Women, CLAW, frozen hands, and Audre

What is the common denominator between those things you ask? I just tucked Audre, the P.E.A.C.E SCOOT, away after a spontaneous winter night ride through Charlottesville. I’m shivering a bit, frozen ovaries I think, typing away while dressed clumsily in about 14 layers.


I don’t have the gloves on, which didn’t work worth a damn anyhow in this weather, so any typos are my own sloppinesssss. The ride was nice, annoyed at first to pull Audre out-battery drained from winter weather, resisting the start. Nothing big happened my first two miles. Where was I headed? A CLAW meeting.Charlottesville Ladies Arm Wrestling. That’s right. No guns in the streets, schools, or Iraq-but at the pullin’ table it’s a whole other story!

About 6 weeks ago, sitting in my new hairdressers chair (who happens to share the same exact Leo birthday as mine), I hear tale of ladies arm wrestling. Not just for high camp and fierce sport, but to raise money for women initiated causes. Invited to give it a go, I attended the first shop meeting at the local diner, Blue Moon.

That went well and I picked a superhero name, “Peace-A-Mia.” Two days before the big event went down, yours truly fell victim to the respiratory plague terrorizing Cville. The show went on, and as I can tell from the pictures, a grand event ensued. So, you’ve got it by now, right?

Recap: 8 wrastlin’ ladies in costume, one referee, a hot nurse, two celebrity judges, a emcee deluxe and a loser’s lounge to boot. $600 raised for the Fluvana Women’s Voice Project. The audience cashes in real money for CLAW cash so that they can shamelessly bribe the judges and bet on the wrastlers, or pullers. Now this is just one of the few reasons I’m proud to live in Cville. CLAW is currently reminding me that for livin in a red state, we are some kinky blue progressives.

Tonight we gathered to discuss rules and regulations for those of us who were plagued last month, pick a new charity case, drink wine, and test out the wrastlin’ table. P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER grabbed a piece of action up on the table, with Tragedy Ann and Sintaur. Tragedy Ann got lucky that her soft hands distracted me, while Sintaur left hoof marks all over me. Earlier in the night we discussed the recipient of March fundraising. Community Bikes was chosen for March and Roller Derby was chosen for May. Seeing a wheel theme emerging and recognizing my own need for funding, I mentioned P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER. I must say that felt really awkward for me, but it seemed well received, if not anticipated. Hey, even $200 bones gets me about 8,000 miles down the road for this cause. I did worry that they might be thinking, “hell no,” but were too polite to say anything.

Meeting adjourned and I suited back up, tucking a sexy CLAW shirt into my pocket. Starting up the scoot I was already nostalgic for the cozy atmosphere and warm fire. Once I started riding though, there seemed no good reason to turn left onto Goodman street; so I proceeded forward. Being that I already had on the 14 layers, might as well. Riding through town, taking oh so tight curves and breaking speed laws, some thoughts smacked me in the head. And it had nothing to do with slowing down…..

I’m riding for Peace, yea, because if Peace doesn’t matter today, how is tomorrow worth anything? I’m also riding in honor of really conscious, dedicated souls that came before me, and those who are now working fervently-those who recognize the worlds needed change and who guard our rights. I’m riding for Peace because I think most all souls possess the ability to make the world a better place, and the best place to start is your own life. And while most Americans aren’t going to attend an anti-war protest, a freaky Carnival like Shentai, or even watch a progressive documentary-they still possess the much needed voices to demand change. Heck, last night I asked the Moms if she though there were any problems in America. Her loud chortle caught me off guard. Shoot, if my Moms knows there is something wrong with our country-you better starting Acting up!

I said, “Mom, tell me two things that are wrong.”

“Well, people aren’t treated fairly or equally, ” she says. Hmm. I expected crime to be her first answer. Or something insurance related for that matter.

“And there is just too much lying.” Whoah. That shocked me. Her thoughtful answers really surprised me and I was glad to have asked.

Basically, my Moms is reiterating the sentiments of most anti-war protestors-that Bush lied and has proceeded to manipulate our Constitution to the elite’s advantage and the average’s demise. Our citizen’s rights have been unfairly whittled away. Now, my Moms is NEVER going to a protest and unfortunately, she probably voted for Bush. BUT we found a COMMON GROUND. Navigating the common ground and embracing diversity in opinion is the FIRST step to unify the people. Unifying the People is the ONLY thing that will change our political lot right now. It is PROVEN over and over in our history that social/political change ONLY comes from the people’s movements-which in turn pressures our government into action. Non-violence, non-compliance, compassion, kindness, Peace-sure all that. Putting aside frustrations with the big fish to LISTEN to the other small fish.

This is not just about Peace; I’m also acknowledging there are systematic formulas in place, socially and politically, that distract most people from identifying exactly how important their own inner revolution is. Something happens out there on the road-when I play with people, when I mow their lawn, when I listen to them, when I say define Peace for me, or when they simply recognize that I’m doing nothing but trying to make the world a more just, fun, Peaceful place. The stories I heard last year were so precious-they are inspirational, they are unique. Those stories convince me that the world is NOT the one projected onto your TV screens. So what’s my cause? Peace, inner and outer Peace baby. Generating T.A.C.T among the people: Thinking, Action, Co-Creating, Teaching. This isn’t just about getting us out of Iraq-it’s about us preventing more war in the future. And I realized it’s worth asking for donations to complete the ride.

March 11th baby, Blue Moon Diner. Bring money, bring Band-aids, these ladies are cut. Come out to support good, sexy causes and to support the Community Bikes project. Which isn’t as sexy as CLAW, but it’s a damn good organization that teaches people how to work on their own bicycles. Which keeps bicycles on the streets, instead of gas guzzling cages.


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