The Crone and I

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“All futures are tinted by the way in which you choose to view them.” Cat Hellisen ‘Mother, Crone, Maiden’

 

What image pops into your head when you hear the word ‘crone’? What characteristics do you associate with this female archetype? Does she remind you of the 3 witches in ‘Macbeth’, ‘fire burn and cauldron bubble’? If so, is she repugnant to you?

I first encountered the Crone in ‘Women who run with the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola EstesThis book is a study of the instinctual nature of women – a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing – and tells the story of 3 archetypes representing the stages of life – the Maiden, the Matron and the Crone. Of these archetypes, the Crone jumped out at me, calling me like a kindred spirit. I was 22.

The Crone is present in the myths of different cultures such as Baba Yaga in Slavic, Annis in Celtic, Elli in Nordic, and Kali Ma in Indian mythologies. For me, the Crone has never been the ugly old witch, in modern-day parlance. Neither is she beauty, especially ‘beauty’ as espoused in contemporary society.

The Crone represents a woman of wisdom, the old and wise one; she is an ageless Wisdom Goddess.

Wise woman

This image has stayed with me for a very long time.  Yes, I have been gently teased or unkindly mocked.  Comments like “you are born 40 after all”, “you are an old soul”, “you are all too serious”, “be careful you may become boring”. Well, perhaps I am one, some or all of these, honestly I do not mind.

Through the years, I have learnt the Crone is light-hearted but never flippant, she is gentle not weak, she is healing not malevolence, she is ageless not old, she is wise not (necessarily) intellectual – what an inspiration!  So I continue to embody these qualities… and the journey so far has been a blast! 🙂

Like the Pilgrim in Annie Dillard’s novel ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’

I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them…

Women’s life, like the moon, wax and wane.  Let us embrace, revere and honour her – the Crone in our lives – for she must come to pass.

~ FlorenceT

Capricious #Haiku Challenge 157 @RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 157 with prompt words – Amuse, Irate

 capricious antics
irate I cease to be, so
amused I look on.
~ FlorenceT

 

And here’s a song to go with the haiku 😉 :

 

 

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

And time marches on…

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It takes time for hurts to be forgiven, for a heart to heal. It takes time for a house to be a home, for a connection to be a commitment.

I was always aware of time, keeping close watch on deadlines, setting time frames, being on time. This ‘trait’ of being punctual and fulfilling obligations in time is a motivator for many of the things I did. In some ways, it was a blessing as I have achieved many things in life driven by this elusive concept of time. And it had also placed many pressures on me, some in hindsight so needless.

Watching children grow, and having certain expectations of how they ought to be “by this time” – whether they are 5, 10 or 15 years old – is laughable. Setting time frames on natural development of a life has come about in the last century – with books on the developmental milestones of little persons taken as gospel truths. A guide is not a standard. And these so-called “standards” get worse as they grow, from how mature a child ought to be by a certain age, to what experiences they ought to have encountered, what behaviour they ought or ought not exhibit… in order to be an ‘enough’ person.

Time marches on regardless of a person’s progress. What does a woman in her 40s ought to possess, to have done, to behave, to be considered successful in life? Or fulfilled in life? Looking at the years past, there have been paths not taken, wrong turns, joyous rides, proud moments, accidental encounters, courageous retreats… and they happen with time. They were not events to which time is the driver, quite the contrary. Yet they are the still life which are most remembered or cherished.

I have learnt patience, of letting time runs its course. Heck, I have no control over it! I have also learnt to take care of myself, to do what I desire, what I will, what I must in the best way possible without the spectre of time on me.

Life has been slow and fast at various points of this life but none as the last 12 months (that I can remember :-)).

It has been slow as I had only been able to present on each moment at a time, taking one step after the next without looking too far as that future had been overwhelming. In that I learnt a valuable lesson in mindfulness, in finally knowing time waits for no one nor does it rush. Enough is being the best I can be in that moment. Finally, I realise the fallacy of “missing out” if we don’t rush on, if we don’t grab every opportunity presented “just in case”. What is right is only right if it is right with me.

The past 12 months have also been fast. Measuring by the magnitude of accomplishments, the height of joy, the depth of sadness, the immensity of feelings and degree of resolute focus needed, I have lived more years in the last one year than I thought possible for me. What a lesson in the enormity of human capacity, because we are not that different, you and I.

We experience time in its passing through our lives – growing, maturing, aging and death, focus and intention, love and loss, happiness and sorrow; through the cycles of the natural world; and the decay of human-made objects. We don’t see time, it is not concrete.

Time is a relative concept, as physicists can attest. It is always moving and always static. Always forward, irreversible and parallel to our human living.

What motivates us ought to be more than a concept, don’t you think?

So as we approach the new year, for us I wish a year of timeless soul-deep intention, passionate being and meaningful doing.

Namaste.
FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Contemplation on Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving… giving thanks… for what do we give thanks? Today? At this time?

In a time when every change, great or small, is tracked, accentuated, dissected, analysed, discussed… its volume so loud that we lose sight of its actual significance, we lose the measure of their relative importance. Everything is the same, and nothing is the same. The noise causing us to lose our sense of what is true.

So perhaps at this time of year – whether we are religious or otherwise, whether we are alone, with family or friends, whether we are home or missing home – we may carve out a space to contemplate on what is true – the circle of life which connects us andtouches everyone, as it crosses every boundary underneath the sun“.

 

Some say
The walls between us stand so tall
They don’t see there’s just one sun
Shining on us all

I say
We each choose roads to call our own
But none of us is travelling through
This universe alone

And this circle
Just goes on and on
It began before us
It will be here when we’ve gone

And this circle
Just goes on and on and on
Connecting our humanity
Joining me to you and you to me

Seasons
Keep spinning on the wheel of time
We stand we fall
We struggle up

The mountains we must climb
Different dreams
May color what we see ahead
But our lives are strong together
On a common thread

And this circle (circle)
Just goes on and on (on and on)
It began before us
It will be here when we’ve gone

And this circle
Just goes on and on and on
Connecting our humanity
Joining me to you and you to me

Around and round and round and round we go
Around and round and round we go
Love and learn and change and grow
Round and round and round we go

And this circle
Touches everyone
As it crosses every boundary
Underneath the sun

And this circle
Just goes on and on
It began before us
It will be here when we’re gone

Yes this circle
Just goes on and on and on
Someday we will come to see
I’m joined to you and you to me

So to my American friends and readers:

happy-thanksgiving

~ FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

I breathe

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breath

 

And so I breathe
Deeply
This breathe of life
Watching it flow through me
Across the memories
Like a balm
Soothing
This flesh trembling
In the aftermath
Of fire scorching
Ripping through veins
Bloodied wounds
Seldom seen
And so I breathe
Deeply
For momentary comfort

– FlorenceT

[Edited: Image included 1 Nov 2016]

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

#Haiku Challenge 113 @RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 11with prompt words – Beach, Time

phillip-island

Heat reflecting off

quartz edged and facet, mirage

Time drifts as it will.

~ FlorenceT

 

Image of Phillip Island, Australia, courtesy of A Matter of Taste.

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

#Haiku Challenge 77 @RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 77 with prompt word – New, Year

stepping_stones_by_ekuboryu

Annual  laments scream
Life proceeding, nothing new
  But conscious choices.

– FlorenceT

 © 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Background image: Stepping Stones by Ekoboryu