The Necessity of Beauty

Find a way to make beauty necessary;

find a way to make necessity beautiful.

Anne Michaels

These days my life lens is a bit cloudy, its focus in and out. It is the political situation in this country, not the election–that’s over–it’s where we go from here.

I don’t know any escape. Zen teaches me that to escape is Shenpa or “biting the hook,” seeking comfort in food, drink, or anything that keeps me from meeting the issue. Anything that keeps me from walking through the door of equanimity, practicing life with an evenness of mind.

Increasingly, I am active in thoughtful and nonviolent resistance. Civil disobedience. There is more than one congressional office that knows my name. They are sick of me, and I am sick of them.

But as Bob Dylan told us, “a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.” And it has already begun.storm-clouds-081913

Just before Christmas, I joined the Nasty Women Book Project, a group of women committed to effecting change through story, maybe the most powerful resource humans have. Story has been our way since the beginning of humanity.   

The NWP stories are rich, raw, and varied, sometimes dark, but each is a powerful response to an event that changed America, the election of 2016. It was always a historic vote, no matter the outcome, but the outcome was the unexpected.

The election is the catalyst for the NWP but its stories are so much more. It is in reflection that stories emerge, and these are no exception.

This group of women has come together to donate their art and their skill as editors, publicists, marketers, and publishers to support Planned Parenthood. Volume 1 will be available in March and the second volume is already in the works.

Planned Parenthood receives 100% of the book proceeds. 100%. At the NWP, everybody donates time and skills. Everybody.

Chris Kelly’s article in The Huffington Post, “Paul Ryan is Underestimating Nasty Women,” explains the how and why of the NWP.

Our website, the Nasty Women Book Project, features some of the stories that will appear in Volume 1. I’m honored that my essay, “Confessions of a Closet Activist,” is among them.

For me, the NWP is activism at its best, a small group of citizens coming together to make necessity beautiful.   100_1781-2

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

6 thoughts on “The Necessity of Beauty

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    1. Oh, Angela! You have certainly made my day. 🙂 Thank you, which feels woefully inadequate but it is what I have. Clearly, this is a project near and dear to my heart; it is a way of being able to make a difference, and we hope a significant one. Every day, these women amaze me and give me hope. I’m so glad you enjoyed the piece; it was not easy to write. You are way too kind but your words mean a great deal. Again, thank you.
      Karen

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      1. Your work touched me deeply. I remember the tragedy of that young man very clearly and it could happen anywhere, sad to say.

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  1. That was a wonderful essay ! Congratulations for having your essay published, and for being a genuine nasty woman ! This is definitely a time which calls for it .

    Liked by 1 person

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