In April 2018, Tracee Ellis Ross gave the opening speech at TED Vancouver. It was a powerful 10 minute talk and I would encourage everyone to go and watch it here:
The two most striking moments for me, were the following: "Women, I encourage you to acknowledge your fury. Give it language. Share it in safe places of identification. And in safe ways. Your fury is not something to be afraid of. It holds a lifetime of wisdom. Let it breathe. And listen."
"When someone helps themselves to a woman, it not only triggers discomfort and distress but the unspoken experiences of our mothers' lives, sisters' lives, and generations of women before us."
For me, all the layers of Little Reds' varied stories - the pre-Disney versions - are this at their heart: Listening to women's fury breathe.
Let Your Fury Breathe
Think about Sleeping Beauty; of Little Red.
Selves sung to sleep, so many years ago,
stretching unused limbs and yawning,
to hop off daybeds, pull on flight suits
head bridge-side and step into life.
Think of all the Sleeping Beauties,
laid to rest so many years ago
while Warriors: Queen and Justice,
fought for every inch of ground, breath of air.
Moments stolen back to heal,
to slumber, unmolested.
Growing roots, World Tree deep,
into bedrock, into Earth
Out of Past and through to Future,
an immovable, unshakable Forest
who bled and scarred, broke and reformed,
creating time and space for sleeping.
Row by row, century by century.
Goddess by Grandmother by Mother by Daughter
making the path by walking.
And though the path is fluid, wakes in the sea
through memory, story, and blood
those not yet born remember,
on the first inhaled draw of breath.
It is why they cry.
Think of blood, moving through veins and across time,
rooted in the east of the heartland, the original Mothers
following the path that they made across the world,
into the unknown.
Think of geologic generations living this cycle
of Mothers, Sleeping Beauties, Grandmothers, Little Reds.
Lulling their daughters to mystic sleep
with song-spells and deep, dark stories
that grew as thorn hedges round hearts.
Holloways worn through, worn down.
Mothers walk with Daughters, generations,
through Forest, marking trails.
Darkness creeping in, so subtle,
step by darkening step,
For our own good, for our own safety
the spell-songs shape-shift as the Mother’s heart breaks.
Until the lesson is not about being path-makers
but about staying upon it, once it is made.