Wednesday, April 27, 2005

bloody belly, bloody breasts

I wanted an image that might capture the vivid horror of the blood spilled in the story of the slave-woman who persisted in disparaging Mo.
A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there.

Below is a detail from a painting by Giambattista Tiepolo titled "The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha". This 3rd century Christian saint was variously tortured but the most gruesome was the cutting off of her breasts as shown here, the delicate flesh lying on a tray to the left of the picture.

The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha

I feel a strong feminine kinship with both of these women, one a famous saint, the other an un-named slave-woman who had the impertinence to criticise a self-proclaimed prophet and messenger of the Lord God Almighty. Both women were cruelly cut into by males who were literally (in the Muslim tale) and figuratively blind. If I can speak for them now, I will. It is never too late to speak up and seek justice and there are still so many sisters in the world suffering at the hands of similarly blind men.

All you can hear is breathing
Even when all else is still
Bird calls will come with the dawn
The roar of trucks and planes as well



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