Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Shadows of the Night (Pat Benatar)

Whenever I see a picture of Rosie the Riveter I think of my Mema Ralph. During World War II when the men were away the women worked in the factories. Mema Ralph worked in the mill. It wasn't a matter of gender or the patriarchy. It was Amazon feminism. The men were away at war and the job needed to be done. It was just that simple.

Years later, she found herself a widow with seven kids. Life hands you shit, and it's your job to just deal with it. Maybe that's why she was so cantankerous and ornery at times. She had handled it all and more, what else could you throw her way. Mema Ralph was a fighter. I always gave her that.

I am hardly Rosie the Riveter. Ask me to build something it will fall down. Duct tape is my solution to fixing most things. I am surprised I am still alive most days because my decisions have not killed me. I have tried to open the subway gate with my hands full of luggage and in my weakness a male cop has helped me and gotten a good laugh. I am a total feminist until I have to kill a spider. Yet somehow, I have always managed to do things on my own.

What has been different about this new decade of my life is I don't feel the need to rely on people. While help is at my disposal because my friends are manna from heaven, I know that if I forge ahead I will be alright.

I was always told God never gives you more than you can handle. God must think I am Rosie the Riveter.

My plate has been full these past few months. I am in a master's program for writing, and am in my second project period. Once a week for the past several weeks I have translated several pieces in several different languages. Currently I am in rehearsal for a 9/11 based movement piece, and am also rehearsing my one woman show. I just wrapped an acting class. I am also working on some new videos, new routines, and getting my work published. And I still have a few day jobs on  top of all of this.

And I have a family member having a baby and I am a huge part of planning the shower and events for this little one coming.

To say I have felt overwhelmed is an understatement. Yet people have been looking at me as a leader as of late. I don't get it.

Sunday saw me basically crumble. I don't want to go into it but I have felt like I was walking through darkness. Some of it is I have some intense haters in my life unfortunately. Other darkness is my choice to live as I do and the people who disregard me or treat me as invisible. And third are those who seem never to be pleased. Fourth was fucking broken technology and stubbing my toe.

Sunday saw me crying on the sidewalk of New York. A practice paper redraft hanging over my head. My brain mush from my reading. My muscles weak from constantly being in rehearsal. My arms tired from carrying my heavy luggage of puppets. My head pounding from the goddamn New York subway and the noise. And a green screen that was taunting me because the fucking poles like the goddamn Walls of Jericho came a tumblin down!

Did I mention it's an inferno in NYC and I have no air conditioning?

I googled Rosie the Riveter for inspiration. A related entry was Amelia Earhart. Smiling she was ready for flight. I know under those goggles and behind those takeoffs she loved the sky because it helped her escape a world that was so frustrating, so asinine, and so limiting. Her bullshit was ten fold compared to mine.

I also remembered she crashed her plane in the Pacific. These days there are women pilots. Amelia Earhart didn't fly and crash so they could give up, and she didn't die so women could give up on themselves either.

Rosie the Riveter and Amelia Earhart reminded me I was going to be alright. Sometimes I am stressed and the darkness seems never to end. Just like Amelia Earhart and Rosie the Riveter, I look to my strength. If I give up, I will be giving a lot of people what they want.

And just like my Mema Ralph, life seems daunting. But I am putting one foot in front of the other and just doing it.

There's no other way, right?

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