An Extraordinary Monday Night

vigil definition: an act of staying awake, especially at night, in order to be with a person who is very ill or dying, or to make a protest, or to pray                 Cambridge Dictionary

18/06/2018, 5.30 -7.30 p.m. Reclaim Princess Park, that’s what came up in my Facebook feed. Introduction to Oncology for Physiotherapists and Exercise Professionals, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre 18/06/2018, 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. My PD landed me right in the neighbourhood.

I wanted to pay my respects to Eurydice Dixon.

Siphoned along by the ever-increasing throng of people who knew where to go, I found my way to Princess Park. The grass underfoot yielded and cold seeped through the soles of my boots. Melbourne winter, just shy of the solstice, freezing of course. Silently a crowd gathered.

It was amazing as you can see from Kate Carey Peters’ footage.

People came from all directions, some bearing flowers, some candles. Women came supported by their men. Women came in the arms of close friends or relatives. The Red Cross offered tissues and support. From 5.30 p.m. we stood in the descending cold and waited. Time stretched and contracted as it does when waiting.

An undertone of kindness and solidarity wrapped its arms around us. Someone gave me a candle and I watched its flame brighten as the natural daylight faded. Staffers handed out words for a song, a single sheet size 14 font, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. I read the familiar words, ironic in this setting. The loud speakers crackled into life at 6.00 p.m. and after two brief speeches, we, the family of humanity observed twenty minutes of silence. A choir sang Hallelujah. The crowd moved closer into the spot where Eurydice Dixon was taken.

How many women here had been assaulted? Of those how many had retracted their freedom in search of safety? How did they feel about that? How many now under-dressed, choosing to be mediocre rather than stunning? How many had their butts pinched? And now avoided contact with the office sleaze? How many had contracted their worlds because of that? How many did what was required? Dressed and functioned as a corporate hand bag? How many traded their divine feminine nature in to be safe? Why was that the acceptable norm?

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While I don’t feel frightened, I have made concessions limiting my personal freedom, my self-expression and have diminished my beauty to be safe defend myself from those who don’t respect my boundaries. I tried to buck the system. I got hurt. The kind of hurt that lives inside, leprosy.

I wondered why the world had to be matriarchal or patriarchal. Why couldn’t men and women work together honouring each others humanity. Why couldn’t they share their gifts and honour each others individual strengths?

When did the darkness outside become frightening and unsafe? Surely the darkness within concealed within was of far greater concern? I saw the limitation sitting on the shoulder of each woman and hoped that we would continue to evolve.

Thank you Mad Fucking witches for your poem.

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Indeed: Why are you so angry?

If you need someone to talk, click on the links below:

Lifeline

Hotlines

Beyond Blue

Kids Helpline

 

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