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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #4

Blessed Art Thou Among Women

Gertrude Käsebier. American, 1852 - 1934

c.1900 Medium photogravure

23.5 x 14.3 cm (9 1/4 x 5 5/8 in.) sheet: 28.5 x 17.2 cm (11 1/4 x 6 3/4 in.)

Credit: Robert Menschel and the Vital Projects Fund

Open Access. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Blessed art thou among women, she who whispers secret wisdom in a daughter’s ear. Blessed she, bold child, face-forward, poised to exit light-belly room, poised to enter dim hallway, dark world. Blessed art thou among women, she gathers friends, tribes, families, serves the hot food that warms everywhere, pitches tents and teepees, makes wagons into homes and homesteads on bitter winter prairies. Blessed is she who protects the water of which we are all made. Blessed art thou among women, who raises sons to love women. She loves women. Blessed art thou who chauffeurs and shoulders the baggage of living. Blessed the single mother, childless woman, those who have lost their children, those who raise others’ children, those who keep the inner child alive. Blessed the woman metal-fierce and torch-beckoning the way for everyone, fixed in place to remind us of our better selves. Blessed is she who rescues herself. Blessed is she, shutter-clicking women’s lives into art. Blessed the woman who plays hardball with boys, persists, speaks truths, resists, and runs corporations. She will not be flattened or frightened by crystal barriers. She will break them. Blessed art thou, wondrous woman. Blessed art thou women who labor long, work for little, take sickness and health, risk bodies, flee countries, build better futures. Blessed art thou, woman who sparks outrage as outrageous self, brilliant flamboyance, her inventions, dance, music, image. No one’s to create. Only hers to own. Blessed art thou women, all divine keepers of lost hearts and quiet healings. Blessed art thou, Woman-Lover-Warrior-Life-Channel, you ray of sun mixed with moon mixed with man. Blessed art man, each animal, all creatures. Blessed every single one who stands steady in a doorway, on a threshold between light and darkness, steps forward, and blesses.

Your turn. Want to let this image or these words inspire you? Feel free to share your writing in the Comments below. Or share a link to your blog or website.

Keep in mind: 1) 350-word max 2) Any genre for your short. 3) No posting of advice or criticism about anyone else's short.

VISUAL ARTISTS are encouraged to respond/share with photographs, drawings, etc.!

Thanks for joining me here!

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