Monday, June 18, 2012

The Day We Cried Vagina

Let me breathe for a second.


It's been a little crazy. I've been all over, five-thousand miles all over, for the past few weeks and many, many times again I've been reminded that I could never predict my life if my life depended on it (and to a degree, it does.)


But quick update: I've been living in Boulder, CO for a couple of weeks and it's incredible. I completely dig having mountains in what is essentially my back-yard, and obviously I'm a wild-child for plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics so, it's a pretty sweet deal.


I've been distracted, though, over the past week for a number of reasons; the most prevalent being what's been going on in the Michigan State House of Representatives. Between passing a remarkably reductive and restrictive regulatory bill regarding women's health and actually silencing female representatives on the House floor with no real explanation for the ban (although it probably had to do with the use of the word 'vagina'), I've been righteously angry. 


So have thousands of people in Michigan and much, much more nationwide, as it turns out. Eve Ensler, writer of The Vagina Monologues (one of my favorite things) heard the outcry and actually traveled to Lansing today in order to facilitate a staged-reading of V-Mons on the capitol steps.


Here's the problem: I was still in Boulder. So, I wrote on the event page on Facebook, told everyone I'd be there in spirit. After about three seconds though, obviously, and in the interest of living life to the extreme maximum, I wasn't satisfied with being there in spirit. I knew that I'd just hate myself if I didn't at least try to make it there, mind you, on a $10 budget. 


The miraculous thing about my life is this: it worked. With a Facebook message and several hours of staying up late, my awesome friend Nic loaned me some cash to fly out, my former V-Mons director Amanda grabbed me from the airport in Detroit, her boyfriend Peter's family fed me, and they brought me to Elizabeth's house where I crashed. Through my incredible network, I realized a couple of really amazing things. I realized that, self-directed blame disregarded, I am existing purely in God's grace in utter, shameless, penniless dependence. What a terrible word, dependence. But, it's desperation and it's honesty and it's beautiful and I'd never appreciate the people that I have if I weren't so absolutely, completely spent.


So I'm here, and I'm leaving again in a couple of hours. But between those two events, I witnessed 3000 voices at the Michigan State Capitol Building (complete with a mini V-sis reunion) screaming our favorite v-words: voice, vote, and of course, vagina. 


The monologues were read by several of the house dems as well as several professional actresses, and it was pretty phenomenal, but nothing beats the feeling of standing face-to-face, hand-in-hand, and arm-in-arm with Eve Ensler. Thanking her for saving my life and bear-hugging the shit out of this woman never made it to my bucket list because I never thought it would actually happen, but it did, so consider it checked off. She's an incredible person. I'd consider getting to know her.


So now, I'm sitting in Elizabeth's living room with a glass of wine, watching Lisa Brown use her favorite v-word on the Daily Show, and counting down the minutes before I head back to Detroit to fly away to Boulder. Everything is worth this. History in the making, woven between our passions, spoken by our voices.


These are exciting times.

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