It's been a great year. One of the best. After years of campaigning for women's rights, I turned 60 and realised I could finally LIVE liberation rather than just hoping for it.
What took me so long? What changed?
Growing up in Ireland during a different era, we girls were rewarded for CARING. I wasn't too bad at it then, although I always knew it wasn't my first calling. The sacrifices of good girls would be rewarded. Good girls would be liked and cherished. Good girls would succeed in the world. Our caring of the world would heal and save humanity.
I never really stopped being good or caring or anything. I just got old with it and some how saw the light of other possibilities. It is still a daily struggle to balance how MUCH I care.....and I genuinely DO care, with how much I want to run wild in the fields utterly CAREFREE. (Apologies for the shouty capitals but they seem to be required here)
These are not regrets, because I know when we care, others thrive. These are wake up call messages to the inner girl child. It's OK to experience singularity, to be self absorbed, to be selfish with your time, to want to dream a little or even a lot. We can be CAREFREE and CAREFUL in equal measure. Instead of arguing about what kind of feminists we are, we can LIVE liberation.
Whenever I walk through morning frost I am over come by girlish memories and the flame of the women who set out ahead of me on this path. Calamity Jane (Doris Day) riding the Wells Fargo Coach from Illinois, Jane Goodall studying chimpanzee behaviour in the Gombe Forest, Joni Mitchell's Song for Sharon where she poured her heart out...... again.....
Careful and carefree women grasping their freedom to LIVE their liberation......