The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

What Do You Weep For?

posted by Donna Henes

Once again Sister Joan Chittister has found the perfect words to express  what I have been feeling.

 
What Do You Weep For?
by Joan Chittister

Evagrius of Ponticus, one of the early desert monastics, counseled young monastics: “First pray for the gift of tears, to soften by compunction the inherent hardness of your soul.”

And fifteen centuries later, George Eliot wrote, too, “The beginning of compunction is the beginning of new life.”

The point is clear: Weeping is a very life-giving thing. It wizens the soul of the individual and it sounds alarms in society.

If we do not weep on the personal level, we shall never understand other human beings.

If we do not weep on the public level at the inhuman conditions that trap those around us: for the part-time employed, for instance who have no cars to get them to the jobs they need; for the innocent in the Middle East who sit in bunkers and basements waiting for the next bombs to fall; for the women of the world who are trapped in unholy religious silence and told it’s God’s will for them. If we do not weep for these and those like them-if we remain dry-eyed and indifferent-we are less than human ourselves.

There are, in other words, some things that simply ought not to be endured.

We must always cope with evil, yes, but we must never, ever adjust to it, either ours or anyone else’s.

What we weep for, you see, measures what we are and determines what we do, as well.

Weeping signals that it is time to change things in life. John Tillotson wrote once: “Though all afflictions are evils in themselves, yet they are good for us, because they discover to us our disease and tend to our cure.”

Without our tears, we have no hope of healing because we do not begin to admit the anguish.

Indeed, ironically, of all the expressions of human emotion in the lexicon of life, weeping may be the most life-giving.

The point is that our tears expose us. They lay us bare both to others and to ourselves.

You see, what we cry about is what we care about.

We known ourselves to be made from this earth.
We know this earth is made from our bodies.
For we see ourselves.
And we are nature.
We are nature seeing nature.
We are nature with a concept of nature.
Nature weeping.
Nature speaking of nature to nature.

- Susan Griffin
 
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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Earth Speaks

posted by Donna Henes

Thank you Queen Elizabeth Hazel from Toledo, Ohio for sending this most beautiful poem.

Earth Speaks
By Elizabeth Hazel

Earth speaks to those who listen:
Maternal lectures in shades of green,
Sisterly riddles in coy lagoons and comic swamps,
And her epic daughters,
Mountain covens meet to ponder immortality.
 
She thinks in seasons and paints in time:
Impressionistic springs give way to pointilistic summers;
Drab and tattered autumns yield to ruthless winter whites
As frost giants gnash through horn-blasted blizzards.
 
Earth speaks to those who listen:
The North Star is poised upon the axis of her turnings,
And steers her through tides of space and time.
The pulse of her journey thrums through sand and soil,
And her blood churns through rivers and streams.
Her body communicates with force and subtlety,
And few can penetrate her family secrets.
Her moon conducts exchanges with neighborly planets
And imports overseas from remote suns.
Light year accounts in her cosmic ledger
Score tallies that beggar all reckoning.
Contrivances may take her measure
But know not her meaning
Or delight in her passions.
 
Earth speaks to those who listen
In the oldest language of all;
With the nouns of creation,
With verbs of being,
And adjectives of multiplicity.
Hers is the greatest song
The deeps call to the heights
In a symphonic canon of sea and land;
And all hearts resound to her sonorous chords.
Earth speaks to those who listen.
 
***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Protest is Good for You

posted by Donna Henes

The media likes to portray peace, environment and human and animal rights protesters as a fringe element of whining malcontents teetering on the margins of proper society. The truth is that those who step forward to speak their minds are happier and healthier folks than most.

Protesting is not complaining nor is it sending out negative messages. Pro means “for,” “in favor of.” Test means, “to speak,” as in testify and testimony. So, protest actually means, “to speak for.” Protest is a completely positive endeavor.

Albert Einstein wrote “The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything…Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes — goodwill among men and peace on earth.”
 
A new study by John Drury, professor of social psychology at the University of Sussex in England, shows that it is good for you to protest. Even though protesters may be depressed about the state of the world, their physical and mental ailments improve dramatically as a result of taking part in a group effort for change and the betterment of conditions.

I won’t be made useless
I won’t be idle with despair

- Jewel
From “Hands”

Involvement in social causes and participation in political demonstrations banishes sensations of isolation, discouragement and impotence and replaces them with an exhilarating awareness of connectedness, well being and empowerment.

When people participate in large-scale protests they get swept up in a communal mood of optimism that feeds their feelings of hope. They believe that their actions can help to change the course of history. “Collective action can therefore be a life-changing, uplifting and life-enhancing experience,” says Drury.

