Advertisement

The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Sisters, Sisters: The Oy, Oy, Oy of Love – Part 2

posted by Donna Henes

By Judyth Hill

…continued from Monday…

Following an evening when my sisters took a call from a guy she hadn’t met, instead of watching Memoirs of a Geisha and drinking martinis with me — the nerve of her — we didn’t get to go to the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, because there would be too much traffic, and besides, instead we could get dressed up to look extremely hot and go do Karaoke.

So, there you have it. That was my cue to go incendiary. I went insane. I do not exaggerate.

In a state of righteous indignation, a tantrum tornado, I packed my bags and marched them out to her driveway. Despite being 2 hours from anyone else I know, and from any form of even vaguely possible transport to the airport, not to mention that my ticket was for 2 days later, I was storming off in a huff, in a snit; I was leaving and no one can stop me… Remind you of anything? Ever seen a five-year-old run away from home?

Advertisement

Ms. Demento; slamming around and almost — almost — saying every awful thing that came to mind.

While basically a raving maniac, I was also a good house guest – I stripped my bed, put my sheets and used towels in her washer. Did I think I would later be evaluated on my ability to remain polite while utterly out of my mind? Was I worried my mother, rest her soul, would peer down from Death and see what I was doing to my Little Sister? Well, wouldn’t she?

So are you getting this? There was no incident.

Or, even if there was, and I could easily decide there was – that is the whole point – because then I could be deliciously and thrillingly right, as only the older sister can be, but also, have a year, maybe two, where we don’t speak, necessitating the inevitable sobbing, groveling middle-of-the-night phone call begging forgiveness, because I need her. Because she is, well, she is my sister.

Advertisement

And she was there for so many truly awful times growing up, the ones only we know, the times we had only each other to hold on to and we developed our dark Jewish humor to laugh and live through it, and it’s the weight of all that history, isn’t it? We share the unfathomable, intricate depths of our family mythos: we know, we were there; we love each other dearly. Damn, I hate when that happens.

We are privy to each other’s secrets and stories, and it’s not her fault she had a speaking part in my personal drama. And still does.

The question is how to find a way to, well, not exactly start fresh- because much of what is so precious is the density that is always between us. And do I behave unforgivably, just to prove I will be forgiven, to test again the temper of the metal that is our love?

Advertisement

So, maybe it’s to learn to be at least semi-here now without the semi being the Mack truck of emotional baggage I’m still trying to hit her with…while simultaneously needing the EMT people myself.

This time I stopped myself. Before saying the terrible stuff, the “You Always…”, and the “I Never…”, the unforgivable that is part of the bedrock of Sisterness. I walked down to the creek by her house, where we had gone for Tashlik on Rosh Hashanah, to toss our past failures and our gratitude into the moving waters, and I stayed quiet and breathing until the Blame and Shame storm had passed. Then I went back and made my bed and dragged my stuff back inside. Nu? What else to do?

Siblinghood is the Triathlon of love. Just when you think you swam your fastest, jumped your highest, you now need to race a 30 geared bicycle along a course that ascends mystically up a crazy grade… in 200% humidity.

Advertisement

In the end, we know we will be there; we will go the distance. We always have, that is what being a sister means. This is the short and the very very, I hope, long of it.

So we got totally dolled up, and she did my makeup and let me borrow her Prescriptive’s Magic and gave me her eyelash curler and I gave her my honest and, of course, correct, sisterly opinion on half an hour of wardrobe decisions, until she looked utterly fabulous, and we were both entirely cute.

We met her friends at the Karaoke bar, which turned out to very wild and a major blast, and we downed huge cheeseburgers and thick, perfect fries, and drank big very pink Cosmos, and it was divine.

There was a way cool troupe of gay women, and one talk/crooned a quirky, so sexy version of “I Feel Pretty” to her girlfriend, and then my sister stood up and sang a throaty, heart-stopping version of “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Advertisement

I felt blessed and relieved, to know I would.

