First U.S.-Based Surgical Center Open for #FGM Survivors

Congratulations to Dr. Wayne Bloodworth on the opening of the first U.S. surgical center for #FGM survivors. My hope is that the work that he does will improve the lives of women who’ve been subjected to FGM. #EndFGM #MenAgainstFGM

http://test.globalwomanpeacefoundation.org/first-surgical-center-for-fgm-survivors-opens-in-the-u-s/

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Keep Coming Back to You

You are the one that captured my eye.
I wanted to know we’d stay together
Even when you felt we could no longer try.

The days are dark, and I feel so alone.
It is something my heart just can’t take.
I run from my tears
And long for those years
When our love was real not fake.

So you go your way, and I’ll go mine
Go search for someone new.
Just know that I can’t be like that
Cuz’ I’ll always keep coming back to you.

I dream about those sweet nights together
Your head resting softly against my chest.
While we talked about the future, our plans.
The love was sweet, honest, the best.

I don’t know what I did.
How I could’ve changed to make you stay.
But it seems we’re over now
And the sky’s a bitter gray.

So you go your way, and I’ll go mine.
Go search for someone new.
Just know that I won’t be like that
Cuz’ I’ll always keep coming back to you.
Keep coming back to you, oh yes, I’ll keep on coming back to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nourishment – Our Children’s Recipe

Praises for the day we were born
Under the mango trees to frolic.
Berries of wonderment we are,
1215171547_resizedBursting with life-giving juices.

Frothy and whipped we play
While mixing strains of tunes
Played on peppermint flutes.

With chocolate fingers and marzipan mouths,
Crimson cherry jumps
On top of our sweet cream of innocence
To embellish our communal sundae.

Praises for the day we were born,
For the life-giving milk-love
Free-flowing and warm.
Stir batter.
Add spices.

Mix us, candy toes and chocolate breath
Into the warmed copper pot of humankind.
Stir. Repeat. Pour into baking pan.
Set temperature.
On Life.

Praises for the day we were born.
Baked off and iced.
Cooled. Sliced.
Fed to the hungry arms of those who love us.

We are of them.
They now, are of us.

 

 

 

 

 

My inner healing at Sahiyo’s Activist Retreat in the U.S.

Ending #FGM will saves lives, eliminate suffering and trauma, and remove yet another aspect of female oppression. #MenAgainstFGM

SAHIYO

By Anonymous

Country: United States
Age: 34

To be honest, it was hard for me to make the decision to go to the Sahiyo Activist Retreat earlier this year. I grew up in the Dawoodi Bohra community in India, and having had my share of challenges with the community that involved threats to my family, I felt like I didn’t have the courage within me to start another battle that involved me fighting against FGM/khatna. But I knew deep down inside that none of my battles with my community had ever ended, and if I stopped speaking up now, another girl somewhere else would have to suffer like me.

I have been away from India for the last 7 years, and it took a retreat like this one for me to realise that I had not interacted with a single person from within the Bohra community here in the US…

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Certainty of an Ending

A moment exists for an ending.
Catch it while you still can.
A wick burns brightest when it’s sending
Out heartfires to a waiting hand.

The wind blows not for an extended soliloquy;
It snaps itself off just in time.
The heart knows not of a weak-kneed lengthening
Of an eager lover’s amorous lines.

An ending exists for a moment.
The seconds already starting to tick.
A symbiotic relationship these two have.
One without the other simply cannot exist.

Seething rage is lit,
Then it flickers out.
Its embers still remain,
But its flame is, most assuredly, out.

The brevity of a sigh
That passes from her lips
Can tell so much about the state that she is in,
Though the moment may not be fixed.

From the hot water sting,
To sleep induced by a boring preacher,
The nature of moments is that we learn
That they are, by their nature, an excellent life teacher.

All moments have their endings
When the denouement begins,
When time has passed the halfway mark,
And we know it soon must end.

Do not despair over this, my friend
The bad moments pass as swiftly as the slow.
All moments do have an ending
And that’s all you need to know.

