17 June, 2015
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Tough and independent, she lives comfortably with contradiction. Plainswomen are realistic and romantic, tender and strong. They are quietly proud of their accomplishments and well-informed about a world that is largely ignorant of them.
Sweat-stained, these women wear plain's mud on their boots and under their fingernails. They have Scars to prove they belong- they've dug beneath the topsoil. Staying makes them part of a unique history and validates their writing. They possess the Power and the Dignity that comes from strife and experience and teeth-grinding Faith. In fact, the writing by these women clearly demonstrates the contradictions inherent in Western life and people. Her "Home on the Range" may make her cower in dreadful doubt and pain, and just as surely be valiant; unafraid of dragons, demons, and a stack of overdue bills. A Western woman understands the life-cycles of cattle, sheep, and horses, and believes in the sheer ecstasy of that moment of a colt's birth. She may become "death's handmaiden", as well as a lifesaver. She may spend her honeymoon cleaning the barn, or shoveling snow in a blizzard, and be proud and happy to work the land with her husband.
A woman who thrives here must be able to endure hardship, to bear the long gray winters of isolation. But-and this may be even more important-she must embrace the Beauty that may bloom and fade in a hour.
Tough times have, as they have always been, part of the Western woman's experience, and her writings prove it. But observing only the hardships would leave the panorama incomplete. Hearing the carol of a meadowlark helps a woman bear the disappointment of the barren years. Reflecting that perseverance is part of the genetic code. Many of the women learned to delight in the mud of March, because it means a hay crop is on the way.
What other qualities define an authentic Plainswomen? Some castrate lambs with their teeth or saddle their own horses. Many speak of their fathers who believed his girls could do anything a boy could do. Still, if a man orders a woman to jump in front of five 16,00-pound bulls, armed only with a sunflower stalk, she may write about it rather than commit murder. Or not.
Mourning her losses, a Western woman may reflect on the link between Birth and Death. Women here still dig in their toes and hang on, and sing when they feel like sobbing.
Knowledge of Freedom lies bone-deep in these women, whether in means loping over the countryside on horseback or climbing onto a Quonset roof. But a stern land teaches lessons ruthlessly, and a woman here, as anywhere, may lose much of what she loves.
She may use Anger sparked by Injustice to Forge a New Life. Still, Plainswomen go on, becoming a part of history.
She becomes one of the gullies carrying the stories down to the children. Each woman, each story, is a Rivulet, part of the Stream, the River, the Plains. This is the Plainswoman- a part of the Circle.
17 June, 2015
17 June, 2015
Posted by Beannaichte's Blog at 2:16:00 AM