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Saturday, April 04, 2009

I Am Woman, Hear Me Muse

I wrote this piece while I was at Lambeth (August 2008) on the day the focus was on the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals that are specifically concerned with women.

I call it "A Woman's Psalm" which I think prayerfully expresses part of what I was trying to say in my 'rant' the other day.

I have just been informed that it will be included the new book, “Lifting Women’s Voices: Ending Poverty through Prayer and Action” an anthology of prayers by Anglican women and girls around the world focusing on the Millennium Development Goals.

All royalties from the sale of “Lifting Women’s Voices” will benefit the International Anglican Women’s Network and Episcopal Relief and Development.

I am thrilled and honored to be part of this effort.

A Woman's Psalm

O God, I am a woman in a violent world*
let me know your peace.

Let blind rage born of despair*
not find its target in me.
Let the value of my life*
not be reduced to the jewelry I wear.

Let my family life not end*
that life in a gang may begin.
Let rape not violate my body*
nor anger ravage my soul.

Let fear not enter my heart*
but caution sharpen my mind.
Let the light of Christ so shine in me*
that I may reflect your love.

Let the joy that the apostles knew*
infuse my spirit and alleviate my pain.
Let Love who suffered and died on the cross*
find resurrection and new life
in the world you love.

O God, I am a woman in a violent world*
let me know your peace.

I am also delighted to be part of an online project that celebrates the incredible variety and strength and wisdom of the voices of women. Authored by Belle Zwerdling, Joy Hurwitz and Katie Schwartz the blog is entitled, appropriately enough, "Three Dames With A Clue."

Katie Swartz is an incredible woman - intelligent, funny, brave, wise, bold, irreverent, kind, and, deeply, deeply spiritual.

Oy, she's blushing now, and totally verklempt. I can just see her, even though we've actually never really met (but that's going to change when we meet for coffee in May, right, Katiegirl?).

To read her blog, however, you would never know that she would be embarrassed by anything. Her language is ... well ... 'saucy'. Okay, okay, some might even call her "crude." And, I suppose they would be right, from their perspective. She often make me blush, much to my surprise. Her writing often reminds me just how much of the old catholic school girl is left in me.

Katie is the real deal. When she expresses an opinion, she pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. She reminds me of the women in my own family of origin.

You can find her interview with me here, but do take the time to visit with some of the other women interviewed on this blog. You will be blown away.

Fair warning: It is not for the timid or faint of heart. These are strong, intelligent, articulate, creative, wise women who say what they mean and mean what they say.

Well, for today, anyway. Remember that a woman always has the prerogative to change her mind.

Did I mention that you will be blown away?

Here's how I answered some of her questions, in part:

What does being a woman mean to you?

Being a woman means many things to me. It means being:

a transparent mystery

a pearl of great price hidden in plain view.
a vulnerable warrior
a truth teller and persistent prophet

a tenderly fierce lover
a gossipy confidant
a virgin whore

a nurturing mother in spike heels
a logical drama queen
an hysterical scholar
a high priestess of myth and reality, who sees the Holy in everything.

To be a woman means being an active participant in the contradiction in terms because if we believed the stereotypes of what it means to be a woman, we’d never become who we really are as human beings.

Have you, are you, or will you reinvent yourself and, of course, what does reinventing yourself mean to you?

If a woman doesn’t reinvent herself daily - reaffirm her identity and commit to taking the risk of becoming more of who she truly is and is meant to become - I do believe something in her soul and in her heart dies.


Katie Schwartz said...

I love this woman. I love this woman. I love this woman.

1) CONGRATULATIONS on being anthologized. When the book comes out, you have to promise me you will tell me so I can buy it.

2) The Psalm you wrote is so beautiful, it brought a tear to my eye and joy to my heart.

3) We are having coffee in May. I can't wait!

4) You are so kind, thank you. I did blush. ha.

5) The quotes you included in your post, are what I printed and posted on my fridge! Your takes my breath away.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, Katiegirl, I adore you, too. If anyone in authority asks, I'm simply saying that, like the Rabbi we follow, I got friends in low places. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Fran said...

I just wrote this at 3 Dames and I will say it here...

That blogging has brought me to both Katie and Elizabeth and that they have found each other, it is pure gift and grace.

I love you both and I love you both hard.


PS - your psalm is gorgeous.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Love you hard right back, Franala. Lots. And, thanks.

MadPriest said...

You're a woman?

I never knew that.

You ought to blog about it more.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Any you, darling, might try subtlety. You could start out by trying to perfect "tongue-in-cheek". I could teach you.

MadPriest said...

I fear that would be like trying to learn fine needlecraft off the Incredible Hulk.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Ah, flattery will get you everywhere.

Billie Greenwood said...

I'm pleased to meet you, Elizabeth. Very pleased indeed. I'm here through 3 Dames, and--after reading your interview, you don't need any further endorsements. But Katie and Fran vouching for you only adds to the luster!

[BTW, you're teaching French kissing to MadPriest???]

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Yes, it would appear he passed up the chance. Alas! Men! What was it Carrie Fisher once said, "Can't live with them, can't shoot them!"