Thereâ€™s a dance in the old dame yetâ€¦
In the name of a more thorough shadow, a brighter, more nourishing confusion
stir the trouble
feed the bubble
name the shadow
watch it double
bright the skies
in full moonrise
in six days time
all reason flies
beware the bone
so says the crone
hee hee cackle cackle
–Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kalilily (Elaine), Resident Crone of Blogdom, May 20, 2002
Kalilily, I wonder if you would have some time over the next week or two to respond via email to some interview questions.Â At the end of the road there will be a brief flash of fame on the Sandhill Trek blog.Â I expect some of the questions to be insightful, many to be rude, insensitive, or tasteless, but none will be hostile or more agressive than an offer of some of my Walnettos.Â Whad’ya think?Â You up for a “Cyber-krone reveals all” interview?
Clark Kent (A PSEUDONYM, OF COURSE)
Â She replied:
â€œ…Â Walnettos.Â I used to love those things (and then I had some teeth capped.)Â But sure, I’ll throw caution to the wind and take the Trek.Â I’m flattered.â€
And we were off and running with our email exchange!
May 21, 2002
Elaine, as the “Resident Crone of Blogdom” you have pretty much renounced the right to say “I don’t go back that far.”Â Of course, as Paul Krassner (or maybe it was Rageboy) said, if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there….Â Regardless, I’d first like to thank you very much for consenting to be interviewed episodically via email for publication at Sandhill Trek.Â
On May 18 (kalilily time) you blogged:Â “What it means to be a Crone.Â When God was a woman, she was worshipped in three aspects: Maiden, Mother/Warrior, Crone â€“ the original Holy Trinity. Over the millennia, just as older women became less and less honored and respected, so did the image of the Crone-as-Wise-Woman become tarnished.”
So, let’s assume you were there for the sixties wave of feminism…Â when I mention Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Germaine Greer, Robin Morgan do you get anything like a nostalgia rush?Â Were these people important to you as a younger woman?Â And while we’re on cultural icons, maybe you’d care to reflect on the dearth of women in the avant-garde poetry movement in those days (give or take Diane di Prima and Kazuko Shiraishi).
What were you doing when the beats were about?Â As a writer and mother of the one true b!X you must have some insights here.
Yes, let’s assume that I was there for the sixties wave of feminism.Â But, unlike those alpha females — Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Germaine Greer, Robin Morgan – I was making a valiant effort to be the good wife and mother during that time.Â So, my “transformation” didn’t begin until the seventies.Â But let me backtrack and start where it all started, which was in the fifties.
I graduated from a Catholic high school in Yonkers, NY at the age of 17 in 1957.Â I assure you that, not only had I never heard of the “Beat Generation,” but the school’s idea of literature was “Father Malachy’s Miracle” (that is a real novel, btw).Â Â Rebelling against my upwardly mobile parents (who wanted me to go to some nice elitist Catholic college), I took off for the state college in Albany, NY, totally into the newness of the experience but not totally into my academics
So, by the end of the fifties, I was spending half my time in the requisite black tights and dark eye make-up, hanging out in the little side-room of a bar where the walls were painted with images of Shiva, Buddha and assorted other deities, and the table was always surrounded by brooding wannabe writers, usually male, and me.Â No drugs back then, at least not that I ran into in this upstate NY capital cityBut we drank.Â Drank a lot. “Le Bateau Ivre,” you know. “Absinthe-tinted green dreams.Â I was in love with Rimbaud.
The other half the time I wore Bermuda shorts, joined a sorority so that I could rebel against that too, wrote for the college newspaper, went to fraternity parties, and spent weekends dancing my butt off.Â So, you see, RageBoy is not the only schizophrenic in this blog bunch.
