November 21, 2009

She woke one morning

For all women diminished and debased
by culture, cult or clan

She woke one morning only to find
that her mouth had disappeared.
She could no longer eat,
but wasn't feeling very hungry.
She could no longer speak,
but then, no one had ever listened
when she spoke.
And so she lived a little while
much as she had lived before:
silent and

—Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
November 21, 2009


NCMama said...

Brother Tobias,

Odd that you should put my earlier life to free verse. I know just what you're talking about. It was a safe, predictable existence that seemed at the time to be in accordance with things Biblical and Good For the Family. Except it wasn't.

When I spoke, my point of view was countered or minimalized; when I prayed over them, they thought me silly and laughable. It was the prayer that tipped me off. When the relationship came to physical violence, I ended the marriage and have spent the intervening years modeling non-victim behavior for my children. Too late; I doubt I will ever undo the early examples of ignorance and disrespect they learned, but I try.

Cheryl A. Mack

June Butler said...

Tobias, I've been reading the links at Thinking Anglicans on the friendly/cordial meeting between the archbishop and the pope, and I came away depressed. In the midst of the talk of the angst of the traditionalists over women priests and women bishops, it hit me hard that they were talking about the likes of ME.

How fitting to find your poem, which, although it speaks truth, is so very sad.

Women are an issue. GLTB persons are an issue. To the powers, I want to scream, "No! We are people! Stop talking about us and listen to us."

Lynn said...

Dear Tobias,

You touched an old place in my soul, in a lovely and very true way. My thoughts run to a different situation than Cheryl or Mimi have described, but there it is. Thank you.

Cheryl - you might just be pleasantly surprised by the long-term effect of your new way of living. To survive - then thrive, without bitterness about the past - is quite an example to set for your children. They will know this: it can be accomplished, and it is hard work, and worth every bit of effort.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Dear Cheryl, Mimi, and Lynn,

Thank you for the kind words. I wrote this with some trepidation -- as a man presuming to speak for an imaginary woman -- but the image came to my mind in the early morning, and the rest of the poem followed a bit later -- actually as I was sitting in the diocesan convention, after a truly wonderful sermon by Bishop Roskam -- a woman whose mouth is blessed and put to excellent use! The image came back to me, and the words flowed out onto the back of the registration packet envelope, and I transcribed them when I got home.

May all of God's people be lifted up and freed to open their mouths in witness and celebration!

TheraP said...

This fits: MANifesto!

I'm sure I don't need to say more. (I counted only 7 women signatories...)

What can I say?

Yes, I also appreciated your poem. But didn't really have something to say till now.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, TheraP. Are you referring to that awful "Manhattan" Declaration? I took one brief look at it and couldn't bring myself to look further. I did notice most of the signatories were male, and on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly yesterday there was a shot of the press conference, and it was Boys' Night Out. (Or "In" as the case or closet may be!) Meanwhile, Colson's Declaration is bringing further condemnation to the faith. These folks are placing stumbling blocks in the path of the innocent -- turning people away from God. So very tragic and disordered: Lots of projection and anxiety. Who was it said, "Lord, save us from your followers!"

BooCat said...

You poem is very beautiful, true and sad. Most women have probably felt like this at some point in their lives. May God bless you for seeing and understanding.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I remember that life. I'm grateful that God gave me a way out of it.