Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thinking About Clover

I'm still brainstorming for Monday. You'll probably have to endure this all weekend long, or better yet, just avoid this blog.

Carter Heyward, whose theory text "Sexuality, Love, and Justice" I'm exploring below, uses these words to describe herself: lesbian feminist Christian priest and teacher. Here's a couple more quotes I think are relevant to what she has to say and sure to generate discussion.

Heterosexism is a social structure pervasive in our culture and worthy only of being undone.

In our present social order, mutual sexual relationships are available largely in same-sex relationships.

The lesbian relationship, as I experience it, may be mutual, and as such may offer a glimpse into a way of being in the world that is as instructive for women and men in relation as for women and women and men and men. To be a lesbian is, for me, a way--the best way for me -- of being a lover.

Oh, it's going to be a fun class! I'm really interested in exploring this mutuality idea, relationships with less emphasis on the power scheme. We haven't really used the poetry book assigned for the class, Claiming the Spirit Within, but I've sifted through it looking for something that might fit the theme. I've come up with this, a poem I love just for its simple, beautiful lines, the way it does what it does:

Every Fact is a Field

by Elizabeth Seydel Morgan

In the language of science, every fact is a field. -- Jacob Bronowski

It is summer on your father's farm,
South Georgia, 1956.
We are teenaged girls.

Our bare legs straddle the bare backs
of palomino quarter horses
who're muzzling and munching clover,
the reins loose on their golden necks.

The clover is blooming, a purple field
sloping away from this knoll
to a dark stand of pines
that hides half the sun.

We're sharing a stolen cigarette,
feeling horsewarmth against our thighs,
the June air cooling on our moist skin.

We talk so long the sky draws up
the clover's color to its own field.

The horses snort, then shift
Your leg touches mine as we watch in silence
the black pines rise,
pulling this land up and over,
taking us backward into night.

Without a word we rein our horses
and turn their heads, mine left, yours right.

The evening is a fact.
I am still here in its field.

(published in Claiming the Spirit Within, ed. Marilyn Sewell, Boston: Beacon Press, 1996).


Rachel said...

What amazingly offensive tripe. I wish I could be in that class when this is discussed.

Charmi said...

It would certainly liven things up if you were there. But save up your thoughts for Friday. You can tell me all about it then.