The poetry scene then, locally, was much like the poetry scene globally – mostly guys with a few of us females hanging around, trying to make a place for ourselves among all of that haunted testosterone.Â And, don’t forget, it was still the fifties, so there was still a very strong double standard (like there isn’t still one now!).Â But, like everyone else in the artsy crowd, I was reading Kerouac and Kierkegard, Rimbaud and Sartre, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti et al.Â Notice, no women writers.Â But I finally discovered Gertrude Stein, George Sand…but not Diane di Prima until way later, in my early feminist period, which didn’t come until the seventies.Â
Becauseâ€¦ In the early sixties when I was in grad school (avoiding the real world as long as possible), I got pregnant and married, in that order.Â I married one of beautiful talented dark and brooding guys and figured I’d be the “woman behind the man.”Â Never having had any kind of a goal for myself (neither personal nor professional) I was just riding life as the waves came, and I was sure that we were going to be a version of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald that would last.Â Actually, when I found out I was pregnant with b!X’s older sister (talk about the dumb innocence of the fifties!), if my Significant Other didn’t want to get married, I had been thinking about taking off for Monterey CA, where a friend of mine was working on a newspaper.Â He had been a close friend and a good guy, and I figured that he’d help me get settled and maybe even hire me to write for the newspaper.Â And I’d live in a garret, raise my daughter by myself, and write deep brooding poetry.Â But that’s not how it went, and so I spent the sixties unwittingly becoming well prepared to embrace the feminist rhetoric with hope and glory.Â Â Yes, I ‘m getting to that part.
B!X was born in the late sixties, so now I had my hands full with two kids, a house in the country but only one car that, of course, my husband needed to get to work etc.), a war to protest, and a growing atrophy of my right brain.
My AHA! came in the early seventies, with Steinem, Greer, and Lily Rivlin.Â I read something she wrote in one of the first Ms. Magazine issues published that changed my life and put me on the road to Cronedom.Â Stay tuned.
P.S. I’m off to see Star Wars.Â Heh.Â When my kids were around, we all would play hooky and go to see the first showing of all the Star Trek and Star Wars movies. Sometimes I really miss having them around.Â They were my best friends.
Q:Â I can certainly identify with the Bermuda shorts.Â There’s almost nothing nicer than Bermuda shorts and a sleeveless top offset by lots of a young girl’s creamy skin.Â Be that as it may, your Catholic upbringing may have isolated you somewhat from the controversy, but in those days – the early sixties – “the pill” had just come out and some concerned doctors in California openly encountered back room abortions.Â And while I’m sure we’re happy that b!X and his sister pushed out into our world, what was your thinking in those days about a woman’s right to choose?
Also, as re. the Bermuda shorts, where did you stand vis a vis pedal pushers and pony tails?
Choice!Â Never thought about it until it was too late.Â Just to show you how sheltered my ’50s life was, I never knew about birth control or abortions. Theoretically, I knew about how sex works and how babies happen, but in my personal reality, it never occurred to me that I might get pregnant when I started sleeping with the guy I married.Â Duh!Â I went to the doctor’s because I thought I might be having appendicitis.Â When he asked me if I might be pregnant, there was this very pregnant pause before it sunk into my catholicized brain that, sure, of course I could be pregnant.Â You can be sure that I got on the pill right after.
So many of us were so clueless coming out of the â€˜50s.Â The â€˜60s propelled us into a whole new world of abandon.Â Â But it took me until the â€˜70s to get it and to get really angry – I mean REALLY ANGRY – pissing fucking mad â€“ about the realization that no one ever told me. Â No one ever told me that I had choices and that I should think about what I really wanted.Â That what I might want is important.Â And so, when I got pregnant again after b!X (I was still married) and realized that I just couldn’t deal with having another child, under my husband’s protest, I made an appointment for an abortion. (I think that decision was the beginning of my revolt against the traditional role I had sailed into so innocently and so hopefully.)Â As fate would have it, I miscarried the day before I was supposed to go.Â And I’m so grateful for that because, even though I would have gone through with the abortion, it would have torn my heart apart.Â Sometimes none of the choices we have are the choices we want.Â And then we have to live with what is.
When Lily Rivlin published her piece on “Lilith” in Ms. Magazine in the
Pedal pushers, ponytails, circle skirts and pins.Â Been there, done that.Â No nostalgia for me there.Â Too passionless.Â Too innocent.Â No big choices to make there.Â Lilith wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a strand of cultured pearls.
Never burned my bra but still don’t always wear one and don’t really need to, btw.Â I like having that choice.
Nostalgia for the seventies?Â No way.Â Those were the most painful years of my life – pulling the rug out from under my children’s stability so that I could try on Lilith’s wings.Â Â While Greer and Friedan spun out their verbiage, I was struggling every day to breathe life into my soul.Â No, no nostalgia there.Â Too many painful choices.
Wouldn’t trade b!X or his sister for any kind of fame or fortune.Â So, in a way, I am glad that I was clueless back then.Â Glad I never thought to choose.Â Otherwise… well, I don’t even like to go there.
