This past July I was able to go to Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, Maryland, which is essentially summer camp for adults. There’s a heavy focus on music, though they have other classes and events as well. All week I heard incredible musicians sing and play and I took the following classes: Appalachian Women Writers, Photoshop, Storytelling, Photography, and Celtic harp.
At the end of the week, one of the women musicians invited me to be a part of a women’s circle.
“We’ll meet under the tree in front of the apartments,” she said.
When I showed up, there were five or six other women there. I had met a few of them and had heard them sing and play music. I am one of those people who is easily star struck, and these women were amazing, but I didn’t let that get in the way of me hanging out with them. At the time, my son was thirteen months old and my partner and I switched off caring for him while we were there. This was my night off, so I was going to be there even if I was starry eyed.
Women’s circle. In my head, there were several ways that could go. The two that stuck out were: 1.) woo- woo ridiculousness and 2.) empowering soul- lifting space for women. Luckily, it turned out to be more of the latter than the woo- woo stuff.
Having time together as women, in what is a heavily male oriented festival with all of the musicians, brought us into a glimpse of understanding of each other. There were no men to impress, flirt with, feel intimidated by, or to compete with. I was reminded how women relate to one another when we are together and united rather than divided. How we communicate with each other. How compassionate we can be with each other and how beautiful we are. How when women sit together and talk, when we work together, we can heal ourselves and each other, as well as the world.
It quickly became a space where we could share without men peeking in to take our attention away, without us competing with each other, and without us putting anyone down. In any performance art, whether it be music, spoken word, theater, you name it, there is competition. Since I wasn’t a musician, I didn’t feel that as much during the week, but it seemed that any competition or judgements between the women there, faded away in the midst of us sharing together. It was one of those times when I have been with a group of women and felt that if we work together rather than against ourselves, we can change the world.
This blog is to work toward uniting women. This is not a new idea certainly, so I want feedback as people begin to read it. I believe it is necessary that we not only create spaces among women to be strong and support each other, but to also work with the existing space to be in solidarity with one another.
‘Carpe Diem’ is imprinted in the cement in the center of the floor of the gazebo at McDaniel College. It was such a fun discovery to make. Seize the day. Today is a good day to make change for women and for everyone.