The French have a fabulous saying that when a woman loses her blood, she gains her voice. Just think! 60 million midlife Queens with voices loud and clear and determined, pro-testing for sanity, compassion, peace and well-being for all people as well as for our planet home.

Let us stand strong in our sovereignty and speak up!
 
We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us. The transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation and that always seems fraught with danger. We fear the very visibility without which we also cannot truly live-and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which is also the source of our greatest strength.
-Audre Lorde

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Water Most Maternal

posted by Donna Henes

Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. The aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all. The theme for 2010 is water.

Water Most Maternal

Earth is the only planet known to have water. It is, in fact, covered with water over 70% of its surface. Oceans and rivers, ponds and streams, lakes and falls, glaciers and seas run like veins through a living body, carrying refreshment and nutrients to all its parts.

And we, being children of this earth, our mother, mimic its makeup in our own bodies, which are also comprised of close to 80% water. Before we are born, we are cradled in the belly of our creator, suspended safely in an ocean-sac of fluid. Tethered like embryonic astronauts, tied to the source of our sustenance, each in our own saline universe.

Once we are born, and for as long as we shall live, we need to consume quantities of fresh water daily in order to maintain smooth functioning of our systems. Deprived of adequate water, we quickly become dehydrated — a state which we can survive for only a very few days. Without water, we die.

Because water is such an essential element, it has come to stand for the origin of all life — cycles, seasons, species — and its sacred renewal.  The Hindu Vedas refer to water as the Most Maternal, the original sea at the beginning of time from which the whole world emerged. In India, water is seen as the bearer and preserver of life, coursing through all of nature as river, as rain, as dew, as sap, as blood, as sweat, as tears, as milk.

The Egyptian Great Goddess of the Watery Heavens, Nut, whose worship was already ancient by the time of the first dynasty, was represented by a celestial cow. Bovine symbol of motherhood, she is the first ocean of creation and mistress of all waters. She leans over the earth in a protective attitude, her bent form framing the sky. She carries the sun on her back and wets the ground with the nourishing milk from her universal udders.

Goddess figures carved in the Neolithic period, which have been found throughout Europe and Anatolia, depict the divine Mother Goddess with Her breasts incised with chevrons. These V-shaped symbols associated with both birds and water, suggest the life-giving showers She sends us from the sky. Arctic hunting peoples still see, as they have since Paleolithic times, Her breasts in the shapes of the clouds above.

About eight thousand years ago the planet experienced a drying trend of several centuries duration. Rain was sparse, water scarce. Figures from this period, which were unearthed in the Balkan region of Europe, bear witness to the aridity of those times. They depict seated women holding big bowls on their large laps. There is something humble in their demeanor. Are they simply sitting, waiting patiently for rain to fall? Or is this a posture of petition? Invocation? Devotion? Divination?

Mother Sea, mother to millennia of mothers, is one of humanity’s oldest images. She is the Goddess of the Waters of Life. Our Lady of the Holy Water, whose cosmic womb is an archetypal symbol of birth and re-birth in many creation myths worldwide. She arises from the primordial ocean. She is fully capable of issuing forth, all alone from her own body, life in all its forms. Which She then supports as well. A proficient provider, She produces and shares the stuff of survival, wet nurse to all Her offspring.

I am the woman of the great expanse of the waters
I am the woman of the great expanse of the divine sea
She is the Woman of the Flowing Water
She is the Woman of the Flowing Water
She is a woman whose palms are like spoons
She is a woman with hands of measure.

- Maria Sabina
                
Mother Sea, Mother Earth, Mother Nature were ultimately overthrown by our Father Who Art in Heaven. The Great Mother Goddess, giving and generous, evolved into God the Father, withholding and judgmental. And rain, the bountiful milk from Her eternally full breast, become the salty semen of He who fertilizes. Although there are still today indigenous cultures in Africa, Australia, Oceana, Native and Latin America who regard rain to be in the realm of the Goddess of Waters, most of the world’s peoples now view precipitation as a divine male attribute.

Rain remains the vital vivifying fluid, which flows down from the heaven. To recycle and replenish the water stores. To refresh and revitalize the earth.  Celestial substance of necessity, rain is absolutely elemental. But quite quirky. You never know with rain. Too much, too little, too late, too soon, too hard. You can’t really depend on it. And yet you have to.

Today we know how to make it rain. And snow, as well, for that matter. Cloud seeding is as simple as sitting in the cabin of small plane and tossing out handfuls of finely ground ice crystals into the clouds. Another macho trick from a culture that sees itself in battle with Mother Nature. Hey, we even know how to make acid rain! What comes out of the clouds these days could kill you.

Just a little rain.
Just a little rain.
What have they done to the rain?

- The Searchers, 1969

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The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

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