I know that WTF Wednesdays (WTF, in case you didn’t know, stands for Why That Face?) are supposed to be for ranting, but I’ve had an experience this week that changed my view on rants forever. Does that sound dramatic? Good! I feel dramatic. On Monday, I saw Eve Ensler, author of “the Vagina Monologues” (a play I’ve been in three times-hey there, fellow Vagina Warriors!) at Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA. Here is my account of the life-changing event.
“I saw Eve last night (is it okay to call her Eve? Should I call her Ms. Ensler? I don’t want to be presumptuous. But I feel like I know her. I think she would not be mad at me for calling her Eve.) at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA. The 247-seat theater was completely sold out, and I felt lucky to be there. I’d seen Eve before in 2008 on her “Emotional Creature” tour. I had come away from that experience impressed and inspired. I came away last night awed.
I must admit, embarrassingly, I did not know Eve had battled uterine cancer. I thought “In the Body of the World” was about body image issues-just general empowerment stuff. As soon as she came onstage, however, I knew something was different. She was thinner, and the signature black bob and red lipstick were gone. But something more profound had shifted-she positively radiated peace. As she held her hands in the “namaste” position, just soaking in the adoration, I think we all felt like we were in the presence of a divine figure.
Then she spoke-and explained, in harrowing truth, about how lucky we all are to be alive. She was hardcore, honest, and totally, heartbreakingly real. She read from her book-gorgeous prose-but also shared stories from her heart, casual asides that were all the more meaningful for being spur-of-the-moment.
The whole house sat rapt-young, old, lesbian, straight, all colors, all shapes and sizes (even some brave males!)-as we drank in her words. I felt like a child sitting at the feet of a storyteller. Or a prophet.
She closed the evening with a reading from the scan “Second Wind”. I found myself in tears as she described being a force that moved everything but did not leave a mark. She spoke of joy-endless joy, no more rage and hate and blame. No more proving herself, no more “I’ll show them”, but just love and peace and joy. Her words were like rain on my parched, bitter heart. For a woman, such a brilliant and powerful woman, to say-we don’t have to fight anymore. We don’t have to push and hurt anymore. We just need to love, love, love: it was a rebirth. I felt right for the first time in a really long time. I felt free, I felt alive-I just FELT. And I did not feel ashamed that I FELT.
Eve has always urged women to love and accept who they are. We are emotional creatures. We feel, deeply and often. We sob, we laugh, and we scream. But for the first time last night, I knew that we didn’t have to rage. That we could change the world-that we are already changing the world-with pure and peaceful love.
Eve pointed out that much has been done to improve peoples’ minds-literacy campaigns, education, etc. But until peoples’ hearts are improved, there will be no end to the violence. I had always suspected that in my soul, but never found the words to say it. Hearing from Eve was like the unlocking of a cage door around my heart. I cannot, nor will I ever be able to, describe that feeling.
I drove home from the event in prayer. Then I called all the women in my life and told them how much I loved them, how beautiful they were, and how much they mattered to me. This morning on my way to work, instead of scowling at people on the train, I thought, “What a wondrous, wondrous world.”
With Vagina Monologues, Eve started a revolution. With Body in the World, she revolutionized revolution itself. And I will always count myself incredibly lucky that I was able to be there.”
So, friends, thank you for reading my blog. I promise to continue to highlight social injustice on WTF Wednesdays, but I promise not to rage. We can make a difference without it! So, hold me to it, folks. If you see me raging, call me out on it.
Join us Friday for a review of Rainbow Rowell’s “Eleanor and Park”-the book that almost made me vomit it was so nerve-wracking!