Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Soul Harvest

In the last several days, between two harvest holidays, this blog has noted the passing of two Goddess feminists. They are the most recent in what seems to be a inordinate number of spiritual and political feminists who have died in the last few years. We know there is nothing ominous going on here, yet sometimes the natural order of things can grab us hard.

We are witnessing the beginning of the passing of the generation of who raised our consciousness, who opened career doors, who demanded focus on women’s health and an end to violence against women, who restored Goddess. I’m tempted to list names of those recently departed, but then I might unintentionally leave out somebodies. So I will ask you to name them in your heart.

Some of these women may have been in their 70s and 80s. They were true pioneers for the supposedly "silent" generation, perhaps lone voices until those younger joined them; or perhaps they came to feminism, to Goddess, late in life when others of that generation had already closed their minds. But most deaths we notice now are among age groups known as "war babies" and "baby boomers"– people now in their 60s and 50s. Their deaths often catch us off guard. We hear or read almost daily that people – and particularly women – are living long lives, the average life span now being to the mid-80s. Why, then, we may wonder, are so many of our sisters dying in their 50s and 60s?

But there is nothing unusual here. When we think about it rationally, we know that for the average life span to be in the mid-80s, this means that some people will live to 100 or so, and some will die in the their 70s, 60s, 50s, and earlier. Though there seems to be a large number of our sisters dying from cancer, cancer is a common disease of advancing age; the cells are no longer as resilient as in youth and may cease to function properly, or exposure to cancer-causing agents over 20 years or more finally does its damage.

I personally wonder about the apparent upsurge in lung cancer in non-smoking women and hope there will be more research directed to finding out what’s causing it. Were women who entered the workplace 20-30 years ago more likely than men to be in situations where they were exposed to second-hand smoke? Or are there other explanations?

I fantasize about there being a wall or quilt or website with a section for each notable political or spiritual feminist, showing her dates, her accomplishments. But then I guess we would have disputes over who should be included, and maybe, Goddess help us, a need to set up a committee.

For now, we can be inspired by the contributions of those who have passed, respect and if necessary care for those of this innovative generation who are still with us, and together continue this work.

Technorati tags:



Post a Comment

<< Home

 Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Judith Laura

More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.