What Being a Crone Means to Me
By Kaya Kotzen
On the cusp of 70, there is no escaping aging.
I was first croned in my 60’s in two different ceremonies, but only now as I am leaving this 60th decade do I feel like I am crossing this threshold of significance in life. What makes this feel different than when I went through a ritual to be croned? At 70, I have completed my working years, and I have acknowledged that my life and body are shifting. My inner wisdom feels like it is much more accessible than it ever has been and the demands of my body to follow its rhythms can no longer be ignored. Accepting where I am in life, living with an open and a compassionate, loving, and forgiving heart and mind, and sharing whatever wisdom I can are some of the things that make me a Crone.
Saying yes when I mean yes, and no when I need to set boundaries, always being true to my values and integrity to honor this time in life.
Coming into this Crone time, means “saging” in the world, as Rabbi Zalman Schacter wrote about in his book Aging to Saging.
As Crones, we must set an example, to be the change we wish to see in the world, to be a strong and supportive presence for the millennial generation and others who have their work cut out for them to save this planet and bring peaceful relations back to our world. As Crones we must help those who are in need, both here and abroad, and learn to be a gentle force to be reckoned with, when it is needed.
Kaya Kotzen is 69 years young. She lives in south Scottsdale & Payson, AZ and has been coming to Crones Counsel since the 5th one in San Diego.
By Maggie Fenton
“Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I’d like to express my thanks – I’ve got the sun in the mornin’ and the moon at night.”
― Irving Berlin
I’ve read that gratitude is the basic requirement for happiness and various gurus suggest we make it an active, daily practice. I try to do this and even when I’m feeling achy or grumpy or just out-of-sorts, I can always find many things for which I am grateful. Mike (my mate) and I have developed a rhythm wherein he manages the morning .. i.e., lets the critters in and out, feeds them, makes coffee, sometimes empties the dishwasher, etc. While I’m lying in bed, listening to these morning sounds, I do my gratitude litany, first giving thanks for the respite from pet and kitchen chores. Warm bed, roof over my head, heat, food, friends, family, trees, four-leggeds, rain, snow, wind, birds, sunrises, sunsets, flowers, the deer in the orchard, wild turkeys … the list is very, very long. I try to remember to say “Thank You” out loud to Mike later but sometimes forget. Perhaps because we each lost beloved mates, we realize how lucky we are to have even found each other and say “thank you” out loud frequently. He thanks me for meals I cook or doing the laundry. I thank him for bringing in wood for the fire or vacuuming the floors. It seems simple but it makes our lives better. Simple words – Thank You – that carry so much weight.
As Crones who have spent a few years on this planet, we are in a unique position to be thankful. We’ve experienced loss and pain in a myriad of ways; unbridled joy; magical sunrises and sunsets; unexpected surprises; we’ve struggled with our own demons and walked through our own fires and nevertheless, we’re still here. To just get to be in this crazy world at this impossible time is gift.
Recently, I just re-watched “Postcards from the Edge” in which the indomitable Shirley McLane sings Stephen Sondheim’s song “I’m still here!” This could be a Crone anthem.
“Good times and bum times,
I`ve seen `em all
And, my dear,
I`m still here.”
If you haven’t seen it, look up the performance of this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgOWOV3a5tQ. Maybe we should do a revision of it for Follies.
In this season of giving Thanks and expressing gratitude, I want to thank each of you. You’ve made and are making Crones Counsel what it is and what a wonderful gift you are. Thank you.
How the changes creep up on you unaware
A shift in energy level, increased need for sleep,
increase in the number of pauses required in a day
or a nap!
How hard we sometimes fight it, until we no longer can.
We arrive. A destination unwanted and not planned for,
much akin to another new country to traverse
Sometimes contentment rolls in and over us
like a blanket of waves.
Other times, it’s a feeling of frustration about what we can no longer do.
But there’s no getting younger again.
We can only work to maintain what we have
and learn the terrain of this new unchartered territory
which is now our daily landscape.
We are not sneaking into any back doors, but crossing the main
threshold with heads held high.
We have paid our dues, earned our rightful place,
every bit of silver and grey, salt and pepper hair
that we may have.
We are women of wisdom. We. are crones.