ode to the water bearers

Cedar Creek, Clark County, WA, June 2011

(1) Long ago when I was a preteen, for some Mormon mother-daughter event, my mother drafted a letter (which I should dig up from that green Rubbermaid bin in the attic and digitally scan for safer keeping), an ode to my watery name, brook, that was both celebration and warning, relating my budding character to the changeable nature of water. It was a moving piece of writing and only the details I've forgotten. In sum, water can be a bitch.

(2) Sometimes when washing up my thrifted finds, I consider how these objects in my hands at the hot, showery tap are cleaner than much of humanity. Most North Americans like myself wash everything with drinking (potable) water, that stuff of life that's going to become scarcer everywhere in this next century. Let us pause for reflection. . . . (I am privileged.)

bitch (Shiba Inu) drinking river (Willamette/Columbia), October 2011

(3) While out yesterday, I picked up a copy of the Spring Issue (26) of Edible Portland and encountered an ad for the Walk or Run for Water event at OMSI on March 24th, part of World Water Day 2012. "Simulating a typical water-gathering experience for women and children in sub-Saharan Africa, walkers will haul water throughout their 3.1[-]mile route" (per the local Web site). Imagine walking three miles for a glass of water, let alone hauling a day's worth home on one's head, and the bucket full of parasites at that—mere women's work.

vintage, (probably) Japanese-made mug, $1 thrifted

(4) Today is International Women's Day. Let us also reflect on how U.S. women are still paid on average only two-thirds of what men earn for the same work. But at least we can vote now, right? At least we can own property. We can earn and keep our own money to support ourselves. We can leave an abusive spouse. We have the legal right to decide whether or not to bear a child. Our worth as humans is no longer primarily based on our vaginal activity and uterine production. We are more educated than ever in history. Here's to bitches and their work.

roommate's promotion-to-manager tulips from her partner, March 2012


  1. Anonymous11/3/12 15:55

    Hear, hear, here's to us bitches and our work. Nicely written, Brooke. Love the photos. CB

  2. Thank you, CB, for the compliments and for reading.


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