Friday, February 19, 2010

A Salacious, Disgruntled Witch of a Woman

Much has been written about menopause, or menopausal women: “the change” as it is often known – how to adapt or cope; what to expect; what we know as women. What is written about a lot less are the years leading up to menopause – some claim as many as 10 – called peri-menopause. A definite prelude of what is to come, it is a time period marked by hormonal swings and inconsistencies of all kinds; on a spiritual level, an initiation into a deeper questioning of our lives and its purpose. This “coming of age” stirs, for many, an irritability and an intolerance for nonsense simultaneously, just as it might spurts of madness with an insatiable sexual appetite, or bouts of depression with a new-found ability to slow down and take stock.

This, and more, makes up the paradoxical nature of life as an “older” woman. Life began, for me, in my 40s. That sense of glimpsing who it is you really are, for the first time. And though I’ve finally found my way home, I have yet to take up residence. I suppose you could say I am still surveying the wreckage. As if a medley of strange four-legged creatures came through the house, some of them not of this world, leaving their mark for me to decipher. I’ve got boxes to unpack. There are days I feel like a crow in human form; a worldly-wise yet disgruntled witch, black and intense and unapproachable. Other days, all I can think about is sex, and I seriously sympathize with every man alive who has suffered from blue balls, agonizing over every tantalizing curve or bulge.

I’m not even sure where I’m going with this. Perhaps Thomas Moore is right. When we don’t know exactly what we’re doing, “the soul takes over and from a dimmer place, takes the lead,” he writes. “By remaining in this psychic fog, we may end up in a place we have been searching for all our lives – with the right person, in a good job, with a new level of self-possession.”

Here’s hoping.

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