Friday, September 24, 2010

Calling all Ladies!

Last week I was in La Cieba waiting for the arrival of Croucher #3 .. While there I discovered  on the bed side table at my friend's house sat the novel " The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant.
Immediately I was taken back nearly seven years ago when I read the book for the first time while pregnant with my daughter. I nostalgically remembered reading about the heroine Dinah from the Old testament, while patting my growing little girl inside me. For those of you who have not read the book here is how describes it!

"The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons. --Gail Hudson --

After surrendering once again to the story of Dinah, the daughter, sister, lover , midwife and Mother I felt compelled to reach out in feminine spirit to invite all those who have not read this book to do so in haste!
Although it is true there are many parallels to my life and Dinah's what was so profound for me is the call to return as women to the " virtual Red Tent."
Our culture encourages us to compete with other women rather then  to commune. We are pressured to convey that we have it all together all the time. We are continuously under the pressure to look a certain way, keep our homes a certain way, present our kids in certain way. That we can do it all.
This is a fallacy and a myth that leads to isolation as women. The very source of our femininity is too nurture . We are intuitive, gentle , caring and  bright. And in the darkest moments we are MAMA Lioness's with sheer strength.
If women spent more time supporting one another , listening to each other's stories, being real, suspending judgement, letting go of masks we would be a much stronger force!Im looking forward to welcoming my daughter and all those before me and behind me into the RED TENT!