How do you imagine reading this poem?
Waiting to be myself
Waiting for excitement
Waiting for him to tell me something interesting, to ask me how I feel
Waiting for him to stop being crabby, reach for my hand, kiss me good morning
Waiting for fulfillment
Waiting for the children to marry
Waiting for something to happen Waiting . . .
This is a small part of a fifteen minute monologue titled “Waiting” that was written by Faith Wilding.
The poem “condenses a woman’s entire life into a monotonous, repetitive cycle of waiting for life to begin while she is serving and maintaining the lives of others.” When I read the words I can understand the message, but more is revealed when we see the artist perform, rocking back and forth in her chair as she speaks as if she’s gone mad.
Faith Wilding, born in 1943 in Paraguay, emigrated to the United States in 1961. Faith has created works across a variety of disciplines such as painting, writing, and performance. She is known as a feminist and regarded for her contributions to feminist art. “Waiting” was performed in the exhibit “Womanhouse”, and the image is from a documentary of the same name. In 1972, Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro organized what would be “Womanhouse”, where women artists and students came together and restored an abandoned 17 room mansion found in Los Angeles that would become a place where they could create, share, and discuss their art amongst themselves and with the public. The artists would not only work on their own projects but be present to help one another. Faith said that she was there, every day from morning till night. During its duration, it received several thousands of visitors. The mansion known as “Womanhouse” was later dismantled.