Dalai Lama
Sparky Shooting Star
Jesse Fearing
Suzanne Day
Friends of Thunder
Church of the Blue Star
Sacred White Buffalo
Mary and the Crystal Skulls
Sacred Stone People's Lodge
Words of Peace

Texas 2006 Burqas Ceremony
New York 2006 Burqas Ceremony
Estrella's Story of Universal Burqas
What Women Are Saying


Estrella's Story of Universal Burqas

Estrella... Whew now I have tears in my eyes. No I didn't get to see that broadway show even thought many recommended it to me. Neither had I ever seen these words before. Whew-Imagine-Thanks for sending this & Can I run it out & give it to the girls at the Indiana Woman's Dance (9-29 to 10-1 Marengo Ind-wish you could come)... Is that alright?
        Today I send my love & gratitude for your work in the world. Thank you Estrella ... Thunder
        Welcome Home, Thunder!  At least for the time being . . .

        Reading your email about the Universal Burqas brought back deep memories; having travelled through the Middle East, I was always fascinated by the women under the burqa and so wanted to find out what their lives were like.  Then, a few years ago, I was part of a group of women who performed "The Vagina Monologues" at one of the local theatres.  I was chosen to be the woman under the burqa; as I spoke the words, I could see those women in the Middle East, and began to get an inkling of understanding of their world. 

        I wanted you to read this part of the monologue, in case you've not seen it before:

Under The Burqa

imagine a huge dark piece of cloth
hung over your entire body
like you were a shameful statue
imagine there's only a drop of light
enough to know there is still daylight for others
imagine it's hot, very hot
imagine you are being encased in cloth,
drowning in fabric, in darkness.
imagine you are begging in this bedspread
reaching out your hand inside the cloth
which must remained covered, unpolished, unseen
or they might smash it or cut it off
imagine no one is putting rupees in your invisible hand
because no one can see your face
so you do not exist
imagine you cannot find your children
because they came for your husband
the only man you ever loved
even though it was an arranged marriage
because they came and shot him
you tried to defend him and they trampled you
four men on your back
in front of your screaming children
imagine you went mad
but you did not know you were mad
because you hadn't seen the sun in years
and you remembered your two daughters vaguely
like a dream the way you remembered sky.
imagine muttering as a way of talking
because words did not form anymore in the darkness
and you did not cry because it got too hot and wet in there.
imagine bearded men that you could only decipher
by their smell
beating you
because your socks were white
imagine being flogged in the streets
in front of people you could not see
imagine no peripheral vision
so like a wounded animal
you could not defend yourself
or even duck from the sideward blows
imagine that laughter was banned
throughout your country and music
and the only sounds you heard
were the muffled sounds the azun
or the cries of other women flogged
inside their cloth, inside their dark.
imagine you had no place to live
your only roof was the cloth
as you wandered the streets
and this tomb
was getting smaller and smellier every day
you were beginning to walk into things
imagine suffocating
while you were still breathing
imagine you could no longer distinguish
between living and dying
so you stopped trying to kill yourself
because it would be redundant
imagine me inside the inside
of the darkness in you
i am caught there
i am lost there
inside the cloth
which is your head
inside the dark we share
imagine you can see me
i was beautiful once
big dark eyes
you would know me.
                        From “The Vagina Monologues”

With Love and Peace,