That’s what another woman here in Carbondale told me this morning, and it’s important. I just got an email from a younger colleague who asked me if I had a place to hide in Canada or Mexico, and, drawing on my fellow crone’s advice, this is what I told my colleague:
“Sadly, I have no hiding place in Canada or Mexico. THIS VALLEY has been my hiding place, twice now. In 1971, when political figures were being assassinated right and left (JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King in quick succession), public buildings were being bombed, Bank of America bombed and robbed, Patty Hearst abducted, and four students shot by National Guard at Kent State as the US invaded Cambodia, I felt that the US was on the brink of revolution or civil war. And this valley is where I came to hide. That’s what I was referring to in my last editor’s letter.
“This feels eerily similar. What I fear most is the signal about racism, sexual aggression, and class warfare being acceptable, but I know (from having lived through Nixon, Reagan, and Bush) that the government is not that changeable by the president. It’s like an ocean liner; huge and unwieldy and impossible to stop or turn quickly. It has surprised me how little national politics have impacted my daily life, though in part I know that that is because I have the privilege of being white and middle class.
“I don’t know if that’s any comfort. But this morning, at the Village Smithy, I encountered three women I knew only by sight and not name. They’re all crones, of my ancient vintage. They hugged me and said, “We’re with our tribe, and we’ll take care of each other.”
I do think we have a tribe here in this valley, and their words do resonate with my experience. It’s as I told a younger colleague in San Francisco when she was experiencing the tech meltdown in 2005, and nearly all her millennial friends had lost his/her job and was simply leaving furniture and belongings on the street and fleeing. She asked my advice/wisdom about how to invest her time and talent in that scary time. What I said was that women’s history teaches us that neither money nor power save us. What has saved women through the millennia knowledge and the bonds of love and friendship. You can’t eat money. But in the darkest hours on the underground railway, what saved the escaping slaves was knowledge and the love of other human beings.
Stand on the Side of Love. Take care of your tribe.
Written By Nicolette Toussaint, Worship Committee Chair