Last night I put out my special white scarf to catch Brigit’s blessings with the dew, and there it was this morning, resplendent, recharged…
…and turned again to Al Jazeera and BBC24 for my daily charge on the Revolution in Egypt’s streets, now called (by some) The Lotus Revolution…with many of my pals round the world at my virtual side.
I grasp the small white alabaster scarab given (not bought) as we drove away from an alabaster factory on the edge of Luxor. We’d had one of the best experiences of the three week visit, the day before we left; we’d been taken there by an exceptional taxi driver (named Muhammed of course). He said he represented (in his spare time) a Belgian charity that was working to help educate the women of the poorest classes in the local villages. First of all he took us to see the amazing work of noted Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy (housing/meeting hall and mosque) in a nearby village, and before taking us to the papyri and alabaster outlets of his choice (ones he had intimate experience of as a worker in one case), we joined him in the twisted back streets of one small village whilst he checked on the state of one of the projects; offered a cup of welcome mint tea, we sat with him and two village elders whilst an educated young women taught a group of women of varying ages, Muslim and Coptic Christian, about a variety of subjects. The women looked shyly our way; none could speak English, including the young teacher, but in their eyes, I finally saw what I had been waiting for, a real welcome from Egyptian women, because we had come with men of honor and we appeared decent (not shameless Western whores): one of us married and one of us a widow. We were wearing wedding rings (and they would look for them). One of them passed their baby to me to hold–poor babe, I must have seemed to be a white ghost, so she cried. I pressed Muhammed about his own life; he said he had a very ill wife on whom most of his money was spent; it was an arranged, unhappy marriage. He’d gone from job to job, trying to find a way to keep his honour and his integrity, not to speak of his freedom and making a living; from being well educated and a teacher, he’d worked at the papyri factory (a kind of hell) and being a clever taxi driver in a clapped out taxi (about to fall to bits) was his best option. Working to help these women was his way of keeping and developing his best talents. They treated him with respect (and he was in charge of the money).
Muhammed and these women is what the Revolution is about.
So today on Imbolc, Brigit’s special day, I greet Her. My husband and myself named our joint website, small Press and small business after Brigit, using one of Her several aliases: Bride. (www.brideswell.com). After finishing this blog, I will leave my magic cabin (Bridie’s Cabin) in my magic backyard garden for my magic kitchen where I will stir my cauldron and whip up a bunch of fairy cakes, Bridie cakes, throwing in a touch of honey in Her honour. I wish I could pop over to Tahrir Square in Cairo to share them with the women there. I know the Muslim women would have a tricky time relating to my goddess lore on the surface, but secretly, down deep, as Nawal El Sadaawi has revealed in her books, Isis is there in their hearts and the hearts of many of their menfolk. The Great Goddess comes in many forms, is known by many names; Isis is one of the oldest and greatest. I can do it virtually. I sit with them (as one English woman finally has) and join them in their magnificent effort for freedom. Of course, it’s dangerous, any number of bad things could happen; we all know it and there are forces trying to derail the peaceful process.
Millions of us are sending good thoughts and hopes to the Million (+) ‘Man’ Marchers (maybe in Arabic it is ‘People’, she says wistfully) on this day when we honour Brigit/Bridie. Maybe (or maybe not) it doesn’t matter what Mubarak does, The People of Egypt have found their Voice, their Freedom; the youth activists in the centre, at the heart of the Revolution, have laid down, committed their lives, to the justness of their cause. One man cried that this comes after not just 30 years of oppression but 5000 years; there is an Egyptian who knows his history!
InshAllah, dear Egyptian brothers and sisters, InshIsis.