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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

Advertisement

Sisters, Sisters: The Oy, Oy, Oy of Love – Part 1

posted by Donna Henes

By Judyth Hill

 

How my sister taught me everything I was afraid to ask.

When she was good

she was very very good

and when she was bad

All I know is Mother Goose must have been talking about me, when I am around my sister.

With no one else, ever, do I see red, go ballistic and start swinging a barbed cudgel of words and recriminations, including bringing up an arsenal of 30 year old grievances as fresh as if they happened that morning, all the while weeping bitterly as if she were doing it to me.

I go from calm to Caligula, from Namaste to Miss Nasty in a nanosecond. Of course, it is all her fault. It must be — she is my sister.

Does this make a single iota of sense to you? If not, your years of therapy and kergillion sessions have paid off. If, however, your behavior can zoom into the certifiable over one innocuous (to the uninitiated) remark about your weight, your shade of eyeliner, or, oh no, not this, your children, or even a real live just plain innocent comment (which don’t actually exist between sisters), then you too are one of the million suffers of the Heartbreak of Sisterness.

Advertisement

What is it with us and our family members, anyway? We should be careful and tender with the ones that love us, instead, it’s the no-holds-barred, all-bets-off version of love. We are kinder to perfect strangers, and even better to people that hate us.

Okay, here’s the story.

I went back (as we say) East. And back it is, emotionally atavistic more like; I’m amazed I didn’t end up grunting and pointing, dragging my knuckles on the ground, and craving huge gobbets of wooly mammoth tartar, or more to the point, a diary with a key, Clearasil and a subscription to Seventeen.

Have you been back in the Other America lately? No need to really go; just call there. Everyone is on the phone. Every minute. I was shocked at what looked like hundreds of outpatients muttering and gesturing, until I realized they were all plugged ear and mouth-wise, into their Black…Berry. Jam, anyone?

Advertisement

Go out for dinner with friends, and everyone at the table, phone set on Vibrate, is text messaging other people they would probably prefer to be with, but because they are with you, they must settle for E-contact with everyone else in their otherwise more compelling circle.

It’s as if every moment of the present must be charged with the exciting potential for a brighter future, or at least, a better date. This makes for intriguingly weird dinner atmosphere and sort of partially scintillating conversations that are not actually occurring with you.

This revision of every rule of pre-existing mealtime etiquette would have Miss Post spinning – though her great granddaughter, Miss Manners, might prescribe leaving the table to “Take Your Calls”- in which case restaurants would have to set up tables for the sole purpose of enabling you to not be at yours.

Advertisement

What did I just say? Who knows? But I swear it’s true.

Being really good friends with someone, or coincidentally, related by blood, means that an at-home evening hanging out together includes emailing, IMing, Skyping, Facebooking, Tweeting, Stumbling Upon, etc, taking calls on cell and landlines, and checking messages on both, with the dispassionate fervor of diabetics monitoring blood sugar. If you can understand all the communicajargon in that sentence, you probably have either been there or done that.

So I’ll shut up right now, which is what I should have done then.

So the mortifying truth is, besides my sister having the audacity to continue to live her own life while I was there, I didn’t get my way.

…to be continued. Stay tuned for Part 2, posting this Wednesday.

Advertisement

 

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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

Advertisement

Time to Take Charge

posted by Donna Henes

2015 was an especially, devastatingly, brutal year for so many people everywhere. So much anger, so much illness, so many disasters, so many deaths. An astonishing array of exceptionally vicious violence perpetrated upon untold millions of innocent folks going about their business, their shopping, their bus rides, their studies, their movies.

So many victims: entire peoples, places and species gone. Just gone. For no reason, certainly no good reason, but spite. But greed. But power. But fear. But low down nasty mean blind hatred.

So much. So much. Too much. Too too much.

It might be too late, already, but I fervently believe that if there is any hope at all for healing this planet and for all who live upon it, that that hope is us. What in the world are we waiting for?

