Monday, July 24, 2006

Kiss the Sky

Trees Lose Parts of themselves inside a circle of fog, Francis Ponge, translated by Robert Bly

Inside the fog that encloses the trees, they undergo a stripping...Thrown into confusion by a slow oxidation, and humiliated by the sap's withdrawal for the sake of the flowers and fruits, the leaves, following the hot spells of August, cling less anyway.

The up-and-down tunnels inside the bark deepen, and guide the moisture down to earth so as to break off with the more animated parts of the tree.

The flowers are scattered, the fruits brought down. This giving up of their more animated parts, and even of parts of their body, has become, since their earliest days, a familiar pattern for trees.

Ok, what I want to do is invite you to re-read the poem, inserting the word 'menopausal woman' for the word 'tree'. Instead of oxidation, insert, peri-menopause. Imagine the fruits and flowers, leaves and bark as parts of a woman's body, analagous to female organs and body parts. The fact is that, losing moisture and 'giving up of the more animated parts' has been a familiar pattern for menopausal women for years.

Women lose parts of themselves inside the fog of menopause, but it's all for a good cause.

How devastating and beautiful the process of losing one's reliance on the outer 'fertility machine', the bloom and growth parts of the female cycle, and cycling down into the slower, more interior space of 'over-50', even if it's only a temporary slow down. For many women it's the best, most productive time of their lives, once they get past the turbulence and upheaval of hormonal changes, aptly called "The Change". Life choices, marriage choices, career, children - all are called into question. The Authentic Voice is longing to surface. The voice that doesn't care what 'other people' (read 'women') think, and that longs to run barefoot through the morning grass again in her underwear. The Voice that is rooted in the body.

I'm still waiting for that "most productive time" to kick in. Right now, it's rest and renewal, and more rest. I'm even curing myself of my addiction to emails. A stiff neck and shoulder has helped me avoid the slavery that the computer demands.

Right now, I'm preparing for a full retreat, a Writer's Spa in Taos New Mexico with the comfort queen. Kiss the sky for me, as Georgia O'Keeffe would say. I'm heading for that open sky in two days. Last night's double rainbow in flourescent colours against a dark grey sky (over Calabogie Lake, Ontario) was a good omen. I may meet my Self on the way back.



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