Creating a CodePINK House for wimmin activists .. to be continued
Women, most of us strangers to each other, came from every corner of our country to burrow into the CodePINK house, connect with the others, and work to create a womb that held our hopes, our dreams, our actions for D.C. and absorbed our fears, our huge disappointments, our bitterness. And that daily birthed powerful amazing actions that catapulted hot pink onto the forefront of D.C. consciousness, into the headlines, photos, captions of national press and from the front row gallery seats to the back rows of senate and congressional hearings.
I’ve written about people’s reactions to us. I haven’t written about our home that provided both respite and space in which we created the kind of living environment we want to duplicate around the country.
We began our time together committing ourselves to our 11 agreements we had developed during mothers day MONTH. Absorbing the energy and intent of those agreements helped to form our loving, peaceful, powerful activist foundation from which we left and returned to every day.
Wimmin just took responsibility, for themselves, for each other, and for creating this peaceful, strong environment. To mention a few: Reba stepped up to be the house warmer – the water that kept the logistics of the house flowing. Celeste and Janet took it upon themselves to be the house providers and they bought good, organic food and supplies from the local small businesses. Cindi took on the job of kitchen fairy and made sure the kitchen was always sparkling by morning! Bianca was our healer, masseuse, gourmet cook. Nancy was house technical communications that provided all our hi-tech & took care of our hi-tech obstacles. Barbara created healthy amazing meals that awaited us morning and nite. Ann was event researcher & kept us informed of hearings, appearances, happenings. And Joan, Joan didn’t stay with us but Joan provided everything we needed that the house didn’t already have!
Everyone pitched in. Everyone carried her own weight. Everyone shared responsibilities and carrying each other’s weights when called upon.
That is not to say difficulties didn’t arise. Some did, but very few. Some wimmin found it challenging to create a space that was by, for, about wimmin and wimmin-only which did not include gay men, straight men, or trannies. Other wimmin found it difficult to support a space that didn’t embrace dogs. And still others found they were tested by a space free from alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. Various others were put out by a conservation space, like turning down the heat & not running the dishwasher. A few did not find it easy to spend more money for supporting organic & small biz rather then finding it cheaper by buying corporate and non-organic or not fair-trade.
But we did it! We created a space that actually embraced the values we struggle for and purport to hold high. And we did it peacefully, without meanness, hollering, or hours and hours of processing – although we did process successfully – and with keeping our main goal always at the forefront: which is we are in D.C. to END WAR!
Our home vibrated with the brilliance, strength, creativity, and love of probably over 50 wimmin during the 30 days we were there. Of course, many of those individuals are a cadre of thousands!
We met every evening, shared the highlites of our day, and mapped out our strategies for the next day. We got up early, gave each us 30 minute, 10 minute, and 2 minute warnings for trying to get out the house together. We went to hearings, events, offices. We went together and we went our separate ways. We reconnected during they day around noon at various senate or congressional cafeterias. And we returned at nite, to regroup, to share a meal, to reenergize for the next day.
We slept on beds, sofas, cushions on the floor, packing blankets, futons. We conserved water and showered quickly and infrequently. We let it mellow when it was yellow. We left the front door unlocked, turned down the heat at nite, got few hours of sleep, and made lovely hot pink money bags, banners, posters not to mention secret plans of throwing over war mongers and establishing peace in our nation and world.
And we look so forward to continuing the CodePINK House in D.C.