If You Are Part of My Tribe


I originally wrote this post to share with only the half-dozen or so Pagans to whom I am closest but then I figured, heck, everyone needs some warmth just now.  So if you are part of my tribe, this is for you.

I’m OK.  I’m in terrible pain, but I’m OK.  I have seriously considered suicide, but I won’t do that.  I’m the same tough old dame I’ve always been, albeit one with a wound that the Fisher King would have recognized.

Midway through Tuesday night, my BFF (and HP) and I looked each other dead in the eyes.  Me:  “I think we know.”  Her:  “I think we know.”  Shortly thereafter, I got a text from a woman who is Quite the Brightest Witch of Her Generation:  “You holding up?”  I was in ruins.  All that I could reply was, “Well, here’s the Tower Time you’ve been telling us was coming.”  As my beloved Druid was about to take me home, my BFF hugged me, breast to breast, and I joked, “Well, maybe Susan Sarandon’s right and this will usher in our great and glorious revolution.”  She hugged me tighter and said, “No, that’s not how this works.  But we’ll do what women always do; we’ll get through.”

Wednesday, a young woman in my office appeared at my door in tears.  “Can we talk?  Please?”  We cried, we raged, and, at her suggestion, at the end, we “hugged it out.”  Much younger than I, she cried over and over at how much of the progress that generations of women have made was lost.  She did me a favor because comforting her made me feel better, reminded me that I have some strengths, set me back in my groove.  In the midst of our despair, she told me that one of the reasons that she’d moved from the deep, deep South to DC was because she’d thought that maybe, one day, she’d get into politics, but now she didn’t know what to do.  I begged her to do that; to get into politics.  And then I hugged her and said what my HP had said, “We’ll get through this the way women always do.”

Thursday, one of the hardest-driving women I know told me that she’s considering Emily’s List’s training program for women who want to run for office.  Again, I begged her to do that.

One of America’s most intelligent and politically-involved Pagans has been sending out regular posts about how to handle this emergency.  She, herself, was so sick that we put off our planned dinner until after the upcoming holiday.

Meanwhile, every day, every day, every day, I’ve been sinking into my work the way a person in pain sinks into narcotics.  For at least a few hours at a time, I can focus on the that clean and living thing — THE LAW — and avoid, the way that you might avoid looking directly at the anaconda in the corner or pulling off the bandage to see just how bad the suppurating wound really is, thinking about what has happened to my beloved landbase.  Even my pro bono project for immigrant women allows me to do the one thing that I know I can do — absorb a new area of law — while I shut out the horror.  “Just learn this.  Don’t think of the actual women who depend upon you learning this.  That will topple you from this precipice.  Just focus; just learn; you were born to do this; you’ve done this all your life; play the Glass Bead Game and do it as well as you can.”  I’m a sell-sword and when I step into the circle, I’ll step in with hands carefully chalked.  It helps me swerve away from despair.

And, meanwhile, the texts, FB messages, emails, and phone calls reach out:  “Are you OK?” “I’m doing as well as I can and thinking of you.”  “Just checking on you; do you need anything?”  “Come have Thanksgiving with us; we can’t eat with people who voted for hate.  We’ll set up a different celebration for a different family.”  “You have a friend in the True North, Strong and Free.”  Even people who aren’t Pagan have been checking in:  “Thinking of you and all you did. Know you’re as upset as I am.” I never did anything to deserve my tribe, but I am grateful for all of them.

In between my morning meditation, writing a brief, hitting the grocery store, making soup, planting tulips, I keep remembering something that I once read about how sloppily  most Pagans call the Quarters.  You know, we’ve all been there; heck, we’ve all done it.  It’s your job to call East and you mouth, “Hail East, new dawning, um, new ideas, new ways of, um, thinking.  We call you to help us to, ah, speak the truth . . . .”  I’ll try in the next few days to dig it up, but someone once wrote:  “How would you call the directions if your town’s harvest depended upon you?”

Do it that way from now on.  Because it does.

I’m going out to light the fire.  If you’re my tribe, come sit beside me, watch the flames, feed them sticks.  I shan’t be gone long; you come too.

Picture found here.


19 responses to “If You Are Part of My Tribe

  1. I though of you as I taught theater in my red classroom (in a blue state, thank the Goddess.) Each day a small step. So mote it be. ❤

  2. Jane Gagle-Bennett

    Thank you. Your strength is appreciated.

  3. *unlurks for a mo*

    Thinking of you. Thank you for writing here, all the times you do. This result sucks and blows and now I’m tired of crying. I’ve got my hipwaders on and my corset laced up and have got an idea of what tools I’ll need.
    Love and strength from one torchbearer to another.

  4. Because we’ve had 6000 years to get to know the oppressor. And we have lots of tricks up our collective sleeve. Also, thanks for the compliment. I love you so.

  5. We must be strong for the youngest members of our Tribe.

  6. Thank you

  7. It’s not just women who are with you, as you know. From your beloved Green Man and Green Wizard. We will hold hands and be in this together.

  8. Fight and survive but look for the small blessings. Trump will face some of the political roadblocks Obama has faced. Even though Congress is Republican, they’re not his friends, nor he theirs. Trump is likely to shoot himself in the foot with his attitude and his mouth. He denies truth and that come back to haunt him. He’ll face climate disasters while trying to deny climate change. As soon as his own constituency smells weakness and does not see all of his promises coming true in their own lives they will be on him like a school of piranhas. We need to fight, yes, but we will have help.

  9. I love this, I love your work, I love you. Please don’t leave the planet (I heard your despair clearly in paragraph two.) Besides, I can’t wait for your next column in Witches&Pagans (Creating Ritual). I bet you’ll have a barn-buster for me!

  10. Phoenix Woman (@PhoenixWomanMN)

    Some good news: John Mica went down in flames, and Darrell the Car Thief Issa may soon join him (they’re not finished counting in California).

  11. Hugs, love, and strength to you and to all of us.

  12. So glad you shared this more widely than originally intended.

  13. Thank you, Hecate – I’m glad you shared this. ❤

  14. It feels wrong to say I’m happy someone else feels this way, but there is something comforting about not feeling alone. I seriously contemplated suicide as well, and prior to the election, when my mind turned towards the unthinkable, I saw it as my only way out. I wish I could say watching all the people fighting back was wholly inspiring, but while I’m happy to see so many people are against the travesty that occurred, my cynicism and fear tell me that it’s not going to change the results. There are things we all can do, but then seem more like mitigating the extant of the disaster instead of stopping it utterly. We are all in this together.

  15. Thank you. So grateful to be part of your tribe.

  16. Thank you so much for this, sister. Let’s do the things we know how, with pure intention and power. I’m so grateful for being able to connect, and as other people have said, to feel and know profoundly that I am not alone. Love really is the most potent magic. From our roots to our crowns, we are conduits of this love-magic. Tomorrow night I’m going to a local event; January I’m marching with the Women in Washington, all to the best of my ability.

  17. Your blog has done so much to help me through this – I really do want to say thank you. Thank you for being who you are, for being strong enough and open enough to speak to us even now. ((HUGS))

  18. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve never commented, but gratefully read your words (and Wendell Berry’s too) and feel a little less alone.

  19. Samwise: The Two Towers movie ……

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