Last night, I sat around a table with women with far more wisdom, experience and (let's get real) raw talent than little old me. The table was full of cake dishes tumbling with strawberries, cream filled cookies, diet cokes adorned with little red bows (the diet coke was thanks to this girl) and stacks of white paper. We chatted about our days and I tried to sneaky eat a whole sleeve of lemon cookies without anyone noticing. Not because I was ashamed of the consumption, but simply because I did not wish to share.
And then after a half hour of "I love your shirt!" and "Is the Indian food good there? I am dying for some saag paneer" (that last one said with a whole cookie in my mouth), the room got quiet.
And the woman next to me began to read.
It was a story brimming with laughter and little and big truths. When she finished the room filled with applause, and "Oh, I am so glad I am not the only one." And then there was another moment of silence.
One after another we picked up the white papers that sat in front of us and read.
We read about our lives, our children, our mothers and the women we hoped to be. We read about our misadventures, our hard truths and moments of light. We read ourselves into laughter and tears and a remembrance of ourselves as women outside of the day to day to day.
It was a beautiful two hours and I am connected to those women in way I forgot was possible.
As I drove home I found myself wishing for that experience for all of my sisters across this life. Just a little room, a little food and a connection across experience and time. What if we were all honest with each other? What if we shared the things we only think? What if we allowed ourselves to be comrades in this thing called womanhood?
On May 9th, those fourteen women and I are going to gather in another, slightly larger, room. We are part of Utah's first Listen To Your Mother Show and we will read one more time. I hope you will be there. I hope you will laugh and cry with us.
And then I hope you will leave and laugh and cry with the women sitting around your table. The ones that are a phone call away, live down the street or just across the hall. We are a part of something grand, you and I.
Perhaps it is about time we start treating it that way.
Tickets for Utah's Listen To Your Mother Show can be found here. The cast of lovely women speaking can be found here, among them are Courtney Kendrick, Amy Hackworth, Holly on the Hill and so many other women I will look up to until my neck hurts. (Men that read my blog, this would be a fantastic mother's day gift. And it is pretty darn inexpensive to boot.)
PS. I couldn't find a thing to write after the bombings in Boston. They left me raw and upset. After the horror of Sandy Hook, I wrote this and it seems it is a lesson I need to learn again and again and again.