Tags

, , , , , , ,

Rachel2013

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. – Proverbs 31:25

I am becoming a Dangerous Old Woman. At 45.

I am getting very close. Close to unleashing the deep booming voice buried within my body. This low rumbling has scratched for years at my insides, longing to be brought to the surface. Simmering as a kettle about to boil, the whistle is building, a bold declaration of what my soul will and will not tolerate, of what it knows deep down it deserves to feel and be. This voice–with magnificent volume and space–will tear apart the cage that holds it still, rearing up to protect and project my own truth, my own intuition, my own clarity, my own experience, my own wisdom. All of these, gifted to me by God, unjustly judged, covered by doubt and fear, then silenced.

I am getting very close.

I am becoming a Dangerous Old Woman. At 45.

I am angry. I am angry at the way that our culture exploits the vulnerable and renders feminine souls subtle and orderly, cleverly distracted by an obsession with youth and a superficial, external shell. I am screaming loudly–for now, within…but soon, without!–against the many corrupting lies, the lies that employ self-hatred and fear to coerce and control. I am angry that I have allowed myself to be exploited (45 years) and have participated in perpetuating the lies. And it is coming to me–the anger–the Christ-like bellowing and chasing of the profiteers out of my temple.

I am angry.

I am becoming a Dangerous Old Woman. At 45.

I warn you, culture. I will very soon find the opening, unlatch the heavy door and leave this dark box. And I will take others with me. And there will be no stopping us. We will laugh in the face of fear. Are you now afraid? Ha!

I warn you, culture.

I am becoming a Dangerous Old Woman. At 45.

by Rachel, age 45 (Inspired by the profoundly wise Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés)

About the photo: I chose this photo of myself to share because I don’t like it. I am annoyed by the wrinkles and the unevenly-sized eyes and the dark roots of my hair and the makeup I inexpertly put on by myself and the serious lines around my mouth. But I have a look about me that says “I’ve got your number” and “I’m smarter than you give me credit for” aka “You are underestimating me, thinking that I will continue to play your stupid little game,” and so in the end I decided that it was just the right photo for this post. Vanity be damned (not that there is anything wrong with looking good, but I am over it on a soul level; vanity keeps me small-minded and I don’t want to be small-minded.) Now that I am a Dangerous Old Woman, I am challenging myself to an even greater degree of truth-telling. Thus the photo.

———————————————

ONE DAY WHEN I WAS OLD

I remember one day when I was young,

forty-five years or so old,

I woke up an old woman that morning.

Not quite in body all the way, but close.

And also in mind.

And I thought, “This is good.”

For also, in the face I was changed,

a little bark-chipped and creased,

like a tree long-lived enough

after having been planted so long ago

by some winged bird

accidentally letting fall a semi-sacred seed

into some almost impossible place,

precisely the way most of us came to earth–

unplanned, and yet sticking to the place

where we were dropped,

growing, growing flowers and fruits

set into our DNA–

and this too was good.

I leaned through the window

of my bathroom mirror,

and touched her old, cracked face…

I soothed back her black hair

with fire opals

in its strands of white.

And I saw as I leaned in,

There were permanent diamonds

in her tear ducts,

those gotten from years of use

and pressure in dark places.

And I gazed at the body

she and I share,

and I saw that rubies

had grown into all my cuts

and that tiny mirrors shone

in all my widders and spalls…

and I saw that I was old

and strong

and delicate

and fierce, like a queen

who has ruled the lands within her reach,

not perfectly, but despite brutal winters,

she was still alive,

the heartwood hardened off just enough,

the tender capillaries still able to carry

the juice and the warmth.

And then, twenty-some years later,

I crossed the crone line,

wearing the tissue-paper crown

with the sacred words “Still here,

still standing…”

engraved upon it.

These words of triumph for all of us elders,

these words “Still here… Still standing,”

they’re the ultimate royal “Ha!”,

the ultimate para la vida “Ha!”,

to life, with life, all of life, filled with life.

Us, crossed now, the crone line,

para la vida, filled with life.

I remember one day when I was young,

forty-five years old or so,

I woke up an old woman that morning.

Not in body quite all the way, but close.

Also in mind, and this was good.

And also in the face I was changed

with all the marks of rings like a tree,

and this too was good.

I looked at my body

and saw that rubies had grown

in all my cuts,

and mirrors shone in all the widders and spalls.

And I saw I was old and strong,

like a queen who had ruled herself

not perfectly, but well.

And I leaned in and touched her old, cracked face,

and I saw the permanent diamonds in her tear ducts

that were gotten from years of hard use

and pressure in dark places.

I remember one day when I was young,

forty-five years old or so,

I woke up an old woman.

And I have been more and more free

ever since.

______________________

CODA

And so may it be for you.

And so may it be for me.

And so may it be for all of us.

Amen.

And as my grandmother used to say,

“Amen… and a little woman.”

_______________________

Here is the blessing-poem for you from the first release of The Dangerous Old Woman manuscript, fireside #2. It is called, “One Day When I Was Old” and was written twice, having some of the same lines fore and aft, as in curanderismo chant.

Peace be with you, good souls.

with love,

dr.e

“One Day When I Was Old,” a blessing-poem by CP Estés, Copyright ©1990, 2010, All Rights Reserved, including but not limited to electronic, performance, theatrical, musical, graphic, film, commercial, derivitive. Uses: You are welcome to use this blessing poem in non-commercial ways without adding to nor deleting any part, just using the work in its entirety along with author’s name and this copyright notice attached. Thank you. Other permissions: Ngandelman@aol.com
More at: http://aftermidnightwriter.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/from-dr-e-blessing-poem-%E2%80%9Cone-day-when-i-was-old%E2%80%9D/