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?
The last sentence in David Brook’s August 28 column reads, ” It’s possible to be heroic if you’re just sitting alone in your office. It just doesn’t make for a good movie.”
I don’t look like George Clooney, so the heck with the movie. I am going to accept this as good news.
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.
In the AARP Bulletin, of which I am old enough to read, there is a conversation with Sully Sullenberger, the pilot who five years ago safely landed a jet on the Hudson River saving 155 passengers and crew.
Among his many experiences since, Sully was invited to Obama’s first inaugural ball. After being introduced to Obama, the President turned to Sully’s wife and said,”America considers him a hero.”
And Sully’s wife Lorrie said, “Well, the world may think him a hero, but he still snores!”
And that is what makes heroes real.
Oscar Levant said to George Gershwin, “Tell me George, if you had to do it all over again, would you fall in love with yourself?”
It must feel good. Who am I kidding, it does feel good. Don’t all of us fall in love with ourselves at least once?
When does this become a bad thing? Ever? I suspect if done in excess it would be a problem. A constant demonstration of it and we would appear selfish. When is confidence self love? Can we be confident without falling in love with ourselves?
At least with Gershwin, the result is that most of us know who he is. But who is Oscar Levant?