Can't Be Taken

December–You Can’t Take This From Me

by Suzannah Gilman, Susan Lilley, and Lisa Lanser Rose

One night at the “Other Words” conference a few weeks ago, we three sipped nightcaps together in the hotel bar. We talked long past last call about what we wanted for The Gloria Sirens and for ourselves. We remembered people who’d held us down and put us down. As the hour and our friendship deepened, we shared the stories we rarely told. The holding down and the putting down became more brutal, literal. In our laughter and compassion, we tapped the anger, a good anger—the defiant, self-affirming anger that saves us.

And saves us all. It’s source is the outraged dignity that cannot be taken from us.

Writer, bush pilot, and racehorse trainer, Beryl Markham, tells how she once sat through the night with a mare in labor. All night, she wondered who the foal would be. As she once asked of that future racehorse, we ask ourselves, “Will we have the anger to feed and to grow and to demand our needs?”

We want The Gloria Sirens to declare our power, our strength as survivors, and our ability and our right to harness the anger to demand our needs. Therefore, as we race with the holiday herd—a time of giving, receiving, and remembering—we will also turn and run against it. We will defy injustice with compassion, understanding, but most of all strength.

We’ll trust you enough to confide in you what can’t be taken from us. Perhaps more in tune with New Year’s or Solstice—the time to focus on the light during the longest, darkest nights—this month’s theme is an act of defiance: “You Can’t Take This from Me.”

For the scrolling, randomized headers this month, we chose to show you our eyes. We’re looking at you. We’re talking to you, sisters and brothers. Pull up a chair and have a nightcap.

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