Tina Turner is my image of what the archetypical crone should look like: Wild, energetic, free, sexy, ageless.Â Do I look like that?Â Actually, pretty close for a white girl!Â That’s my choice.
Q:Â Thanks for bringing Lily Rivlin into focus for us.Â Rivlin is probably one of the least celebrated feminist voices of the 70’s, yet in her December 1972 “Ms.” magazine article (“Lilith,” available today at http://www.crab.rutgers.edu/~scharme/lilith.htm) she laid a foundation for an archetypal independent woman, a woman who continues to bring a lot of joy and wonder to the world and to men and other women who can relate to her.Â Her re-write of the creation myth contains this passage…
“In the beginning….
When God set out to create Heaven and Earth, He found nothing but Chaos and emptiness. Faced by the Deep, God’s spirit wavered. In that atomic second, He became aware of Another. It was the pulse of the Universe: a Throbbing Spirit whirling in the Chaos. In that space I and Thou encountered.Â During that Absence, Energy was born. And He wanted to replicate that second, that memory of creation which He called Order. The Throbbing Spirit called it Love. And the Throbbing Spirit directed Love toward the Chaos, and the Heavens and the Seas divided. And God gave Order to the Energy, and there was Light. And the Throbbing Spirit danced in a golden light until there was Fire. God watched the Fire glow within the Seas and dreamed Jewels. And God and the Throbbing Spirit embraced in Dream and Reality, and there was Spirit and Matter. And God pulled the light from the bowels of the Fire, and there was Day and Night. Throbbing Spirit loved with such force that the Skies trembled and the Seas boiled, and there was Lightning, The Heavens wept with joy, and there was rapture in the universe.”
That passage from Rivlin is so hot and wet and full of movement… it speaks to the delight of maiden and youth finding something passionate and wonderful and new with each other, merging and screaming with joy and rapture and leaving bite marks, soaking in each other’s sweat and resting then coming together again over and over.
As we age of course, there are physiological shifts and little practical jokes that nature plays on us.Â Arousal gives way to the short circuit of a hot flash.Â Lubrication is as likely to come from a drawer in the bedside table as from the previously abundant flow between the thighs.Â Men who went around in a state of perpetual horniness flaunting erections like rock stars with sox in their jocks are now contemplating viagra.Â Their partners aren’t sure just how much to encourage them.
How would you say your experience and enjoyment of sex and relationships with men changed as you entered and went through menopause?
For most women, the one good thing about menopause is that you don’t have to deal with that monthly mess and the chances of getting pregnant plunge.Â I made an end run around the pregnancy issue when I had a tubal ligation when I was in the throes of my first â€œlove” affair after my divorce was final. (Never had one before that).Â I put “love” in quotes because, while we certainly liked each other and lusted after each other, we knew that this thing we had was not long term.Â You see, I really got into this Lilith spirit big time.Â I was on a quest to experience my heterosexuality as I never had before.Â And it was not my husband’s fault that that hadn’t happened in my marriage.Â I had a lot of repressed anger getting in the way.
So, for me, menopause meant mostly not having to ever buy another Tampax.Â Except, of course, instead I had to start figuring out what to use to counteract all of those other physiological pains in the vagina.Â All of that drying out of all of those great juices that I had come to know and love.Â One door opens another door closes.
I was living with a guy (the only one I’ve ever tried to live with after my marriage, and that only lasted a year) as I was going through menopause.Â He was a bad choice.Â But that’s another story and has nothing to do with menopause.Â The only point is that, having grown accustomed to enjoying my sexuality, I didn’t find that the physical constraints of menopause got in the way.Â What I did find, however, that I was becoming less willing to waste my time with men who bored me or annoyed me on other levels.Â So, in a way, my libido became more balanced with the rest of me.Â It’s not that sex was no longer interesting; it’s rather than men needed to interest me for other, more compelling reasons.Â (Interestingly enough, I remember getting a physical exam at that time and my long-time family doctor did another hormone level test.Â He said that I have always had high levels of testosterone, but that was changing drastically.Â We had a long discussion about the way the balance of hormones affects our personalities. But that too is off on another tangent.)
