I just returned from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, a 35 year-old coming-together of women that happens out in the woods in the middle of Michigan. MichFest began at the height of the women's movement, when the issue of gay and lesbian rights was coming to the fore. I went to my first festival when I was 19, and have gone back regularly to get my fix of women's energy, music, creativity, and rowdiness.
This year I taught workshops on Tools for Conscious Couples (the organizers weren't quite sure what these were, so put us in Area 9, restricted to "over 18"). Imagine this: 20-45 women sitting in a circle in beach chairs on sandy, fern-festooned ground, under a green canopy of tall, hardwood trees, bright sun streaming through. We laughed and played and learned together, as couples got their first taste of the possibility of easefully shifting out of power struggles that had lasted for years and that had, until that day, appeared to be pulling them, with grim inevitability, towards the end of their relationships.
I met old friends (shout-out to fabulous Mary Jane and Lou from Ohio, who started this work 10 years ago; to sweet Laura; and to my extended family, Bezzie, Roxy, Corey, and Casey), and made lots of new ones. I felt thrilled to watch the faces around me absorb and begin to understand these simple and profound concepts, and light up with the potential that they offer. And I was re-energized and filled with inspiration by the dedication these women had to do whatever it takes to nurture their love for each other, or, in some cases, to uncover the treasure of what had been hidden away awhile back. You see, those bonds of love and passion don't go away; they simply get lost under what is unfelt and unspoken.