Is anything left to say?

Friends

I haven’t written at Pilgrim’s Moon for months. For two reasons:

  1. I have a “day job” which has become a multi-headed hydra taking up not only my day, but my evenings and my weekends
  2. I wonder whether I have anything left or anything new to say about women growing older in positive and subversive ways

The first reason is being given close attention, and there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel.

The second reason: well perhaps that’s where you come in. Are we there now, do you think? Has this generation of baby boomer women blossoming into wise crones finally turned the tide? Do we now as a first-world society finally SEE and recognise age as a gift? Is there still a need to write about it, should we simply be living it?

The arguments for

In popular culture we are represented much more frequently. For example, in film and television we now see lead roles for older people: romantic love is shown to be not only the preserve of the young and to be not the only interesting fact of life. A few examples: the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films, the great new Netflix series Grace and Frankie, the forthcoming 5 Flights Up with Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman, anything with Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren.

There are so many wonderful books to read – see my Amazon store for just a few.

Individual older women are more and more prominent and influential in business and in public life.

The arguments against

And yet… women still discover my Crones Manifesto and express a sense of relief and often surprise that they are not alone. As we age, we face complex issues around health (our own and that of others), around how and where to live, around money.

Many of us still haven’t learned not to talk ourselves down: I stumbled across the wonderful phrase “hor-moaning” to represent the ways in which we are tempted to moan about our aches and pains, about our hot flushes, about how awful growing older is and how invisible we feel. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which is not to say, of course, that women don’t have challenges around menopause and the physical, emotional and social aging process. I like what Jean Shinoda Bolen has to say about this in her book Crones Don’t Whine:

Grief is not whining. Even whimpering is not whining. Maybe some body part is not working well or is painful – and you are doing what can be done, medically and otherwise. You may have financial limitations. Whatever it is that you are struggling with can be told to people who need to know, want to know, or as updates to friends with whom you share the ongoing story of your life. However crones don’t bore others with a litany of their symptoms – organ recitals or tales of woe – that have an air of performance or bragging. A crone knows she and her troubles are not the center of the universe and knows other people have problems, too. A crone doesn’t indulge whining children, or whining inner children. Especially her own.

Many things don’t change. Women of all ages are being still being threatened and mutilated by men. Climate change deniers and religious fundamentalists are influential. Simone de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex in 1949, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963 and still the capitalist patriarchy is our world model. I believe the perspective and wisdom of older women have a lot to contribute to all these issues.

So to those of you loyal readers still out there, what do you think, is there still a need for us to gather as friends over a virtual glass of wine or a cup of tea, talking about our experiences of growing older and looking for ways to make a difference in our world? Shall we still cackle?

Click here to join our community mailing list

Holiday hiatus days

These few days are a little strange, aren’t they? Not quite the end of the holidays, but definitely in that streeetchy time between the Yuletide festivities and the start of a new year. Some of us will be feeling a little, er, over-nourished and physically ill at ease. Some of us have faced our first…

Light and darkness

‘What does he sing of?’ Arren asked the mage… ‘Of the grey whales, and the albatross, and the storm…’ (from The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin) Beyond my window as I write this, a dramatic fire-streaked sunset is submitting slowly to the darkness of the longest night: Winter Solstice. In Ursula Le Guin’s book The Farthest Shore,…

Finding an alternative for “youthful”

Youthful Adjective 1. characterized by youth; young 2. of, pertaining to, or befitting youth: youthful enthusiasm 3. having the appearance, freshness, vigour, etc. of youth: She is 60 but her optimism has kept her youthful The word youthful has become a sloppy shorthand for a number of other characteristics. The dictionary definition above gives us just a couple of examples: the implication that enthusiasm…

Knowing the landbase

Tomorrow the wheel of the year takes another turn, marking the beginning of the Celtic festival of Samhain, mid-way between the Autumn equinox and the Winter solstice (here in the Northern hemisphere). The veil between the worlds seems to become thinner as we take this time especially to remember our beloved dead. These days are marked…

Lonely for beauty

I was painting a chair yesterday, listening to Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes read The Creative Fire, when I heard her use the phrase “Lonely for Beauty”. Why was I painting a chair? Because function is important, but not the only important thing in life. Needing a space to eat and entertain, I had bought a pine…

Of bats, quiet, and a full moon

Last night was the long awaited Friday 13th full moon. I’ve been so conscious lately of the sheer noise of life. By which, of course, I don’t mean only physical noise, although there’s plenty of that. There’s so much pressing in on us, so many day-to-day demands, terrible things happening in the world that simultaneously frighten us and…

Fear of dementia

Dementia. It’s the elephant in the room. The big fear that we will not be able to live out our crone years in joy and wit and strength. And I think there’s something about our baby boomer generation that believes we can conquer it, even though many of us will have known the experience of caring…

Rising

I wept today when I heard of Maya Angelou’s death. This surprised me: I’m not much given to mawkish sentimentality. I knew Dr Angelou only through her words (but oh, such words); there was no warmly remembered shaken hand at a poetry reading, no brief word of encouragement at a political meeting, no flourish of her…

Still kicking – and alive!

Thanks so much to those who have been sending plaintive emails asking if I’m OK. You know who you are! I am fine. I’m in the process of moving house and haven’t been able to focus on Pilgrim’s Moon recently. But I will be back very soon with news and views. Warmest wishes to all.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...