Now, to now.Â My life now is a little bizarre because I have taken on the role of caregiver for my 86 year-old-mom.Â I moved her out of her house outside of New York City and into an up-scale senior citizens building near where I was living when I was still working.Â It didn’t take long to realize that I was getting stressed out trying to work, run back and forth to take care of her etc. etc.Â So, I decided to move into a small apartment across the hall from her to save the running time, but I still continued to work.Â Then I decided, the hell with it, why make myself crazy:Â I was eligible to retire, so I did.Â I kept on with my ballroom dancing (which I’m very good at, by the way) because it got me out of the old-age community at night, gave me a chance to dress sexy and flirt and feel feminine and still alive.Â It also allowed me to lust after these incredibly beautiful young males as they held me close and spun me around the dance floor.Â But that’s all I did was lust after them.Â Sigh.
I haven’t had a sexual relationship now for about three years — the longest ever since my divorce.Â It’s not that I don’t want one.Â Mostly it’s feeling constrained and inhibited by having my mother so close by.Â (Crazy, isn’t it?Â But I just don’t want to have to deal with her disapprovals AGAIN at this point in my life.)Â I supposed that if I met someone I thought worth the hassle, I’d go with it.Â These days, I miss the cuddling and affection and sharing that a mate provides even more than the raw sex.Â Although I could get into that as well under the right circumstances.
I write a column for a local dance magazine that a friend of mine publishes, and I’m going to tack on a draft of what I think Iâ€™m going to submit for my next piece.Â It will give you even more of an idea of how I’m feeling about getting older and looking less sexier (although not totally un-sexy).Â I guess this is the end of this verbal roll.Â I’m going to take my mom outside for experience some of this finally Spring weather.
So, here’s a draft of my column for the next dance magazine issue.
WHEN GOING TO DANCES STOPS BEING FUN (draft)
I haven’t been doing much dancing lately. Sometimes you need a break â€“ take some time to smell the roses, which haven’t bloomed yet because the weather’s been so wacky. But you know what I mean.
But that isn’t the entire reason that I haven’t been dancing. Sometimes it just stops being fun.
For me, dancing is fun when I dance just about every dance. When there are plenty of partners to dance with. When, if I ask a guy to dance, he accepts my invitation graciously.Â For me, dancing is fun when the ventilation system in a dance venue is on and working, when there is continuous music and not a lot of time spent making announcements or doing mixers, when the music itself inspires me to want to get out there and move. I mean really move.
It isn’t a matter of only being able to dance with guys who have taken lessons for years and know all the steps right up through the gold level and can lead me through them effortlessly – although, yes, that’s great fun.Â But, if the music is good, it’s still fun to get out there and follow my leader no matter what level he’s at.
I used to really like dancing with Jay, despite his strong aftershave and polyester suits.Â Jay is gone now.Â I mean really gone, passed away.Â Â But for years, well into his seventies, Jay would be at all of the dances at the Polish Community Center – and elsewhere – dancing the way he did back when he was a dashing young Italian stud fifty years ago in Brooklyn.Â He didn’t know hundreds of fancy steps, but the steps he did know were done with style, flair, and from the heart.Â He felt the music.Â He knew how to lead and he knew how to have fun dancing.
Unlike some, I guess I don’t go to dances to socialize; I go to have fun dancing.Â Only it’s not fun when I wind up standing around looking for someone to ask to dance or waiting to be asked.Â It’s not fun when there aren’t enough available guys to dance with or when I see those who are available opting to keep asking the younger, prettier women.
The truth is, once I was one of them myself; maybe I’ve had my time in the social dance scene sun, and it’s time to turn the floor over to the next female generation.Â Maybe I’m just tired or bored and need a break.Â After all, there are plenty of women of “indeterminate age” out there at the ballroom dances, seemingly satisfied to dance once in a while, socialize for a while, watch for a while…Â But that’s not me.Â I go to dances to dance, to have fun dancing. If I can’t do that, I’d rather go home, put on a Salsa tape, and pretend.
I’ve been ballroom and social dancing for a long time, longer than most because I started in high school and never stopped (except for those dozen or so married years). So I can’t imagine giving it up completely. I suppose you’ll see me at a dance at some point in the future.Â But if I’m not dancing, you won’t see me for long.
