Archives for May 2018

“Have a seat, young lady.”

May 28, 2018

Like millions of women, both old and young, I have been called, “young lady” a billion times and I’m heartily tired of it.

The other day I went in for a routine chest x-ray. The technician called me “young lady” and made not too funny jokes, thinking to put me at ease, I guess. I’ve had tons of chest x-rays over the years. There is nothing scary about them.

When I pointed out that I wasn’t young. He made jokes about my being 20 years younger in “Bob years.” His name was Bob (not really – of course I changed it.)

Do I want to be 20 years younger? Well, it would be nice if my body was 20 years younger, but I’ll keep my brain and my experiences at 75, thank you. If you think you’re flattering me by calling me young you obviously think there’s something wrong with my actual age. I must be “over the hill.” Well, I’m still “climbing” and expect to keep climbing until I die.

But I think “young lady” is always an insult regardless of its intent. Even when I was thirty I didn’t like it. I remember clearly thinking, “I’m not a lady, I’m a woman.” (Actually, I remember thinking, “I’m a grown woman.”)

What is the difference? “Lady” used to be term reserved for woman of middle or higher class – not for all women. “Ladies” were not really allowed to fully grow up. They were kept ignorant of many things that were not considered acceptable for “a lady’s ears.” They were not allowed to study certain subjects (architecture was reserved for men even after WWII), to enter in any profession except teaching (and then you had to quit if you got married), and even by the time I came along it was frowned upon if a “lady” worked as a waitress or a sales clerk in a department store.

For me when I’m called a “young lady” the implication is that I’m curtailed in what I’m allowed to do. I have to behave in a certain “lady-like” way, I have to cow-tow to the men in my life, I’m not allowed to go to certain neighborhoods, or have friends who are not in my “class.”

Well, phooey on that!

I’m a strong seventy-five-year-old woman. I have an exciting future in front of me and much of it, like my past, will not fit in the former “lady-like” requirements.

Just watch what happens the next time someone calls me “young lady.”

 

In my book, The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet, the protagonists, who have shape shifted to the form of one of their Tla Twein (see former post “Exploring Our Tla Twein”), are trying to bring humans back into the sacred Dance of Life, the Tsin Twei.  You can order print versions from Powell’s Books or your local independent bookstore, or purchase print and ebook versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Want to explore your own Tla Twein? In the fall I will be presenting a workshop in Oakland, CA where we will move and sing, write and create art work in search of the reason our particular Tla Twein call us. Contact me at connie@deephum.com for more information.  Put “Tla Twein Workshop” in the subject line.

But What About the Crow?

Jesus fold-out by altarnativearts.com

Jesus fold-out by altarnativearts.com

In my last post I had an imaginary conversation with the “deities” on my bedside altar: Durga, Kuan Yin, Jesus, a small Finnish witch, a crow and a turtle.

As I wrote this I was a little uncomfortable at the stance of the “deities”, and yet felt it to be real. “We can’t do anything to stop this,” they said when I raged at the rape of an eight-year-old girl.

We don’t want to believe that.

Daily I wish for a God who would act openly against the evil I see in the world (even wishing that certain people would find a lightning bolt landing in front of them jolting them off their feet, throwing them to the ground, and demanding that they change their ways! LOL).

But there are no lightning bolts.
We can’t sit back and count on “God” – whoever that god or goddess is to you – to do it.

That means…
Well, who’s left?
Me, you, us?

But then why do we have these “deities”? Why are these particular manifestations sitting on my altar?

Because they are some of my “Tla Twein.” I am drawn to them because they have something in their character that I want or need to acquire. Things I need in order to be the person I want to be.

From Durga I need the courage to stand up and fight – ferociously if need be – against the demon greed which is destroying our earth. From Kuan Yin I need to learn compassion – even for those who are the evil doers. I must not succumb to the hatred and contempt that perhaps the crow seems to express toward humans. From Jesus I need to remember that all I can do is throw my words out to the world and hope they are interpreted correctly…  And I remember (even if Jesus did not say it in our brief conversation in the last post) that Jesus was willing to die for his cause. He didn’t hide from his opponents.

I think he was afraid.
Why else that lament in the garden, “Let this cup pass from me,” (Matt 26:36). But he continued despite his fear. Sometimes I’m very afraid just to say something, much less do something.

From the little witch I need to remember that being different sometimes brings on the wrath of others, being small makes it hard to fight the giant demon greed, but I must persist.
From Jesus and the little witch I need to learn to act despite my fear.

But what about the crow? Was that a true interpretation of the feelings of crows? I like crows. Why was I drawn to them originally? I think what I need from the crow is some defiance, some brazenness, some willingness to stand my ground. Crows know that humans are part of the circle of life, not apart from it. They aren’t afraid of humans, nor do they worship them. They know if humans continue their destructive greedy path they will end up extinct (unfortunately, bringing other species with them), but earth will survive.
The crows will fight for the survival of crows.

And I will try to fight for the survival of humans.
And because Jesus said, “as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me,” (Matthew 25:40) I will fight, not just for the survival of the human species, but for the survival of the tiniest little Muslim girl, for the survival of the poor, and the survival of all living creatures. My Tla Twein wil help me.

In my book, The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet, the protagonists, who have shape shifted to the form of one of their Tla Twein, are trying to bring humans back into the sacred Dance of Life, the Tsin Twei.  You can order print versions from your local independent bookstore or purchase print and ebook versions at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Want to explore your own Tla Twein? In the fall I will be presenting a workshop in Oakland, CA where we will move and sing, write and create art work in search of the reason our particular Tla Twein call us. Contact me at connie@deephum.com for more information.  Put “Tla Twein Workshop” in the subject line.