“Love, the poet said, is woman’s whole existence.”
– Virginia Woolf, Orlando
Perhaps each of us would respond differently to Woolf’s claim; but if Maya Angelou asserts “love recognizes no barriers” and Linda Hogan reminds us that we are “the result of the love of thousands,” our paradigm of love expands to our ancestors, to the woman next to us and those to come, to our creative practice, to ourselves.
Submit your creative response here.
Susan Florence, Venus Prado, and Sandra Inskeep-Fox submitted creative words and art in response to the featured Q. You are invited to enjoy their full submissions below.
“I, Creatress” by Susan Florence
I, a creatress, was born to carry the life force. All of us women, pregnant or not, were
built to create, nurture, care about, and relate to others. I was not born to be a muse for
the writer, a study for the painter, or an inspiration for the poet. I was born to create.
Like the women I see at the markets in Mexico who embroider birds that fly in green
threads, weave yarn into purple mountains, string tourquoise beads into jewelery, pound
panela for cheese, and stir spices and chocolate for mole, I too, must live my urge to
create as I paint, as I write, as I attend my garden. But I won’t be sewing. I have no
patience for this.
Where is my creative self?
It is here.
When is it?
It is now.
What is it?
It is me, here, now.
How is it?
It opens, it receives, it allows.
“My favorite color is yellow and yes, my real name is Venus…
I try to love but am imperfect.
I am imperfect and trying to believe that it’s okay.”
– Venus Prado, “I Am Human,” The Q
“Izle”: a floating spark, an ember by Sandra Inskeep-Fox
What starts a poem?
A cold night on a long road home
Comfort begins and grows
As izle flames.
Who knows at which point spark becomes fire
Or from whence the spark.
First there is nothing,
The stretch of the grey snaking road winding on ahead
Boredome perhaps as well, or discontent, or some
Meanness of soul that needs addressed. It could be
Even the oxygen of happiness that fuels it all,
Me sitting as some full vessel wishing as usual to overflow
And you all unaware.
Forty or so cows lie shadowed in soft-lighted shelter
Which even in the snow seems cozy warm
And one alone stands in concert, lowing his hymn
To the Understanding One
Proof against the calmness of the herd
That there is more to life than this.
And this more-to-life, be it angst or angel, floats white in the headlights
Dragging me home as if tethered by doubt.
No good poet says it was easy, or that
It came as a gift, or that
There is any other way.
There is the darkness with its fragile spark,
There is the narrowing tunnel of doubt,
There is always the herd to consider,
And there is the lowing alone
Knowing it will be many hours yet, perhaps days,
Before the morning hearth glows bright.