An hour or so later, Elaine sent me this updateâ€¦
Yes, they’re right about time going by faster as you get older.Â It’s been more than 5 years since my last sexual relationship (god, that sounds like what I might have said in confession, doesn’t it?)
btw, I blogged you today
Elaine of Kalilily, Resident Crone of Blogdom
Q:Â Cyberia has many realms.Â You and I crossed paths in that tiny corner of Blogdom where RageBoy rants.Â What brought you here?Â How long has it been since the flesh and blood Elaine emerged newborn into the digital world of blogs and chats and emails and such?Â How did you get here?Â If I could get you some ruby slippers would you like to go back?
I like this question.
I rode into blogdom on b!X coat tails.Â I have never been in a chat room or posted on bulletin boards or such.Â Now I’ll back up a little.
In my former work life, I always had responsibility for communications — both internal staff and external world.Â So, whenÂ I had a chance to switch from an IBMÂ Selectric to a computer, I jumped on it.Â Â E-mail came first, and then I took the time to learn simple software so that I could do desk top publishing and then jumped again into Front Page.Â (I managed to get up both a staff intranet and my unit’s first public web page.)Â Spoiled by the fun I was having at work,Â by the early 90s, I had my own computer at home.Â Â Â
Back to b!X, who has been online since there became an online to get onto.Â Rolling StoneÂ featuredÂ him in an article at one point, and I’ll attach a jpeg of that article.Â He was crucial to the “Hands Off the Net” campaign back then.Â Â So not only was I really proud of him, but I religiously read what was then his weblog, although there were no weblogs asÂ suchÂ back then.Â Â Â I first encountered the Cluetrain guys as a result of b!X’s urging me to read their stuff.Â (I even emailed the Commissioner of Education, my boss’ boss, and suggested that he might want to read that book because of its implications for education.Â Of course, nothing came of that.)Â Eventually I ventured into the EGR Bombast topica essays and quickly discounted the value of pursuing any more Locke.
Meanwhile, on occasion I would email b!X with some profound or clever statement that he would then post on his site.Â Time went on, and 9/11 happened and everyone started blogging like crazy.Â Except me.Â I just kept sending my comments to b!X.Â Finally, he said ENOUGH! GET YOUR OWN DAMNED BLOG! and gave me the link to Blogger.Â After many stupid long-distance questions to b!X as I struggled to set my blog up, damn if I didn’t eventually figure it out.
Now, there I was, not a techie, totally unconnected to the web except for b!X.Â But I’m no dummy (except for codes and stuff like that.)Â So, I just started surfing the sites on b!X’s blog roll and began leaving comments on their blogs.Â You know how that works.Â You say “Who the hell is this person leaving a weird comment on my blog? Well, I’ll just link over to her site and check her out.”Â Â Â I have no idea how I got to Jeneane Sessum, but in a nanosecond, I knew she was my sister under the skin.Â I swear, if I believed in the reallocation of personal energies, I would believe we had been the same person at some point in cosmic history.Â Connecting with JeaneaneÂ was the beginning of my rise to infamy and my re-introduction to RageBoy. Â These conversations with you will either be my downfall or my apex.Â 🙂
I still don’t do anything but blog and email.Â I don’t have the time.
In many ways, blogging is saving my creative soul right now, given my deadening living arrangement and the lack of any significant intellectual outlets.Â Heh.Â The way I feel right now is “Give me my RoadRunner connection or give me death!”
As you know, IÂ was spending a lot of time dancing, andÂ I do have a group of women friends that I hang around with — but then that gets me into responding to your next question, which I will do after I make dinner for my mom.Â Good thing I like to cook!
Oh — I don’t know if you ever read what I posted about how I came up with Kalilily.Â When I first got my first computer, there was still all this concern over keeping one’s identity private, and everyone was coming up with aliases.Â So, after much doodling, I came up with combiningÂ Kali — for the Lilith-related goddess of death and rebirth –Â and lily — for Lilith, for “Elaine the fair, Elaine the pure, Elaine the Lilymaide of Astalot.”Â Â And there’s also my affinity for Georgia O’Keefe’s calla lilies.Â One of my lovers, the one with whom I went to Paris in the spring, gave me a sterling silver ring with the shape of a calla lily.Â It’s the only ring I tend to wear.Â So, you see, I just love itÂ when disparate parts of my life weave together like that.Â Like a web.Â Like the net.
On to the supper making.
