"You cannot call someone dead who fights for life"

By jenn

In memory of Sally.

I knew a strong woman with an infectious laugh and a shining smile. She was murdered. When I picture her face, it is full of life, of fun. When I think of her last moments, I see it filled with pain and terror. This is obscene.

And we are left to cope, to grasp at a meaning that does not exist. We are left with our own fears realized, the echoes of the warnings we have chosen to ignore. "See," they always say, "this is what can happen."

Well, fuck them for letting it happen. Fuck them for accepting it. This is not acceptable.

We are women and we are strong. We are warriors, healers, teachers, mothers. We give life and we take life.

When it happens to one of us, it happens to us all.

So, I enter into a circle of women, connected by her memory. We feed each other. We touch each other. We bind ourselves to the earth and to each other. We share our sorrow, our regret, our pain, our fear, our love, our strength. We remember our sister whom we have lost.

We draw circles on the ground. We draw a woman with flashing eyes and long hair. We clothe her in the clothes of a wild woman. We give her wings, dancing feet, a crown of leaves. We give her oregon grape, yarrow, rosemary, cedar. We give ourselves sage. We light a candle in her belly. We sing. We shake our hips and think of her. We dedicate our dance to her. We imagine her, dancing with the stars.

We remember her songs, her words, her dances. We remember the first time we saw her. We remember the last. We remember the other people who loved her who are missing from our circle. We remember ourselves, our beauty, our strength. We remember our grief. We remember death.

We remember other women, the survivors. We remember others who did not survive. We remember those we did not know. We remember those who were burned at the stake. We remember the healers. We remember our power.

We look each other in the eyes. We say "I love you." We say "I'm glad you are here." We say "You are a strong woman."

We feed each other. We sing songs for each other. We laugh. We share our stories. We share our strength.

We live on.


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