Saturday, August 30, 2008

Abha Dhayal and me

Abha and I dancing in Seda's kitchen in Hanover, Germany. That night Abha was preparing a large Indian feast for 20 plus women.When I was in Hanover at the International Feminist University for 3 months, I met and fell in deep sisterhood with a bevy of wonderful, wacky, intelligent, funny, generous, supportive, perplexing, honest, achingly beautiful women. Abha Dhayal, a filmmaker and poet from India was one of my closest IFU sisters. One weekends, a large gang of us women would party together, eat together, shop for food together, laugh together, dance together, make music together....our Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings were filled with amazing things to do, and we did everything together.

Abha and Samira (from Tunisia), my other heart-close IFU sister. Below, is a poem Abha wrote. It is about women sharing time together to help each other be strong.

Let us go laundering sister

the day is warm and the sun shines hot and unsmiling

the wind is not like melted butter today.....

we have a lot of washing to do.

Take out all your dreams sister

take them out of that dark cupboard

smelling and musty,

crumpled and torn,

beautiful, adventurous old dreams

that kept you awake

when you were a child...

I will take out mine and you take out yours

we'll wash them together

in a big, yellow, plastic tub.

We'll rub them and scrub them

till all their colours stand out,

squeeze out all the dirty water,

rinse them clean

till they smell of lilac

and all their colours shine like

they would hurt our eyes....

we will put them out to dry

on the line sister


you and I

your dreams and mine

all mixed and tumbled together

We will sit on the grass

still wet with last night's rain.

I will spread out my scarf

so you won’t feel the wetness.

You hold my hand while

I cry softly...

Waiting for the washing to dry

always takes

a long, long time...

We will fill this time with

our laughter sister,

and mix the colour of our skins

yours white, mine black.

we will churn it together

and make it the colour of the sky

while our dreams hang on the washline


drying together.

We will pull out our veins

still throbbing and pulsating,

red and alive,

warm and hot,

full of pain,

full of love...

We will exchange them sister,

so you can feel my blood rushing through your body

when the winter is harsh and

the frost settles on

the grass outside your window, and

I will feel your warmth

when I lay down my head on the cold stone floor

back home.

We will lie on the grass together sister

and dream of another day

like this...

warm and sunny,

like a new born child.

We will hold the day in our arms,

cradling it to our chests

caressing our hair together sister

while our dreams flutter in the wind



And when the sun comes down

like a big ball falling beyond the earth

and the grass begins to turn dark

we will take down all our dreams

one by one

dry and crisp

we will fold them

one by one sister.

We will laugh

joyous and sad.

We will mix them all together in a big heap

and then share them.

You take half and I will keep the rest.

We will need each other’s dreams

when the sky is full of snow

and the earth turns hard

like a stone.


At the moment I need all the dreams i can share



Michaela said...

Dear Taina,
I have just cleared out an old email account and in the process have re-read and saved my entire v/ifu archive - all those signs of life and messages I still hold so dearly. Thus, I have come across your blog and just wanted to say that it's a pleasure to find you writing here! (And still about ifu... :-)) I have always so enjoyed your wonderful way with words. Hoping you are well, Michaela (PA Body)

Patricia said...

Love it !

Lydia said...

Thank you for sharing!