Q:Â Magic and ritual play an important part in your life.Â When did you have that first “Loving Spoonful” moment, do you recall?Â Or is a mystical perspective something that just sort of grew around you, or what?Â Do you believe in magic… did the magical mystery tour just come and take you away?Â Do you think some of us are gifted with it and others aren’t or do we all have a hook into the power but need to find the switch?Â Can you talk a little about how people hook up with the magical?Â Is it possible that the hormonally intoxicated young folks among us have a harder time hooking in?
Well, I could play this for all its worth and really set myself up as some sort of cyber-Starhawk, but that wouldnâ€™t be the truth. Maybe the truth will actually be stranger than that fiction.
My father was an undertaker and we lived above the funeral chapels and the embalming room. Couple that with the fact that this was the era of Ecchh! and Tales from the Crypt comics, which I devoured endlessly, and the additional fact that I had very bad asthma as a young kid and spent a lot of time alone in bed exercising my imagination. Fantasy, vampires, dragons, magic, zombies â€“ the stuff of my active childhood mind, reinforced by the fact that I was living my life above dead people.
So, jump to my discovery of Lilith. The next step was devouring everything I could find that was written about Wicca, witches, witchcraft â€“ then the range of ancient spiritualities (real and feminist-wished) that honored the power of the female. Then, as fate would have it, I saw an ad for a workshop on “Dreams, Myths, and Poetry” given by a therapist whom I really new as local writer. That was the beginning of another beginning. I worked with this guy on and off for years (kinda like RB and Don), except that I made progress. I also learned how to lead others in vision questing, active imagination journeys, empowerment rituals â€“ all that stuff that really is old fashioned magic updated to suit the searching skeptical mentalities of this century. There was about a decade between the 80s and 90s that I conducted workshops in that stuff, often along with a friend of mine who is an expressive arts therapist.
And thatâ€™s my answer to your question if I believe in magic. That, and the fact that all art began as rituals to appease or connect with the unknown, with whatever the people defined as their deity or deities. So, theatre, music, dance, poetry all began as sacred ritual. Poets are magicians. I just take it back to its origins and turn the performance back into ritual.
Itâ€™s interesting to me that Diane di Prima now is into all that as well. Maybe thatâ€™s a logical progression for feminist/poets. We find ways to use the power of ritual and the arts to help others connect with the deepest parts of themselves â€“ parts that, I believe, are the true sources of the divine. (I have many times on my blog asserted my position as an irreverent non-believer.)
Now, does magic work? Sure â€“ the way that psychotherapy works. Itâ€™s all in our perception. One of my favorite writers is Alice Hoffman. Her novels reflect the magic all around us in ordinary time if we choose to perceive it all through that lens. Thus, my ritual this weekend on behalf of RageBoy. Will it work? If he believes it will work, it will work. And, am I really going to go out under the full moon with my ritual objects that I am in the process of creating and his ritual EGR words from the Ghost Dance post? Oh yes, indeed. And I will draw a circle and light candles and maybe even do a little ghost dance of my own. Because you never know.
I believe that people hook up with the magical by allowing themselves to be aware of the marvelous synchronicities that happen all of the time. Then you begin feeling the flow, feeling the fantastic. Creating art-as-ritual makes your space sacred, makes you feel that you are making things happen. And then, holy shit! Things start happening.
I have great stories of rituals I have done for and with my women friends. (Thereâ€™s a group of 6 of us who have been friends for more than a decade.) But thatâ€™s a bunch of other stories.
I think hormonally intoxicated kids are only a step a way from feeling magical. But no one ever leads them over that threshold into a sacred place where play becomes life. Their music puts them on the verge. They dress in costume. They are hungry for magic. But most families havenâ€™t set up the context for viewing it all in magical terms. It doesnâ€™t work unless itâ€™s been part of the family tradition. My ex-husband is a writer and theater director. My kids grew up immersed in the magic ritual of theatrical production.
When b!X was leaving for college, I did a ritual with him (bless his tolerant heart; he has never put me down for my weird proclivities) where I tied a red ribbon around his and my waists and then had him cut it — symbolically cut the cord that tied us together as single mother and son for all those years. He was free to fly on his own. While I do sort of celebrate the traditional holidays, I focus more on the pagan interpretation: Christmas is a celebration of the Great Mother and her children. Easter, of course, of fertility, growth, creativity.
