A couple of weeks ago when my guest became ill, I decided to use the hour to tell my personal story of how I came to create Wise Woman Storytime. It was actually perfect timing because September is the first anniversary of my radio show and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this momentous occasion.
My journey to radio host on KOWS.FM began as a deeply personal inquiry into the meaning of growing older. It brought me to a confrontation with a culture that reveres the young and dismisses the old and got me to look at my own fears, anxieties and hopes for my third life stage.
How my search for meaning as a self-described aging, saging crone took me on a circuitous meandering through ageism and sexism in a search for community, collaboration and camaraderie is my story today.
I invite you to listen to my story and learn how Wise Woman Storytime evolved into the only show that I know of that puts the spotlight on older women, giving us all the voice and visibility we so deserve.
And by the way, Wise Woman Storytime shines the light on our elderwoman community, but is a show for men, women, young and old.
1973 was a turning point for women across this country. Roe v Wade became the law of the land and women could now end their pregnancies in a medically safe environment with trained doctors and staff…….Pregnant women would no longer have to resort to dangerous methods and life threatening methods to self induce a pregnancy. No longer would women have to pay exorbitant amounts of money and take solitary trips to foreign countries or blindfolded drives to darkened buildings or apartments in questionable or remote areas to have this medical procedure performed in unsanitary conditions by untrained and often times unscrupulous people.
It is estimated that before Roe v Wade became the law of the land, 1.2 million women resorted to an unsafe abortion each year.
Today, 40 years later, in state after state, laws are being passed that are medically unnecessary and scientifically inaccurate in the name of “protecting” women or protecting the rights of the “unborn.”
These laws are chipping away at making legal abortions unavailable to women- particularly poor women and women who live in rural areas. And just like pre Roe v Wade, women are once again taking the matter into their own hands increasingly buying inducing abortion drugs on the internet and trying to end pregnancies on their own.
Safe abortion clinics are disappearing and the few that are still open for business, face a constant bombardment from hostile, angry protestors. Women and yes, men, seeking medical advice on contraception, testing and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, cancer screening and prevention, women related health issues and the 3% seeking abortions are often bombarded with hostile protestors. The anti-choice movement has turned its attention to abortion doctors attempting to make it difficult for them to continue practicing.
Today’s show will introduce you to the realities and roadblocks many women face in 2015 when they seek access to a safe and LEGAL abortion. You will hear Fran John’s very personal story of getting an illegal abortion in 1956 and you will see the painful parallels between pre Roe V Wade times and today. Unless we can turn this tide around, we are going to be witnessing a resurgence of back alley and self induced abortions. Desperate women will find ways to abort – legally or not.
We must remember that Roe V Wade was not the beginning of women having abortions. Roe V Wade was the end of women dying from abortions. Pro choice and the right of women to legally have a safe abortion is as pro life as you can get.
Thank you, Fran Johns for sharing your personal story and the stories of women from the1940”s to modern times. We must NEVER forget what our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and aunts went through and we must find ways to help our peers, sisters and granddaughters so they may get the medical care they are entitled to by our constitution.
Young and old must read Perilous times. As George Santayana said, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
What do poetry and divination have in common? The answer is Sher Christian, my Wise Woman Storytime guest this week.
Just as there are probably as many definitions of poetry as there are poets, there are a myriad of tools available for guiding us as we seek answers and unravel life’s most challenging questions.
Sher Christian combines the two.
Carl Sandburg said, “Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance. Edgar Allan Poe wrote “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words. Wordsworth defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings;” And Emily Dickinson said, “If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry.”
People use the tarot, I-Ching, Runes, pendulums, Ouiija Boards, crystal balls, even tea leaves to gain insight into a question or situation.
Sher Christian’s book, Star Kissed Shadows, Divining Poetry certainly can be enjoyed for the beautiful, sensuous and evocative imagery she word paints. Yet, the book is designed as a divining tool, an aid in receiving guidance, clarity and support for transcending life’s challenges. Ask a question or focus on a situation that needs clarification and randomly choose a page. It’s a simple process with the potential for profound insights.
Sher and her musician husband John combine their talents and are available for parties, groups and celebrations offering music with poetry divination.
Sher hosts the Third Sunday Poetry Open Mic at Coffee Catz in Sebastopol.