Of Soul Sisters

laura-griffin.com

Aren’t there some blessings that we take for granted? Aren’t there people in our lives, especially the ones close to us and available all the time, whom we neglect to say thanks to? Don’t we sometimes forget to consider how much they enrich our lives?

When I started writing about things that mattered to me, someone told me to write about other women because being a woman myself, we have a ‘universality of experience’. It sounded odd, to be writing of my sisters, many of whom are separated by time and cultures. Did I really understand their struggles, their concerns and their joys? It takes maturity to be able to identify with the other, across such gaps but yes, we are all of the same soil.

There is something about soul sisters and women who feel like kin, even when we are not related. A woman to woman solidarity is one of the most precious things that we know of.

I recently read about a book, an epistolary novella, ‘So Long a Letter’ by Mariamma Ba. Claire at ‘Word by Word’ has written a very fine review. I expressed an interest in the storyline and here is what Claire had to say,

“…I think it also reflects something unsaid, but obvious, the importance of both having a close female friend, a sister in solidarity and also having a notebook and pen, that place to express oneself when the friend isn’t there, when there is a need to get things out of the mind and give them a kind of home, the journal, the unsent letters, things written without interruption.”

This viewpoint struck such a chord in me.

It really is a gift to be able to speak, express and share with a kindred soul when things get difficult and when we ourselvexs do not understand which path to take, whether to react with belligerence or to bear it with fortitude.

For a woman, having a soul sister or a maternal figure in her life is invaluable. There are times when we need to make sense of circumstances and of our choices and there is no one better who can counsel us. Mere listening is also enough sometimes.

To be able to write, to pour oneself in letters, sent or unsent, to address someone in our minds, who is sympathetic and can see our viewpoint is priceless. To be able to ramble on, to be able to talk over tea, to have someone understand our pauses and the unshed tears is invaluable.

It made me aware of how fortunate we are to have someone to listen to us and how precious soul sisters are.

I am grateful to all the women in my life who have been around, waiting for me to speak and being patient when I chose silence over words. But for their understanding and strength, I would have been confused and taken a longer route to being who I am today.

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