Reasonable Words

“She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.” — W. Somerset Maughan

Rock. On.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” — Henry David Thoreau


NYT: My Sister’s Keeper

THEY called it a lesbian paradise, the pioneering women who made their way to St. Augustine, Fla., in the 1970s to live together in cottages on the beach. Finding one another in the fever of the gay rights and women’s liberation movements, they built a matriarchal community, where no men were allowed, where even a male infant brought by visitors was cause for debate.

Emily Greene was one of those pioneers, and at 62 she still chooses to live in a separate lesbian world. She and 19 other women have built homes on 300 rural acres in northeast Alabama, where the founders of the Florida community, the Pagoda, relocated in 1997.

I’m nearly struck dumb. I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve been a hag for over half of it–and I don’t mean that pansy “Yeah, I’ve been to The Quest a few times. Hey, remember The Toolbox?” kind.  But despite my credentials, I had no idea a place like this existed in Alabama. I guess it’s because I don’t know that many lesbians, and, reading about it, I can’t blame the ones I do know for not gabbing.

The women agreed to be interviewed on the condition that the exact location of their homes not be revealed because they fear harassment from outsiders. Many in the network of womyn’s lands have avoided publicity, living a sheltered existence for decades, advertising available homes and properties through word of mouth or in small newsletters and lesbian magazines.

But still:

For Ms. [Winnie] Adams, every choice she makes today — which restaurant to go to, which contractor to hire, which music to listen to — is guided by a preference to be around women.

“To me, this is the real world,” she said. “And it’s a very peaceful world. I don’t hear anything except the leaves falling. I get up in the morning, I go out on my front deck and I dance and I say, ‘It’s another glorious day on the mountain.’ Men are violent. The minute a man walks in the dynamics change immediately, so I choose not to be around those dynamics.”

Ms. [Rand] Hall added: “It’s not as competitive. Women, when they’re together, tend to be more cooperative. They don’t look for one to succeed and all the others to fail. In the mainstream world that’s what it is. Somebody has to be on top so everyone else has to be on the bottom.”

[whine] I wanna goooooooo. [/whine] I mean it. Think of it, straight girls. Relative idyll.  Minimal drama. A material type of self-sufficiency.  Compare it with the lives of the women in this matriarchal community. Ugh.

I understand, though. As long as I get weak in the knees whenever a man with glasses and a big vocabulary ambles by, I’m stuck in the real world with the twisted creatures. Fine.  Meantime:  much joy and love, womyn of Alapine. You damn sure deserve it.

Filed under: More than a Womb, Things that tickle me

One Response - Comments are closed.

  1. Kathy says:

    Wow! I didn’t know about this either, and I’ve been an honorary lesbian for years. Heartily second your “ugh” to the NYT scenario, but relaxing in the quiet of the northeast Alabama mountains has lots of appeal.


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