friends and talk about all of this. To re- energize our collective voice , to note that the changes we witnessed and fought for can still be lost. That our efforts should not be dismissed and taken for granted. We in our 60's and beyond are a force to be heard- that would be resurgence.