 

 

 

 

I’m Singing Again Because I Can

I’m learning to sing again, and it feels good. It’s been years since I had the courage to sing, to open up, and to put life’s troubles behind me to create the space to sing. I’ve got a lot of work to do – it takes a while for the voice to get in shape after so many years. But, the whole point is that I’m DOING it. I’m singing again, and it feels great. My voice instructor posted this to the studio’s YouTube channel. I didn’t expect that, so his kind gesture feels really nice. I hope you enjoy the tune.

Love ya, love you, I love you: Love in the age of social media

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately and how we express it in the fast-paced world in which we live. Two times in one day someone said to me “love ya.” This got me to thinking about how we say we love someone, and how we say it reflects degrees of love, as well as how the person who says it, and how the recipient interprets, the expression of love.

For me, “love ya” smacks of a certain carelessness. It feels a bit meaningless in fact.  A send-off. A one-off. A blow-off, even. It crosses, big time, over the line into casualness, as if “love ya” were equal to a “bye” or even a “see ya.” It’s a sort of a I’m on my way, off to do other things, multitasking expression. Often added to the end of a call, an email, a text, or in conversation, “love ya” has no depth and meaning. It leaves us wondering. Those two words – “luv” and “ya” (is “ya” even a word?) – don’t take much work to say. In fact, it’s as if they are one word: “loveya.” What the hell is “loveya” anyway? A new sponge? Or a coffee even: “I’ll take one loveya with cream, please.” Saying it transforms the two words into a meaningless mush of two words that are so special, and that have such capacity to touch the heart.

“Loveya” is the antithesis of heart. It’s the equivalent of a heart emoji, only without the smile. It’s said when someone wants to say something to somebody they are fond of, but don’t have much energy to put into it. Sure, time and place matter. A “loveya” fills in in a pinch, and seals a conversation in a positive way. It has its uses. It’s just that, for me, it cheapens love, sounds curt, and often feels meaningless. A “loveya” just doesn’t make me feel loved.tombradevelinegirlsspain

“Love you” offers more. “Love you” suggests effort behind it because the “ya” is a “you,” meaning a real person. “Ya” sounds more like a Dutch “yes” than it does a warm-blooded human being. “You” suggests that a recipient of the sentiment actually exists; that the one who says it is sending a loving message to a real person. “Ya” just doesn’t fit the bill. While better than a “love ya,” “love you” still falls a bit short, never indicating who’s saying it. There’s no subject to the predicate. Also, the context in which it is said is different. I have found that “love you” is said more often in-person than in an email or text. So context matters here, as does degree of relationship, and even desire for relationship. In comparison to “loveya,” a “love you” suggests a deeper connection, one that carries with it a sense of reciprocity, a sort of “I got your back” feeling that actually means something. A “love you” turns the “you” into a real person, with real feelings, wants, desires, and needs. It offers more than “love ya” because it’s less of a one-off. “Love you” has more weight. If we want to truly feel loved by someone, then “love you” makes us feel a lot better than a “love ya” does.

Now an “I love you” is serious stuff. It takes guts to say it, and mean it because it represents a certain jumping off of the precipice with no turning back. Saying “I love you” adds heart to the words that “love you” and “loveya” cannot provide. These three words are what Tom says to me every day after 28 years of living together, becoming dads together, getting married (yes, after 25 years, we did it!) and having a granddaughter together. “I love you” shows commitment through thick and thin, and is not said cavalierly. It is said with intention and heart. An “I love you” is intended to make the recipient’s heart flutter, a smile appear, and a soul feel good. I know that it does for me.

A life well-lived has its rewards. So agracepalioloves I work hard to focus on relationships, knowing that they are always changing, I want what I say to mean something. I want to know that what I say is not said just to be said, but is instead said because it is real. So yes, the world is fast-paced and often bewildering, and so we have to hold on to those who are dear to us. Thinking about whom we love, and how we want to express that sentiment to those individuals, is important. Life is short and fleeting. I want my love to matter. Don’t you?