Advertisement

The patriarchal powers-that-be have created a complete mess. Clearly, it is up to us women to roll up our sleeves and get busy putting life back together again.  It might be too late, already, but I fervently believe that if there is any hope at all for healing this planet and all who live upon it, that hope is us. What in world are we waiting for?

I hereby call on women everywhere to take a stand and use our vast stores of wisdom, experience, creativity, and chutzpah do something positive, each in our own unique and inimitable way, toward creating a better world for us all.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

The world is moved along,
not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes,
but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes
of each honest worker.
– Helen Keller

Advertisement

* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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

 

 

Advertisement

How will peace come?

posted by Donna Henes

–excerpts from “Peace” in Uncommon Gratitude
by Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams (Liturgical Press)

…in my mind is the memory of one lone Chinese student who, rising from the midst of the protesters in Tiananmen Square, stood in front of a moving tank whose orders were to sweep the square empty of anyone who dared to remain there once ordered to leave. The boy stood, head bowed, shoulders straight, feet planted squarely on the pavement. It was one unarmed boy against a Chinese tank. Suddenly, the tank stopped moving.

The power of the spirit had never been more clear than in the face-off between the tank and the thin young man. All the power in the world could not make the young man move, could not destroy his strength of spirit, could not break his resolve. Nor could it move the driver of the tank to an act of public barbarism in the name of public order.

Advertisement

“Peace hath her victories,” Milton wrote, “no less renowned than war.” All the weapons in the world, in other words, were, in the end, for nothing.

Peace is such a powerful presence.

A commitment to peace, to being peaceful, to peacefulness draws from a very deep well. It is a source beyond the corruptions of either ambition or pride. It transcends addiction to either power or personality cults.

And how does peace come? Simple. By accepting who we are and what we have as enough for us. By recognizing and respecting who the other is and what they have as theirs. By finding within ourselves “the pearl of great price,” the richest thing there is in life, the sense of the presence of God who loves and companions us through all the pressures of life.

Advertisement

Then we find that we have changed. We have become peaceful. We have come to realize that we have all we need. We begin to see that our own role in life is only to spread the peace we have.

Then we begin to dedicate ourselves to that highest possible level of humanity that not only does good but, most of all, does no harm. To do no harm requires real care, genuine compassion, true realization that the glow of the other diminishes no glow of my own.

So we say an alleluia for the coming of peace, for the death of ambition, for the passing of pride that enables us to be happy with who we are and what we have.
* ***
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

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

 

Previous Posts

Even In Midlife, We Can All Use A Fairy Godmother – Part 3
Listen to your Fairy Godmother’s advice Take personal responsibility. While it would be nice to clean up our messes and issues with one wave of her wand, we have to be willing to take the journey she invites us on. Even in fairy tales we ...

posted 6:00:02am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

Even In Midlife, We Can All Use A Fairy Godmother – Part 2
Who is The Fairy Godmother? "The Fairy Godmother is an enchantress, a holy sacred mother of the ancient mysteries. She ushers in what we think we do not know or cannot have or dare not express. She offers us gifts of the spirit: the gifts of ...

posted 6:00:57am Feb. 10, 2016 | read full post »

Even In Midlife, We Can All Use A Fairy Godmother – Part 1
"Bibboldy … Bobboldy… Boo." --The Fairy Godmother, Cinderella As far as I am concerned, we can all use a Fairy God Mother. At any age, at any stage, in any situation involving the heart and soul, it’s so reassuring to imagine there is ...

posted 6:00:59am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Mining for Meaning
The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own significant mission in this lifetime: her own path, her own dreams, her own symbols and sensibilities, her own visions and designs, her own way of learning, her own ...

posted 6:00:52am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Sisters, Sisters: The Oy, Oy, Oy of Love - Part 2
By Judyth Hill ...continued from Monday... Following an evening when my sisters took a call from a guy she hadn’t met, instead of watching Memoirs of a Geisha and drinking martinis with me — the nerve of her — we didn’t get to go to ...

posted 6:00:27am Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.