On the closing day of Sensing Woman, I double parked and walked into the gallery, where the artists in the show were packing up their sold work, greeting their collectors, and reclaiming other pieces. Michelle was smiling, wielding a roll of packing tape, while Willa, the production coordinator, bagged up all of the cushy things she had brought from her house for our final gathering. There was a general air of conviviality. I packed my car (still with the California plates, oy!) from nose to tail, and ruminated on the arc of the last week- from the anticipation and joy of the opening days to the gentle space of the last day and the rather strange finish. I thought about all of the beautiful people, old friends, family, and strangers who showed up. A dear ally who sponsored catering and wine for the artists’ reception (and of course ordered vegan tacos and fried bananas- a tongue-in-cheek nod to the show topic), a friend who made a beautiful interactive exhibit, or a friend who dropped in for a single night to give a talk on connection, and ended up collecting a 1-foot tall Sophia Wallace piece called Swan, a graceful structure of an anatomically correct clitoris. My daughter-in-law, a high-impact podcaster and TV personality came from LA to host a vibrant panel on sexuality throughout the lifetime, including orgasmic birth. I thought about the team and all the work and creative inspiration they brought in. I thought about the tears and laughter that happened each day. I thought about the journalist who walked out when they found out there wasn’t a trans artist hanging in the show. I blessed Karuna from Maui Superherbs for his donation of pure tinctures, and all of the other donors, gift bag sponsors, and hosts. A special shout out to my partner @[100012271783593:2048:Colin Cook], who showed up with flowers and coffee and moral support, just for me. Not for the company or the cause, but out of a no- nonsense kind of love, even though it was inconvenient timing for him and it meant he had to shop for clothes, which he does not (yet) like to do. By the numbers, the show was a success. Over 700 people came through the gallery, our Livestream maxed out every day, and we raised a good amount of money for the Center for Intimacy Justice and Reproductive Rights. I was blown away by the content from our speakers (which was all recorded, we are releasing some of this on our site, and some on The Rose Woman podcast). We made so many new friends and allies: the collision space we aimed for had happened. And the integrated mind-heart-pussy-earth arc of experience I was seeking to craft kind of work. And of course I made a lot of mistakes, which select people were happy to remind me of! A friend who had come from Kentucky to attend the entire event, walked in to gather up one of Alexi Brock’s real gold vulvas, one that looked to me like a robed madonna. We decided to go for coffee, and stepped, umbrellaless, into the Saturday morning rain. Taxis, buses, bicycles making that swishing sound on the pavement, the greyest of grey light, coat and sweater weather. Getting wet while talking about subjective time, change, memory, mothering, making art, and taking risks. As I take inventory, with the input of the team and the participants, I feel like one thing is clear: gathering in real life matters to me. Our bodies and energetic imprints matter. This embodied kinship, without the go-between of media, othering, and separation, is worth working for. While I sometimes feel like a self-contained creature, I am in fact deeply related to everything and everyone. We are in kinship with every other living thing on earth. Tomorrow, October 15, is the last day the art is available: I invite you to see if there is a piece that you need in your home collection. I invite you to check out the Maui Superherbs sponsor offer. I invite you to purchase our featured speaker, V’s (fka Eve Ensler), books.
Thank you to those of you who came to the event, and for supporting this mission of rebalancing the feminine and masculine on earth, releasing all shame, and living a life of reverence and respect. All love, and all belonging.