Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nikki Giovanni's "Resignations" Blows My Mind...

I love you
because the earth turns round the sun
because the North wind blows north
because the Pope is Catholic
and most Rabbis Jewish
because winters flow into springs
and the air clears after a storm
because only my love for you
despite the charms of gravity
keeps me from falling off this Earth
into another dimension
I love you
because it is the natural order of things

I love you
like the habit I picked up in college
of sleeping through lectures
or saying I'm sorry
when I get stopped for speeding
because I drink a glass of water
in the morning
and chain-smoke cigarettes
all through the day
because I take my coffee Black
and my milk with chocolate
because you keep my feet warm
though my life a mess
I love you
because I don't want it
any other way.

I am helpless
in my love for you
It makes me so happy
to hear you call my name
I am amazed you can resist
locking me in an echo chamber
where your voice reverberates
through the four walls
sending me into spasmatic ecstasy
I love you
because it's been so good
for so long
that if I didn't love you
I'd have to be born again
and that is not a theological statement
I am pitiful in my love for you

The Dells tell me Love
is so simple
the thought though of you
sends indescribably delicious multitudinous
thrills throughout and through-in my body
I love you
because no two snowflakes are alike
and it is possible
if you stand tippy-toe
to walk between the raindrops
I love you
because I am afraid of the dark
and can't sleep in the light
because I rub my eyes
when I wake up in the morning
and find you there
because you with all your magic powers were
determined that
I should love you
because there was nothing for you but that
I would love you

I love you
because you made me
want to love you
more than I love my privacy
my freedom
my commitments
and responsibilities
I love you 'cause I changed my life
to love you
because you saw me one friday
afternoon and decided that I would
love you
I love you I love you I love you

-- Nikki Giovanni

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Calling: Practicing Reproductive Justice as a Doula

This weekend I had the privilege of attending a great conference on reproductive justice that refreshed passions and refueled interests I have always had. In trying to figure out where I fit and where I want to plug in with the reproductive justice movement, this weekend provided a wonderful "ah ha!" moment that I am grateful for.

While reproductive justice must be present in all periods of a women's reproductive life, I will be an advocate and ally for mothers that choose to give birth to babies. This is where I fit.

A couple of the workshops I went to over the weekend were about motherhood and childbirth - where great discussions took place regarding the lack of choice women have once they decide to give birth, particularly marginalized women (poor women, women of color, immigrant women, young women, disabled women, etc...). My action step: Well, I've decided to look in to doula (a childbirth companion) training so that I can work with mothers before, during and after childbirth to ensure that their rights and wishes are respected and that their experience with birth is as positive, informed and safe as possible.

For thousands of years, women have helped other women give birth. With the U.S. experiencing an increasing maternal mortality rate - particular amongst women of color - it is vital that pregnant mothers have an advocate and companion that knows childbirth and knows and fights to protect their rights as women.

My calling...or at least one of them.