The Season of the Matriarch
By Maggie Fenton
Our September Zoom celebrated the season of the Matriarch, the time in a woman’s life when the role of the Mother is usually past and the role of Crone has not yet been claimed.
As those of you who attended know, the role of Matriarch can take many forms. It is a time to make our presence known for whatever cause we take on and however we choose to do it. It is a time to remind our families of their culture and celebrate what has come before us. It is not a time to be shy. Through the experiences of our years, we have learned a thing or two and future generations need the clarity and wisdom which has not always come easily.
So, it is time to ROAR. It is time to find your voice, to stand up for what you believe to be important for future generations. Show up. Write. Speak out. We have important things to say and to do..
Connie Dawson’s Letter To My Soul
You are why I am the age I am now.
I needed the time it has taken
to uncover you.
Soul, the absolute center of everything
is found by peeling the many petals, one at a time,
that keep the center hidden
from me and others.
an unconscious knowing of the essence that lay
in the depths of me was present during every chance to
make a choice that would set me on one path
At that time, I called it Intuition
It doesn’t matter that I chose to embody a certain Spirit
or whether it materialized in me as an act of God.
This is a Why question I don’t find interesting.
At age almost 85, I look backward to see
the pragmatics of how I found you.
Abandonment. Birthed by one woman, raised by another.
Unworthiness. Carrying the shame of being sent away.
Uncertainty. To earn belonging by meeting others’ needs,
putting yours and mine aside.
Facing a world filled with judgments.
Getting myself into situations where I was expected to
perform before I was ready or prepared.
Getting engaged in projects where I felt I could be at center stage
But typically held aback.
And I found other truths about you, Soul.
I cry at acts of Goodness.
I know perfection when I hold a newborn babe in my arms.
I am still learning when to let go of control and when to assert it.
There are no accidents.
Love is in the doing of it.
I am a teacher and a learner.
I profoundly care that I and everyone,
live midst full-on respect and kindness.
All and all, dear Soul, you have brought me to a level of
Peace and self-acceptance that I trust
will continue to evolve until I die.
Life is what it is
and will become.
Connie Dawson made her transition on May 14, 2021. She was born on September 15, 1934.
Dear Ones, hello from Pixel Hill. As the Autumnal Equinox approaches, we get a sense of slowing down. Our bodies and minds prepare for the Winter of our lives much as the Earth begins it’s decent into darkness.
One challenge of aging is coping with the perceptions of others. A concerned reader asks:
“What do I do with an aging husband who accuses me of things I didn’t do or didn’t say? For instance-the latest: “Why did you send money to this (unknown person) using my email?” First, I never heard of the person. Secondly, I would never use his email for anything! Then it leads into a big argument.
Sometimes I begin to question my sanity! What is reality?”
I have a sign from the 1970’s on my bulletin board: Question Reality. It reminds me to think of things a little differently.
You are not insane-or if you are, you have plenty of company! It’s been said that no two people remember the same event in the same way. In this case I imagine your husband either saw something in his email that he forgot about or doesn’t understand a message, and you are a convenient person to take out his frustration on.
It might be helpful to state your objections and then remove yourself. Go out for a walk, or perhaps lock the bathroom door and put on a lovely green clay facial mask. When it’s almost dry, come out and make sure he sees you. That should drive all other thoughts out of his mind!
Seriously, if this behavior continues it could be time to have a talk with his doctor, and yours as well. They may have some helpful suggestions.
I’d love to hear some opinions on this next question:
“Do you have to cut your hair when you are old? Do you have to go to the beauty salon?”
Dear in a dilemma,
Being old means you can do just about anything you want that is (more or less) legal! You can grow your hair as much as you want. I doubt any of us can get it so long that it becomes a tripping hazard. Nope, you don’t need to go to the salon either, unless you get a sudden desire for a pixie cut. It’s harder to maneuver the scissors, especially behind our head, as the hands become stiffer. Also, having both ears is nice.
