My father is dying, and I am haggard with grief and exhaustion. Over a month of frantically arranging child care, driving to the ICU in the middle of the night, fighting to protect my Dad from neglect and malpractice, chasing case managers, begging doctors, negotiating with nurses, sensitive, depleting, agonizing family debates about hospice and DNR, and hour after hour sitting and holding my Dad’s hand, singing, comforting, soothing, reassuring. Washing his face. Massaging salve into his feet and legs. Continually checking to see if he is too cold, too warm, in pain, breathing ok. Weeping as I drive home through snow and rain and dark, watching car accidents happen just one lane over, trying to soothe my frazzled and anxious little children, support my husband in his degree program, and not lose my own career entirely.
So when my daughter asked me, “Mummy, why does Grampy have to die?” I felt dizzy for a moment with my exhausted, overwhelmed, haggard inability to have an instant, perfectly formulated response to provide comfort and meaning for my child. Finally, I said, “Because, darling, if no one died, no one could live. All of us, our bodies are made from the food we eat, which is made from plants, which is made from dirt, which is made from everything that has died. Death is the only way for life to exist. Death allows life, births life, IS life. Death is our only path and connection to eternity.” Continue reading “Death is a Gift, and Christ is a Hag by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir”
First of all a Crone is a woman. She has lived most of her life already and has accumulated many life experiences and therefore, can relate to those younger than her with greater understanding. She has acquired the wisdom associated with having had those life experiences. She has reached a place in her life when she may be slowing down. She may have retired from her career. She may want to devote more time to herself, serving more as an advisor rather than as the doer. We can read the poem, Warning by Jenny Joseph to get an idea, or watch her read it here or below…
“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”
Continue reading “What is a Crone? By Deanne Quarrie”
In some cultures, late autumn and winter are the seasons associated with the Goddess as an old woman. As the ice, snow, and long nights curl Her chilling fingers around us, it is fitting that we honor the older women in our midst. Yet, the older I become, the more aware I am of how obsessively American culture has belittled and marginalized older women. Bringing a powerful, vital, and wise image of the older woman back into our consciousness — whether by calling older women “Crones” or using other words — is, to me, a tremendous achievement of feminism and feminist spirituality So, too, is the recognition of the vigor and achievements of middle-aged women inherent in names for this time of life like “Queen” and others. Continue reading “Tending the Fire of Our Circle of Older Women by Carolyn Lee Boyd”
Poetry is a gift from our ever-creating goddess, but you know what? She also has a major sense of humor. Nearly every night, I go to bed, pet the cats awhile, and think I’m going to go right to sleep. And what happens? Words happen. Beginnings of blogs. (This one. Last night.) Lines of dialogue or description that will end up in my revisionist fairy tales. First lines of poems. Most nights, I “talk” myself to sleep.
Because the Goddess is endlessly, continuously creative and her art is our blessed planet, so are all her children creative, and so am I also creative and kinda artsy, too. I learned to embroider when I was about seven years old. I learned to sew, I learned to knit, I learned to crochet. For years I crocheted granny-square afghans, but I ran out of people to give them to about ten years ago. As a child, I sat on my father’s workbench and learned to work a little with wood. I started taking piano lessons the day after my sixth birthday. Although my mother and my brother were artists, I missed out on that talent, but made up for it by taking a right-brain drawing class and doing a magnificent contour drawing of a brussels sprout. I don’t remember when I couldn’t read, and I’m told that I started writing fiction when I saw seven years old and wrote a story for my daddy. Along the way, of course, I’ve also learned a lot of very practical creative skills, of course, like touch typing. Continue reading “Where Does Poetry Come From? By Barbara Ardinger”