This from Dark Hearts by Loren Pedersen.
“The patriarchal age has been a surprisingly short period compared to the matriarchal dominance lasting at least from some time during the last Ice Age up to the civilization of Crete. ”
My undergrad alma mater is Babson College. Their focus is entrepreneurial studies and/or how to become a CEO. I graduated in 1969 when the first woman student entered as a freshman. Now the majority of students are women.
What does it say about my feminine side that I cheer this? I see this as boding well for the future.
Is it the end of patriarchal age and the beginning of the next matriarchal age? If so, our future has been made brighter. My concern is that Pedersen refers to the Ice Age as our last one, not as in no more, but as in their will be another.
Belonging, once so important, is fading with age. I want my belongings warm and fuzzy. If not, I abandon them. Younger, I would have stuck them out, but not to gain healthy introspection. Back in the day belonging was born out of desperate need. As to where desperate went, I will save my conjectures for another time.
When in the process of joining something new, I engage in a memory of a past belonging. An almost forgotten scene arrives in my mind. Not only with personalities, but with warm and fuzzy enzymes that provide the comforts of acceptance. So powerful are these belongings that they can simultaneously feed my need for community and my desire not to be alone.
A most important memory of belonging is family. When I was living at home as a boy and received an invitation to dinner, it is not the food I remember as much as the attentions from which I was called. I was most always engaged in a creative moment and it is these moments I bring back inclusive of the familiar voice of my mother saying, “Bob, dinner is ready.”
Offering me her best and on a consistent schedule provided me a time when I could be at the top rung of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. My needs of basic necessity well provided, I was not only fed in body, but in soul.
My mother, an excellent cook, presented an attractive table, inclusive of table cloth and cloth napkins. She always had a center piece which frequently included fresh flowers and lit candles. Our conversations were friendly and engaging. All of this I thought normal.
Unfortunately, puberty arrived and upset our pyramid of needs. Normal was trumped by natural and for this my mother and I proved ill equipped.
A man that I visited in a nursing home had incurred two broken hips since I had last seen him. He is in his late eighties and apparently facing his remaining life in a room.
There is little about him that is downbeat. He is engaged. Not showing any sign of depression. His demeanor provoked me to look for weakness. Is he crazy, narcissistic, or just a good guy?
I find it easier to find fault than I do in praising him. He has undergone a rite of passage that I don’t think I ever will. I have come and gone into puberty, adulthood, middle age and now early old without any signs of evidence that I ever experience a passage of any sorts. Other than time passing. I feel the same as yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
What I see in him as some kind of psychotic disturbance might be me looking dimly in a mirror. How have I jumped from sixteen to sixty-six without recognition? This man has been in the military and worn several other uniforms, many with badges. Occupations I would have spurned in my younger hours. I wanted recognition but never thought of it doing it the way he did.
Life for me has been more a passing than an entry. Until New Hampshire, moving from one town to another. It is what I see as intriguing about Lee Child’s fictional character Reacher.
Rather than hold to his military exploits, Reacher seems to wander into new realms. Where others might be insecure, he lives one day at a time and becomes prominent as a go to guy, a guy we might ask about life’s meaning. He is a wandering monk. A monastery is his likely next stop, not a nursing home.
One man real, and the other imagination, which one would I rather be?
Writing a memoir, especially one that includes exploration of the dark side of everything, including God, is hard work. It makes me want to go to analysis because I have begun to see much I haven’t see before. Stuff I didn’t even know existed. Amina is one.
Loren Pedersen writes, “the more in touch with the inner feminine a man is, the more comfortable he is likely to be with inner self-exploration. The anima, as a potential connection to his unconscious, may appear personified in his dreams and fantasies.”
When I picked up his book Dark Hearts, one that was leant to me, I had little interest. That was at the beginning of August. I am now the proud owner of the book and reading it at the fast clip of about two pages a day. No meat here. Hah!
“All wrong.” Biff then added in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. “The man didn’t know who he was.”
I can identity. Can you?
My quest is to unearth my dark side and my angst is serving me.
Some mornings I feel like my walk is over and other mornings I am just beginning.
I need to be Harry and to have Hermine, characters in Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf.
Oh wait, I think my life’s partner was Hermine in an earlier life. Was I Harry?
Dr. Quigley quotes Robinson Jeffers, “…take a walk, for instance, and admire the landscape: that is better than killing one’s brother in war or trying to be superior to one’s neighbor in time of peace. We could dig our gardens…We could, according to our abilities, give ourselves to science or art; not to impress somebody, but for the love of the beauty each discloses. We could even be quiet occasionally…”
Better than killing, so many alternatives. I chose writing. But still something needs to get me out of the chair. Used to be handball, tennis, baseball, now I do as Jeffers suggests. I take a walk.
This morning I finished writing a story for my monthly newspaper column in the Peterborough, NH Ledger-Transcript. It had to do with dragons. The dragons that appear in our midst challenging us to pass. For me writing is one of the keys to getting by them.
This afternoon I returned home from work and was spending some quality time on our back deck when I noticed a dragon fly floating in our dog’s water dish. The dragon didn’t look like he was taking a drink, but rather drowning. I had seen one before in this predicament, but not able to save it.
This one remained alive so I tried gently pouring out the water, but in the transition one of the wings bent back. I went inside and tore off a small slice of paper towel. Returning to the porch, I slid the towel toward the dragon-fly thinking I could I slide under it. The dragon grabbed on right away and held as I walked it to a nearby table.
As I sat in a chair watching I noticed its wings had returned to their proper place. Suddenly, the dragon fly fluttered them but didn’t go airborne. I watched hopefully as the dragon wiped its face.
After about five minutes, its wings beat rapidly and the dragon took to the air. As the dragon lifted over the roof of our house, I thought I heard it say something, but couldn’t catch what it was. No matter, now I know dragons talk. This should come in handy next time I want to get by one.