By Sandy Eno
Friends are such an integral part of our lives that when I decided to write about friendship I didn’t anticipate any problems. Four different opening paragraphs later, nothing felt right. One morning, in the shower, I realized I didn’t just want to talk about the diverse relationships we have over the years or the impact they have on our lives. I felt compelled to honor three of my oldest friends who passed away fourteen years ago, in seven months’ time. It feels especially appropriate to be writing this tribute on Memorial Day weekend.
I met Ginger in the bar where she worked, in Kansas, when I was 20 years old. Over the next several years I discovered for the first time what it meant to have a true friend. We didn’t see each other often but she was always there when I needed her, as I was for her, doing whatever it took. For such different women we had many similarities; marriages and divorces, same number and ages of children. When I moved to Wyoming we mostly kept in touch with the occasional call or card.
I NEVER SAW HER AGAIN
After I moved to California I called but her number wasn’t in service. One day the phone rang and it was Ginger. Read more on page one of the July 2021 Crones.
A Glimpse at Sandy Eno, Mother Board Member
By Carol Friedrich
In the course of her 81 years, Sandy has worn many hats: rural farm girl, rebellious teenager, adventurous young adult, mother, feminist, political activist and working woman, among others. She is now the Matriarch of her maternal family line.
Born in northern Minnesota, she has lived in several states west of the Mississippi river and traveled extensively. She lived for 36 years in the Bay Area before moving to Oregon 3 ½ years ago.
Inspired by her work as Program Director for a feminist-based nonprofit, teaching child assault prevention education in schools, she became involved in furthering connections between women both in the work world and on a more personal supportive level. While working with Elderflower, a yearly women’s festival in northern California, she realized how much she, and others, needed a ‘tribe’ of like-minded peers.
Sandy read about the first Crones Counsel in the publication Crone Chronicles. She was intrigued! Being shy, it took her 3 years and the support of her dear friend, Pat, to attend a gathering in Asilomar. There she found her tribe and the rest is history…
She has attended 22 gatherings, serving twice on the Mother Board, once as secretary and now happily as a member-at-large.
Sandy loves dogs, cats, books, large bodies of water, forests, mountains, open roads and fast cars. But most of all she cherishes the connection with so many wonderful Sisters and the love of her family.
Our “Matriarchal” Crones Counsel Gathering
by Ruth Cohen
It was so wonderful to see all of you who joined us on September 18th for the third Crones Counsel gathering of this year. Matriarch was our theme.
61 women attended, 22 of whom were first timers! Almost a third! We are excited that Crones Counsel is becoming so well-known and that women all over North America are finding us.
Many thanks to our Direction Callers: Andrea Hartwig, Kianna Bader, Sandy Eno, Tara Miller and Win Fiandaca.
Our storytellers, Judy Steiert, Carol Friedrich, Sarah Kendall, and Nancy Hanson, shared the meaning of Matriarch in their lives.
New connections were made during our Wisdom Circles and more stories were shared.
Please join us on December 18th when the theme is “CRONE”. It is during this gathering that we will honor the women who become 80 years old this year and gain the title of “Elder”.
See you then!
By Anne Richardson-Smith
A couple months ago, I volunteered to write an article “to inspire”. What was I thinking? And I went to get more butter for my scone. Delta, fires, floods. Really, an Armageddon? Inspire despite this? No, inspire for spite. To keep going in spite of…., or just for spite?
We wise Crones revere our Mother Earth, our sisters, and our grandmother moon. “When will they ever learn?” we ponder. We do our part; we spread the word.
Still, we need an antidote to keep us from the doldrums and the sadness. So, I asked my local Crones what’s the solution to keeping ourselves in balance? Reading, humor, meditate, and exercise were the answers. Well, I just finished A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Wolf: one of the first feminist rants. It will inspire you to realize what women have accomplished in the 100 years since the right to vote. Then, I looked up Jeanne Robertson for fun. She left us in August, and even her memorial had humor. She is the best comedienne, and appears on YouTube. She was a Crone at 6 foot two inches, and she will leave you in stitches. And if you don’t meditate, draw in a breath and keep drawing it in until you yawn. And do this ten times.
And, about the exercise, well, …. right after my nap.
PS. Our local “glampout” had 14 happy women who enjoyed the crone’s agenda.