Here's the weekly best of what I've gleaned from I Can Has Cheezburger efforts.
There are some really creative folks out there.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Sunday, February 15, 2015
The Changer and the Changed
In 1975, Olivia Records arrived in North Texas via a Meg Christian concert in Dallas. I was living in Denton at the time, and my community included as many straight feminists as lesbians. Two amazing straight friends, Elaine Carpenter and Bonnie Bonnell, persuaded me and my lover to attend the concert, though I was fearful of doing so because I thought it might out me further.
We got there late, and the place was so crammed that wimmin were being shunted forward to sit on the edge of the stage, literally at Meg Christian's feet. Elaine grabbed my hand and dragged me to that spot, and that's how I watched the concert.
Nothing was ever the same afterward. Wimmin's music was different than anything I'd ever heard. Fundamentally different.
I bought the Meg Christian album, but Elaine went one better and bought the other album they were offering, by someone called Cris Williamson, showing a woman wearing only denim overalls standing in the desert. The next time I visited Elaine, she exclaimed she had been playing it non-stop and started it up on her stereo. We listened to it front and back, and I bought my own copy as soon as I could. Every song on it became an anthem for my generation, and we'd sing them at gatherings. Get two or my dykes of my generation together, hum a bar of any selection, and you'll find we know every lyric. It's a secret cultural glue outsiders don't know about.
So when I think about choosing only one Cris song for my memorial service, I get flummoxed. (Only one because there are so many different songs from other sources I want to include, and Alix will definitely have to represent more than one.) Some days it's Song of the Soul ("Come to your life like a warrior / Nothing will bore yer / You can be happy"), other days it is of course Waterfall ("Filling up and spilling over, it's an endless waterfall.") Maybe I should pick Shooting Star, which was a nickname given me by one sweet lover ("Out of the corner of my eye / I saw you blazing brightly by / You're such a shooting star / That's what you are").
But then I realize it has to be Sister. Sister is the song where we came to our feet, pulsing with emotion, and linked our arms around each other, swaying together in shared definition:
And you can count on me to share the load
And I will always held you hold your burden
And I will be the one to help you ease your pain
Lean on me
I am your sister
Believe on me
I am your friend
Any survivor of girlhood, any woman who shared that tricky path her own way: You were and are my sister. We know what this sisterhood means. It is for us, by us.
Happy birthday, Cris, our Changer. You gave us all bedrock and vision. We, the Changed, forever hank you.