28 Aug Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
This post is more personal than I’ve been of late but it’s something that I feel compelled to talk about today.
About 10 years ago, when I lived in London with my then fiance, I had a dream, a song to sing … sorry, I’ve been listening to too much ABBA lately*. Anyway, this dream. It wasn’t a pleasant dream. It was intensely powerful. It was very succinct but so powerful that when I close my eyes now I can still feel it and see it.
In the dream I was standing at a cash point withdrawing money. Then the world fell away. The pavement beneath my feet collapsed, the whole of the world just vanished and I was staring into a bottomless pit that was black as black can be. Holding firm on my right calf, was a strong, wizened old hand. The whole of the forearm leant into my lower leg and supported me. The hand was firm in its grasp but not painful. Although this arm and hand were only holding one leg I did not wobble, in fact I felt more stable than I had done in a long, long time.
As I looked down I saw an old woman’s face, the arm was hers. She was standing on another old woman, who was on another and so on and so on. Sometimes there were two women holding another up, sometimes one holding two, the effect was such that I knew there were hundreds, if not thousands or millions of women holding me up. I instinctively knew that these women were my ancestors, in fact I knew that they were EVERY woman’s ancestors, they were every woman who had ever walked the earth.
Their faces were almost impassive, except for the iron-will and force of their determination that demanded I lock eyes with each one I could see. This wasn’t “we’ve got your back now go girl!” fluffy, there was nothing fluffy about this. This was the quiet, long lasting power that females have. This force was not a cuddly mother’s love. This force wasn’t the “tiger mum” either. This force was pure feminine and raw, peeled back away from the labels. This was Khaleesi burning down the temple and standing before the khalasar, this was Boadicea screaming into battle, this was Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Aphra Benn and all the women who have never been written about.
They had worked and laid the way for me to walk my path and they would always be there to hold me up. The strength I felt at that moment was intense, it almost overwhelms me when I think about it. As soon as I felt that power and strength, the dream ended and I woke with the knowledge that it was real.
I believe it is our duty and responsibility to do all we can in the world to make it better, because otherwise we let the whole tower collapse. Everyone of us, man or woman, walks where our forebears laid the ground for us. The question is, what we will do with our time here? How will we pave the way for the next generations to ensure we can hold them up too?