The Mother of All Storms

We are living through a disruption of patriarchal history.

On Friday almost 1.5 million Irish women and men of all ages stood together for the rights of women. To edit our constitution – the words on which our national identity is built. The words which empower our laws which affect every aspect of our lives. We voted to (finally) give each woman in Ireland the right to choose over what happens to her own body. 66.4% of Irish people said Yes. It has been a hard and hurtful battle.

The sun shone bright on a record turn out of voters.

We celebrated with champagne, a party with campaigners, roast lamb with family. Over dinner we noted how close and humid it was. All through the day we had watched the results unfold. All through the day my body buzzed. All through the day friends on social media said they kept bursting into tears.

We went to bed. But we did not sleep. Instead we were hit by the strongest electrical storms in our memories. (This in a year of meteorological firsts). The newspapers have named it The Mother of All Storms. It was a very apt name. It seemed as though the Great Mother cried and wailed and stormed and mourned all the lives lost and the helplessness felt by Irish women for generations, powerless over their own bodies. A release of the tension and anxiety of the past months and years. A massive discharge as reality itself was reset.

For those who believe in the patriarchal God in Heaven, these storms were no doubt interpreted differently – as signs of disapproval, punishment even on the godless heathen baby killers who make up the majority of our population and a sure sign of the impending End of Days.

I believe we are living through the End of Days.

The end of the patriarchy.

The afternoon that the Equal Marriage Referendum was held here in Ireland, almost exactly 3 years ago, literal rainbows appeared in the sky. 

In literary studies we call this pathetic fallacy – the weather reflecting the themes of the story at times of dramatic tension. In Jungian theory it is known as synchronicity – when meaningful coincidences happen.

We are inhabiting transition times. Internally and externally.

We are living through a disruption of patriarchal history.

May we be brave and blessed.

May we understand the significance of these times as we live them.

May enough of us be mobilised to hold a new vision of how we can live together beyond patriarchy.

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