Guest Editor Steph Blom joins us again, sharing a love of words, connection and self-recognition through her work with womens’ circles.
A few years ago I went to my first womens’ circle. At the time I had no idea what I was going to. Even though the experience felt quite alien to me, at the same time I felt very much at home, it felt strangely natural to share space with a group of women. Now I know that meetings of women in this form is actually a practice that has existed for ages, and it is very natural indeed.
Even when I did not know any of the people attending to the circle, there was a sense of unconditional acceptance, a safe space. Recognition, mirrors, trust, raw femininity, laughs, dance, space, honesty.
** The words are typed out on an old typewriter, and then sewn together by hand with wool, attached to a wooden/woollen circle.
These experiences made me wonder what makes these connections feel like such a basic need that feeds the being? What is peculiar about it? Out of this curiosity, I asked women from various places to describe the connections they experience with other women.
The richness in the words that were shared reflects the various ways in and levels on which we can connect, the dimensions of emotions and feelings we can share with others, the light and dark sides, the peculiarities, the many forms that love can take.
There lies a huge strength in connecting with others, when duality and oneness can be present simultaneously.
The words – as spoken and named by the participants in conversations with Steph.
Teacher/ Mirror/ From anger to love/ Patience/ Love and hate/ My example/ My channel/ She raised me in a very violent manner/ The strongest connection I have/ Difficult relationship/ Learning to intent to feel or do things in a different way/ Affection/ Contention/ Distance/ Opposite viewpoints/ Intense and conflictive/ I feel my freedom cut off/ I feel suffocated/ I admire her/ A connection mainly because of blood, and on the other hand emotional/ Love and possessiveness/ Volcanic love/ Duality: Pleasure and pain/ We used to fight/ We have grown close/ Natural tendency to worry about me/ The more I get to know her, the more I realize she already knows me/ She has the most zen knack for living in the moment/ Frustration/ She truly listens/ Creativity/ Warmth/ Welcome/ Silence/ Frustration/ She truly sees me/ Trust/ Pain
I marvel at the things she says/ She made me understand things/ She has made me grow many times/ Everydayness/ Presence/ Energetic connection/ Sharing/ Listening/ Love/ Connection/ Soul/ Close relationship/ Caring/ Protection/ Maternal/ It became a friendship/ Companionship/ The connection is asking for and needing distance to return to harmony/ Strong love/ Sister, mother, friend/ Mutual admiration/ Inspiration/ Safe/ Trust/ Laughs/ Realness/ We both love food/ She is perfectionistic/ She is a great mother/ We worry about each other
Good person/ Nobility/ Loyalty/ No need for words/ Strength/ Sisters/ Great life lessons/ Unconditional love/ I learned from her simplicity of communicating things/ Lots of love/ She’s already a mother/ Taught me the most genuine forms of parenting/ We do not have much in common/ Our friendship transcends everything/ Taught me about instincts and behaviors as a woman in society/ Giving/ Teaching/ Our conversations help us heal the soul/ We give each other strength/ We do not speak often/ Her humor often infects me/ Sometimes she’s a bit bad/ Many times I identify with her fears/ Trying to help the other to understand, one understands oneself/ She’s all heart/ I feel very identified with her way of feeling/ Like a sister/ Taught me to give love to others/ I opened up to meet beautiful people/ Like a reincarnation of a hippie from the 60’s/ She has been a bit like a mother to me/ Contention/ Affection/ Trust/ Letting go/ Sisterly love/ Total trust/ Laughs/ Beauty on earth/ Purity/ Sensitivity/ Feel like protecting her/ I admire her inner strength/ Peace in the heart/ Silence/ Confidence in life/ Play/ Art/ Enjoyment/ Disconnections/ Duality: friendship and superficiality/ Spiritual and loving connection/ Purity/ Deep fun and acceptance/ Earth/ Sensuality/ Confident woman/ Sacred/ Platonic attraction/Brought out the warmth in me/ Taught me how to trust and understand intuition/ To be sensitive to others’ feelings/ To be completely open with myself/ I can tell her everything/ Grown into real adulthood together/ Learning from each other almost as if it were ourselves in the experiences of the other/ I have hit the friendship jackpot/ Openness/ Warmth/ Closeness/ Shared biology/ Admiration/ Inspiration/ I love her voice/ No judgment/ Dance/ Humor
She died when I was very young/ I feel her presence as if I had shared with her my whole life/ I feel I grew up with her/ Connection to silence/ Serenity/ Peace/ Connection to the mysterious/ Duality: dark and light
Admiration as a wise woman/ Admiration as a medicine woman/ Woman-woman/ Bonding/ Consciousness
Like having a built-in school for how to interact with other females/ Trust/ Sharing my deepest thoughts/ Comfort/ Honesty/ We lean on each other/ Share big and small and happy and sad life events/ We grew up together/ Very strong connection/ Mutual recognition as each other’s mirrors/ One look is enough to know if something is wrong/ Affection/ Urge to protect and guide her/ Willpower/ Innocent/ Childish/ Energy bursts/ I encourage her to do better/ I admire her heart of gold/ Compassion for all beings/ We are different/ Unbreakable bond/ Unselfish love
I am named after her/ Encourages me to speak my mind/ Experiment with ideas and opportunities/ Loved writing letters to her/ Responsive/ She checks in on me/ She thinks of me/ Loyalty
Please do share your thoughts reading this – who were the special connections in your own life and what words play in your mind when you think of them?