Thursday, July 22, 2004

Gathering

I was lying in my hammock on Infertility Island as nightfall came. A peculiar stillness fell over the forest, and there was no sound apart from the low hum of bees in nearby tropical flowers, or the occasional gentle chortle of the bullfrog in the swamp. The moon started to rise, and I rocked back and forth, waiting for sleep.

Then I heard the sound of running feet. I swung myself out of the hammock, and stood up. In the distance, I could see shadowy forms, moving quickly down the hill. Torchlights bobbing in the darkness. And a persistant whisper across the island, growing louder by the minute.

As I stood there, I saw a young woman in a frayed bikini, running toward me. "Wait!" I called out to her as she swept by. "What's going on?"

"It's GetupGrrl. She's crying." she called over her shoulder, her voice already distant.

I found myself moving right after her. And as I ran, my feet re-tracing the well trodden steps to Grrl's hut, I saw others all around me. Throngs of women were emerging from the woods. Others were arriving from the beach. Even the watchtower was abandoned as the lookout descended the ladder.

At Grrl's hut, the crowd was so large I almost couldn't see the building. The front porch was covered in flowers, and offerings of floor cake. It was so quiet.

A familiar face emerged from the crowd and took my hand. As we stood vigil together, I saw more and more women arriving.

"Look," my friend said, clutching my hand tightly, and she pointed to the sky and the water. Parachutes were opening in mid-air, as new arrivals leapt from a low-flying plane. Just offshore, a small ship had arrived and made anchor, a raft prepared to bring more ashore.

"They can't all stay here," I whispered. "Some of them don't belong".

"They're here for Grrl. And I think they're allowed to stay as long as they are needed," my friend told me.

"What's happened?" I asked.

My friend shook her head.

"Bad news. It's bad news."

We were silent for a time.

Finally, I said quietly, "I really hope Grrl will be OK. Our beloved Grrl." The words caught on the lump in my throat. I looked around me, at the sea of faces, the torchlights flickering.

And all around me, the women mumured in agreement. Their voices carried across the water, over the hill, through the forest.

Our beloved Grrl.



14 Comments:

At 2:28 PM, Blogger JJ said...

You give me goosebumps.

 
At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our beloved Grrl indeed. --BrooklynGirl

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger lobster girl said...

That is beautiful. And true. All of us, waiting, hoping, mourning, for our beloved Grrl.

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger Pazel said...

You're not supposed to make me cry in the morning.
I was somber all yesterday thinking about her. There's a hopelessness to watching it all unfold and unable to find a word that seems appropriate. I think what you wrote is a true sentiment of how we are feeling, making offerings and joining together in grief, but unable to actually join her.

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger Blue said...

I was touched yesterday, not only by Grrl's news, but also at the outpouring of love that was sent her way. What a community we have here. I am so glad we all gathered together to support our Grrl, as she has done for us.
What a beautiful picture you have painted of the love that was shown.

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger KLF said...

That was really moving. I, too, was heartbroken by her news. I hope she can feel the love out there for her.

 
At 12:03 AM, Blogger Mandy said...

Said so beautifully.

 
At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, beutifully said.

I would stand outside the hut for days and bring lots of floor cake...if only it would help grrl.

StacyG

 
At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful post.

Nina

 
At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow.....I can feel the breeze on that island and the sounds of my fellow woman by your words. That was so beautiful...unbelievablely beautifyl...thank you ...infertile gourmet

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Love it. I could never have expressed it so well myself.

 
At 6:38 AM, Blogger Lissy said...

Powerful and true. We are all there for Grrl. Whatever she may need, whenever she may need it.

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger littlesambook said...

that was so beautiful. It made tears come to my eyes. What a beautiful image, of all of us commenters coming to some tropical island. Were there drinks with umbrellas in them? Oh! I just read it again! Crying. So much love!

 
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