Issue #39, December 2015
Welcome to the December 2015 issue of the Elderwoman Newsletter
- an e-zine for 21st century elderwomen committed to radical aliveness.
View from the Desk
- The Mouth of the Cave
- Seeing with New Eyes
Links/Reports/News/Bits & Pieces
Call for Submissions
VIEW FROM THE DESK
I referred, in the last newsletter, to Bill Plotkin's book 'Nature and the Human Soul' and what he had to say about the last two stages of our lives. The first of these is his Stage Seven, which he calls 'The Master in the Grove of Elders' and that is the long and potentially creative and fertile stretch between menopause and 'late old age.' The final one, his Stage Eight, is the one in which we have mostly moved from 'doing' to simply 'being.' We shall still be—one hopes—a force for good and a powerful and important presence in our families and communities, but in a more subtle and spiritual way rather than a 'hands-on' way. Even though we might eventually become too feeble even to help them wash the dishes, our loved ones feel bathed and blessed by our love and our wisdom manifests in small and subtle signs. This stage, Plotkin calls 'The Sage in the Mountain Cave.'Long-time newsletter reader Ginger Child now writes to tell us of how it feels to her to be standing at the entrance to that 'mountain cave.'
I, also, have the issues
about going into the cave. I am 70, now. When my husband died, I was
walked into grief and body pain that had been unattended for years. I
live with my sisters, had both knees replaced, and spent the next
recovering. In this place, I could do nothing and it was distressing.
sister would remind me that my only job is to be a loving presence in
So, I am now, more than
ever, at the mouth of the cave and I love it here. When the "shoulds"
come up, as they do, they are with less force than they were. YAY!
There is only so much I
can do, and I am becoming more accepting of everything. I have only a
here, which is fine with me. The house isn't as neat as I would like it
well! Living with my sisters, it's not all my own choice, and I am no
mad all the time! Now, this is a great relief.
I have recently realized
that signing every petition that came to me made me constantly focused
is "wrong". I decided to breathe out the truth of loving kindness and
justice and peace. I am ready to become a spiritual activist, I guess!
I am appalled at the
horrors of the world, but I also rejoice at the incredible greatness of
and nature. I believe there is more good than bad, and I am ready to
I am cleansing my
political email and Facebook lists. Art, astronomy, inventions, good
and friends are becoming my focus. The internet is a wondrous place for
things I would never see without it! And learning anything is possible!
mind, heart and spirit are stretched, which I love.
I can finally say, as of
this week, that I love my body. It's a new thing for me; I have been
the words for many years, but didn't believe it. Suddenly, this week,
into place, and I got it! My body has been through a lot of life,
years of dieting. I now thank it for being an Awesome Healing Machine!
parts continue to work as they should and I appreciate it. I finally
feeling the love that is NOT connected to how I look, or wish I looked!
burden lifted off my shoulders. I am so grateful today.
I still have shoulds, I still wonder if I should be more social, etc, etc, etc. When I feel contented in the moment, I am where I want to be.
by Marian Van Eyk McCain
partner Sky recently came across the following quote by Albert Camus in
an essay entitled 'Love of Life' that was posthumously published in a
book called Lyrical and Critical Essays:
Many thanks to Newsletter reader Ishe Boge for sending the link to this interesting piece.
...and this one is for some special women in my life (you know who you are!!)
Carol Orsborn's New Book
Here is a video of Carol and her co-author Robert Weber talking about the book...
THE GROWING FAMILY TREE
Fabric painting and poem by Etta Johnson
Dancing in the Dark
by Nancy Henderson Coker
While the moon is lit waxing and waning
I step into the moonlight to a waltz in my head
I allow the moon burn on my body without “mpf”
The coyotes howl and carry on in
The common nighthawk wheels and
Vibrates in harmony with the waltz
Dancing in the moonlight is charging
Building energy to my spirit
Creating new thoughts, let pain out
But filling always filling always filling
What melody is this
It is a marvelous night for moondancing
The branches of trees silhouetted again the light
The faces and character of the surface
How beautiful this light
I found it in the moonlight
I found it in myself
My wishes come true
Yesterday I was at my local supermarket buying a large bag of My Dog dog food for my loyal pet and was in the checkout queue when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had an elephant?
So, since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Dog Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in hospital last time, but I'd lost 10 kilograms before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with My Dog nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in queue was now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off the kerb to sniff an Irish Setter's arse and a car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.
Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of daft things to say.
The Elderwoman Newsletter by Marian Van Eyk McCain, December, 2015
The Elderwoman website: http://www.elderwoman.org
Marian's e-mail: marian(at)elderwoman.org
NB: replace 'at' with the @ sign, and please remember to insert OKEM in the
subject line to make sure you get through my three layers of spam filtering!
Unfortunately, the filters are a necessity to stop my in-box flooding with spam.
- oh and when you write to me, please remember that my name is spelt MARIAN with an 'A' (the same as Robin Hood's girlfriend)