I hardly know life at this phase of the game, but I strive to remain open as it unfolds. This becomes easier when I’m not fighting what is and expecting it to morph into something more familiar with a zippier buzz to the palate.
A good friend and I were reflecting recently about how, at this juncture, we each and both need to rediscover what it is to simply be a woman. We are both highly creative people who have spent the better part of our lives caretaking others from husbands to children, and feel as though there is something inherently flawed in holding onto that line, once it has snapped. The downside is we’re still in free-fall, not entirely sure where feet will land once the earth zooms up to meet us. The upside is we have been practicing all our lives for this very moment.
As women in Western culture, we have spent a virtual lifetime defining ourselves according to the standards of others. Are we still attempting to measure our worth by the yardstick of physical desirability? For as we age into and beyond our sixties, attention once effortlessly magnetized by youthful beauty fades, though we remain pleasant enough to look at. Still as creatures of nature, we no longer flaunt the brightest plumage nor exude the pheromones of those most suited to breeding. We live in a society that measures women’s worth by the suppleness of skin, the shape of breasts and butt and thighs. My friend and I are in great physical condition for our age (and my husband always tells me how beautiful he finds me), but we no longer draw drop-dead stares. And though part of this elicits relief on the one hand, it leaves us to wonder where our value lies, on the other.
My friend and I are spillovers from a generation where women only began asserting themselves enough to demand the world take them seriously. No longer the hysteria-prone fainters of bygone days; no more the obedient servants of the patriarchy who, like my own mother, downed drugs rather than confront the welled-up fountain of anger any human being would harbor when summarily marginalized. Still, we are older now; tired of fighting. Leave that to the women who are coming of age. What we want now is to somehow put down the armor and the shield and allow ourselves to feel soft and vulnerable and able to tap into that wellspring of flowing feminine creativity. This we attempt to undertake with hearts and spirits open, as we summon an unknown entity from the wings of life’s current stage.
Post script: This is one of the most brilliant films I’ve ever seen, speaking to the birth of a woman’s creativity. And if you’re especially prudish, just get past the woman on the toilet and you’re home free 😉 I can see why she left this segment in, however – and if you reflect upon the film as a whole, you might appreciate it as well. If you enjoy Asparagus half as much as I did, please support Suzan Pitt’s work by purchasing the film or several of her other works. I couldn’t believe I found this on YouTube as I only have it in my video library.
PPS: I derived my title from the late Marion Woodman’s book of the same name. Blessing her work in bringing the focus of Jungian psychology further into the realm of the divine feminine.