Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Late Years Fifty-Six

Judy by Elisabeth Plattner June 1, 2019

The Late Years Fifty-Six  November 17, 2019

Honor comes late but welcome.
The Veteran Feminists of America
have put me on their website. They
learned all my secrets. Most things
I did quietly. I didn’t waste energy
or time, but used the Zen wisdom 
when you cut up meat: “Go for the
spaces between the bones.” It worked
every time. I told women their writing
was important, and I published them. 
Mostly, I was ignored. Every once
in awhile a woman writes to thank
me for helping her. I didn’t receive
the big literary awards–the North
Carolina Award, the Literary Hall of 
Fame, but the landscape changed.
I helped and published men, too,
but the major change in our literary
landscape in the seventies was how
so many women’s voices were now 
being heard. I published them in
Black Sun/New Moon. I drew them to
a day-long meeting called “Tell Me A 
Story That’s True.” I never had much
money but I found it to make new
things possible. A woman bought me
a tee shirt when I didn’t have the money
at the conference. We used Muriel 
Ruykheiser’s words: “If one woman told the
whole story of her life, the world would 

split open.” I hear the first crack.

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