I noticed that everyone - including me - was getting older a couple of years ago during another Christmas in Texas. I had just turned 50, and Mortality was smacking me in the face for the first time. I spazzed. Back then, Mother was fully convinced my dad had Alzeihmer's and I was noticing all my own friends still smoking or sucking down an ice cream float while fixing up an insulin shot. Turned out that some of my dad's medicine was effecting his memory - so now that they changed his meds he's good to go for another decade.
So now that I've figured out that we're not all going to die any time soon - and that, in fact, life goes on, my sister and I seem to be the Mothers with my brother and his wife, JJP, as well as my sister's husband the physicist, occupying the same generational space. Velvet and his cousins are now the Emerging Generation. Certainly aging is part of this shift - but I think I've noticed it more this year since Cupcake is with us. Everyone is getting along beautifully. My mother made a point of thanking Velvet for bringing home such a pleasant, sensible girl instead of one of the high maintenance lunatics who attached themselves to my brother.
Cupcake has taken a tranquilizer or two, but nobody holds that against her. The Physicist had to take to his bed the first few times he was around the whole crew. If I'm remembering correctly, Buzz Kill managed the whole family thing well enough, but I was a nervous wreck in those days. JJP always fit in pretty well because she had an advantage because her parents and my parents had been friends for years and years before she and my brother got together. Also, as long as the cats were still alive, Buzz Kill and I typically stayed in a hotel because Buzz Kill is highly allergic to cats.
Last year, I felt a little resentful at having to share my mother with my sister the whole time - but I was tense on account of Velvet getting suspended for his grades. This year, even though the semester didn't turn out the way anyone had hoped, we're all proud as can be that Velvet is such a nice fellow, and I have to say that being able to maintain healthy relationships is a hell of lot more important than a college degree.
Hanging out in the kitchen together, or piling into the cars to go out for barbecue like we did this afternoon, there is genuine, warm comraderie in this family (Thing of Beauty #44-101). Even though I've been a mother for nearly 21 years, and my sister's kids are both teenagers - this is the first time that my mother feels more like The Crone instead of The Mother. She's called herself Crone whenever she comments on Citydata and other websites for some time now, but in my mind she's been The Mother. Maybe I felt like an imposter or something since I hadn't come to terms with my own authority and power even as I was exercising it.
Plenty of people - friends and neighbors mostly - call up my mother regularly for instructions on how to fix stuff, or deal with contractors or community disputes. My dad is also a respected elder in their little community, but I don't know what they call men. Since the Goddess has always had three faces - Maiden, Mother, Crone - it's easy to see which stage of life we're in. Mom may have called herself Crone for a few years now, but she is fully Crone now.
The other day, my buddy Gwendolyn Holden Barry and I were talking about archetypes and personality structure. Gwen looks at that kind of stuff from a mythological, ancestoral perspective where I'm more Jungian about the whole thing - but there's a lot of overlap. Anyway, it was back when Gwen was first blending up an essensce for me designed to facilitate the healing of my shoulder. Gwen's business - Daughters of Isis- Ancestor Aromachologie is all about healing essenses. Anyway Gwen was saying that the Mother is very strong in me - so that even when I'm officially a Crone, I'll still be Mother. I'm thinking that my mother is such a Crone that she's been Crone even when she was technically still Mother.
That Maiden, Mother, Crone stuff has more to do with seven year cycles than the exact stage of a woman's fertility, but when you're a woman, your cycle is a fundamental part of who you are. All of us, though, men and women alike, go through stages of life just like the phases of the moon or the seasons of the year. My parents are going into their winter; my sibs and I are going into the Fall. Velvet and Cupcake aren't quite ready for summer. It will come, though I still think those two may very well be one of those couples that gets together in high school and stays together for a lifetime. Time will tell.
For now, I'm wondering what time will tell for me next year. First things first, though. The minute all the real estate agents get back to work in New York City, I'm buying an apartment and entering into a new phase of life in New York. The whole time I was married to Buzz Kill, I was living near Central Park. Since it's at the center of the city, it's like a metaphor for focusing inward on personal identity and stuff like that. The defining characteristic of my new neighborhood is the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge which is all about connecting with others.
Meanwhile, I'm happy to say that even though I was very anxious about taking the medicine for my inflammatory arthritis - which is derrived from the chemicals they use for chemotherapy, so in a very real way I was home alone and taking poison on Christmas Eve - my shoulder really is improving. Even if I am telling myself a lovely little story by looking at the potion Gwen made as an antidote to the poison, when you consider how much of our healing depends on our perception and attitude, I'm fucking-A delighted with this one.
I collected a bit of earth from the yard of the house where I lived when I was young and healthy, and Gwen blended it together with the same things our own Celtic ancestors used as medicines back before the Romans chased them into the woods and called them Witches. It's like I have my Self returning to myself in a concrete, tangible way to help my body heal. Maybe there will always be some pain, but I'm the one who decides whether or not there is suffering.
No matter what happens with my shoulder, my home and my potential romance, there's still a lot of suffering in the world. I'm finally starting to feel well enough again to work toward Being the Change. There's no denying we're looking at the collapse of the American Empire -and we seem to be taking the Environment down with us. But the movement is still afloat - and January 20, we'll be Occupying the Courts.
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