He turns me to face myself
I am a crone
Able to grieve deeply
And turn to
In the same day.
Each one inhabited cleanly, clearly.
Accepting I am no
Longer a young woman
I still have all the wisdom of those times I have lived.
Holding now, like the flood tides of a river,
All that has been learned in the silent service of (at this moment, exact moment, my daughter pushes the care of her son into my lap causing me to abandon this writing)
This nurturing work is not work that gets celebrated as goals accomplished. Few write creative scenes wishing to do their invisible work well. Few are able to grow the humility, the deep grounded sense of selflessness necessary to truly put aside who they are and everything they might hope to accomplish in order to care for others long term. To see life from this place of invisibility is a rare gift. The edge, the challenge, is how to speak, write, share, the depth of all that is understood and learned in the years dedicated to this particular form of service. I’ve long thought that this nurturing work is actually the work of priestesses in the temple to all that is holy. Is there anything more important than nurturing others bringing to bear all the awareness and love one can possibly presence? But once the work of the priestesses is complete…a Crone is born.
The death of my cousin, a man who could be called nothing less than a saint in the truest meaning of the word, issues a call to me. And honestly one thing that is coming along with grief and joy is a desire to roar. This is not a blind roar, not the roar of a mad woman lost in unawareness. It is a desire to roar borne out of all the ways in which the wisdom of the crone is ignored, dismissed, diminished, belittled and appropriated by those who are not and never will be a crone. And beyond, far beyond, the desire to roar is this deep desire to presence the wisdom. The paradox is how to take something largely nonverbal, embedded in the cells, and give words to it in ways that, even though they carry huge power, that they are not sourced from rage but rather from the ferocity born of deeply practiced nurturing. Finding words that offer nourishing, necessary and needed wisdom for the rebalancing of masculine and feminine. But make no mistake, it is only when Crones roar and others listen that it will be possible to truly balance masculine and feminine. I invite Crones to roar from the place of fierce love and truth. I invite those who will never be Crones to be quiet and listen.
Who will listen for the Crones? Only those who are able to pry their eyes and ears from the youth orientation of our culture. The trick is for those who are listening for the roaring Crones to learn that the voice of the Crone does not have to be loud or harsh. The Crone does not call in ways our celebrity youth loving culture has taught us to listen for. The challenge is that the humility of the Crone will be overlooked and Crones will continue to be asked to serve invisibly, their worth missed because of the ease with which they have learned to inhabit selflessness.