Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Stages of Cronedom

I've been working on my event for women on aging and the crone archetype (there are still a few spaces - see my previous posts or Facebook event called Going to Hel: Aging and the Crone Archetype), and I've discovered a few poems I'd forgotten that I'd written.  One of the reasons I started blogging was to put these poems out so that they wouldn't get lost in deep storage.  So, here is one I dug out:

you are a novice elder.
Monthly bleeding 
finally ends, 
bringing both relief 
and sadness.
If you are fortunate,
you receive
a crone initiation,
and a welcoming.
You begin to look
at older friends
in a new way.
You study
how they move,
how they rest,
how they persist
in their arts.

you move into
early cronehood.
You stop coloring
your hair.
You grandparent.
If you are lucky,
you retire from
your day job.
Because you live
within youth culture,
you become invisible
to many.
You wince
at your image
in the mirror,
hating the new lines
etched into your face and
your sagging skin.
you breathe deeply
and promise yourself
to accept it all.

you discover
that there is  
a middle-elder phase.
You begin
to identify yourself
as old. 
Weaknesses in the body
begin to clarify themselves
into symptoms.
It is easy
to get lost and
discouraged now.
You realize
that you will never
go backpacking again.
You visit
your acupuncturist and
If you are even
a little wise,
you turn inward
and to whatever gods or spirits
tug at your soul.
You allow
your gifts
to flow
You care
less and less
what others
think of you.
You begin
to lose (or lose more)
You understand
how much grief
there will be
from now on .
You wonder
how you will manage
to bless and serve
the young.

you move into
true old age.
Not yet having 
arrived there, 
I cannot speak of it 
with any authority.
I suspect
that the work
will be to learn more
about acceptance
and about staying
That opening
to the life-force
and also the death-force
will be
what is required.
I hope
that I live long enough
to hold all things –
to love my beloveds -
to bless the youngers –
and to meld
into the earth.

Maya Spector