Do I believe that I am a “Crone?” On my fiftieth birthday, I threw myself a big party and had my therapist/shaman friend come over and do a “welcome the crone” ritual. As a matter of fact, thatâ€™s what my party invitation said: “Come and Welcome the Crone.”
Now, more than a decade later, sheâ€™s still emerging. We become what we believe.
Q:Â Let me throw a handful of sexual content questions at you…Â If you’re not having sex, what makes you think you’d still enjoy it?Â Is it true blonde bloggers have more fun?Â How would you describe yourself physically?
Before I tackle the naked stuff, I have to tell you it makes me a little nervous because of the double standard thatâ€™s still out there. RageBoy is free to relate his exploits, both real and imaginary, and doesnâ€™t have to worry about being harassed or hit-on, virtually or otherwise. (Heh, he would probably welcome it.)Â But I do have to worry about that . Now, that having been said…
I never said I wasnâ€™t having sex. I said that I havenâ€™t had a sexual relationship. Iâ€™m having sex. Itâ€™s just not with anyone else. J
So the issue of whether I would enjoy it or not is not the real issue. The issue is, of course, is there any guy out there with whom I want to enjoy it. And, these days, that has to do with a lot more than whether or not he is sexy in the commercial sense.
And thereâ€™s more to be said about that and it relates to your last question. Iâ€™m not 20 years old any more; Iâ€™m not even 40, although at 40 I looked like 30 (got that?) Good genes. But, I’m not 20 or 30 or 40 or even 50.Â My body isn’t the one that took me on all of my romantic adventures for all of those years.Â That bothers me, so whoever I might get naked with has to make me feel that I’m still cute and cuddly and desirable.
There was a time or two when, for fun, I constructed what I might submit as a “personal profile” on Match.com or something like thatÂ if I were going to go that route. Â What I wrote those times had less to do with my looks and more with my personality. But hereâ€™s the goddess-honest truth:
- When I go to Wal-Martâ€™s and try on jeans, the size 12s fit me with enough room for a little shrinkage.
- I hang around with women between five and ten years younger than I am, and I look better (read “more attractive”) than some of them.
- I have a round Polish face, small bones, and at least ten pounds that I donâ€™t want but Iâ€™m still within the weight range for my height and age.
- The extra weight I do have has gone to my midriff, but I know how to dress to draw attention, instead, to my great legs.
I admit it. Iâ€™m vain. I wear make-up, dress to accentuate my positives, and color my hair. Like Gloria Steinem, I no longer even know what color my hair really is. When I turned 62, I decided to have my hair made lighter, but I never intended to go blonde. I think I was in shock when I left the salon. But, you know, IÂ AM having more fun as a blonde. Now, is that because thereâ€™s “magic” in that color or because it makes me feel perkier, prettier and I relate to the world in a way that projects a more vibrant attitude. We know the answer to that, donâ€™t we. But it doesnâ€™t matter, because Iâ€™m just sooooo enjoying the admiring looks I get from men “of indeterminate age.”
You donâ€™t have to give up your sensuality to be a feminist. Just ask Lililth.
I was really pleased with the openness Elaine brought to this interview.Â I went away for the weekend satisfied that on my return I could do a reasonably quick edit and the publish.Â When I got back home and online last night, the following was in the mailboxâ€¦Â I just hope nothing awful happened to Rageboy or Halley while I was gone!
So, while you were out relaxing and enjoying the wonders of nature, some of us were conjuring up thoseÂ forces in another context. Actually, I thought Iâ€™d give you some follow-up to the cyber-ritual drummed up for the night of the full moon on behalf of RageBoy and his ongoing pursuit of his elusive heart. (MyÂ coming-out party as a real cyberKrone.)Â Most of itâ€™s on my blog, but I want you to know that we all have had this fantastic (in the fantasy sense of the world) adventure together that has made most of us feel energized. Except for Jeneane, who is down with a wicked (no pun intended) sinus infection. I packed up the “power tools” I made for Chris and will mail them out to him tomorrow. I thought he might get a kick out of that. This whole thing has been a real high for me. I love conjuring such connections, and I even phoned Chris this morning to make that connection more real â€“ give a voice to his voice. I talk to Jeneane every once in a while already. (And, as a side note, Marek J. even called me the other day and we had just the kind of conversation one would expect to have with Marek.) I am amazed and honored by all of these new friends.
So, welcome back to the not-so-relaxing world. Now itâ€™s my turn to relax.