"...these loaves that I will share with you, were baked with love, and what I know so far. I'm a firm believer that we are what we eat, and I pray the bread I share here with you, will nourish and encourage you".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Woman In The Window

March is Women’s History Month, and if there’s one thing that all real women have, its history. So I want to share with you a loaf of honey bread about the women in the window.
As I sat in my window seat one morning after reading and meditation, I saw a group of children pass on their way to school, I guessed. As I watched them I was reminded of a woman who sat in the window when I was a little girl. She is a woman who I did not know. I do not know her name, nor do I know anything about her still, and yet just because she was, she was an influence on me.

You see, that is the power of a woman.
Many, years ago, a woman sat in the window. I didn’t know why she was always there, but I wasn’t a woman then. When we were kids growing up on twelfth street, with little funds and loads of imagination, my eldest sister told us about a woman sitting in the window. Well it didn’t take much to intrigue us so we were intrigued, and we gathered in a group and headed down the street were she was reported to be. Where she supposedly had been since her husband went out for a loaf of bread and never returned. That was just one of the many stories, some said that she was waiting for her children, others said she was a witch and would cast a spell upon you if she ever looked at you, which of course, she never did. Another was that she had died in that spot in the window, dead and still sitting, waiting, watching from the window.

As you might imagine, it was enough to thrill us as we headed towards the corner and the house where she sat in her second story window, watching waiting, possibly dead. We were warned not to look straight at her else she’d look at you and you’d be hexed. So there we were, a group of four, full of curiosity and no discretion. Silly little children, we were. Slowing down to see but not look at the woman in the window. And there she was, just sitting there, looking out at something, thank god, not us, looking out at nothing maybe. We never knew, but it didn’t stop us from watching the woman in her we crept back and forth, and back and forth, trying to steal a glimpse of her. And as told, she was always there. Always. Because of my curfew, I couldn’t ever check after night fall. Oh no, by dusk I had better be in the house. See, I wasn’t a woman then. But the next day she’d be there, sitting in the window. I was only nine when I first herd about her, she was the fascination of that summer. Of course my days were full with fun and other explorations, but most days I’d make my way down the blocks to check on the woman in the window...

As women we are often misunderstood. We go about our lives answering the demands of our days, often without much thought to the impact we make on the world around us. Historically, women have been considered intellectually inferior to men. Women were seen as a major source of temptation and evil. Early Roman law described women as children, early Christian theology perpetuated these views. St. Jerome, a 4th-century Latin father of the Christian church, said: "Woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of the serpent, in a word a perilous object". Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century Christian theologian, said that woman was "created to be man's helpmeet, but her unique role is in conception.

The myth of the natural inferiority of women greatly influenced the status of women in law. Under the common law of England, an unmarried woman could own property, make a contract, or sue and be sued. But once a women got married, she gave up her name, and virtually all of her property came under her husband's control. With a history like this, it is no wonder that not only are we misunderstood, but that we are even a mystery to our selves. But in truth, we are the center of things, we are the core where life begins. Yet we betray ourselves and ridicule each other. Just as I did the women in the window.

See, what I didn’t know at that time was the peace that could be found sitting still in the window. I didn’t know then the power of being still. I didn’t know that it’s only when you take time to hear the woman in you, that you become the woman you are meant to be. I didn’t know the mystery, the majesty, or the mastery of a woman. I didn’t know the wisdom that comes with being a woman. Oh, but I do now. And another thing that comes with being a woman is power. However power is often, when held by a woman- another word.

And that word is less kind than woman. That word is bitch. Now because I believe that words are things, things which also have power, we are going to redefine that word. For like with many other insulting words, bitch if embraced can be owned and made complimentary. Don't believe me? Check this out. Let us consider B.I.T.C.H. as an acronym, we can redefine it in this way; Being…In…Total…Control…of…Herself…And that’s a woman who get things done! So then. Going forward if ever we are called, or even considered to be bitches, we may thank them for noticing how far we've come.

For what I know so far is; We are of our own making. Whether we've craved the paths or followed the way, the road to womanhood is seldom and easy trek. Therefore we should embrace and encourage each other as we do ourselves. After all we've worked hard to get here.
Well I got to go. For you see, there's a place waiting for me, atop the radiator in front of the window. Radiant heat in the winter, warmed by the sun in the summer. A perfect place to sit and think and be. Just like that woman in the window.

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The ALL NEW Cassandra!

The ALL NEW Cassandra!
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Cassandra takes center stage at The Marcus Center For The Performing Arts to sing the National Anthem, at the 2010 Birthday Celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.