Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Late Years Forty-Eight

Sunrise at Jordan Lake January 1, 2019 by Doc Ellen.

The Late Years Forty-Eight September 29, 2019

After re-reading Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf writes about the androgynous 
mind, both male and female, and at ease with 
itself, incandescent, even. All the grudges and 
spites fired out of it. And my mind? I do see the 
multiplicity of injustices in this new twenty-first
century. Plenty to protest, to fight about, but
even at this age, or maybe because of my age,
I’m writing what I see, and my vision is clear.
I can see through the tricks we play on each
other when we’re afraid to be open and brave,
but in the long view they’re foolish and no
point hammering about it. Let them simmer and
take in the truth of their own behavior. Virginia
Woolf’s books pointed me this way years ago,
toward her mirage of Shakespeare’s sister. For
me it became a goal. I could see nearly forty
years ago how I had created a world around me, 
not unlike his Globe Theater. I can look back on
how I courted experience: sex before marriage, 
living alone in New York City, making friends with
two little Puerto Rican girls watching me walk by
from their third floor window. Now I stop to talk
to my friend Tawny, who walks her infant daughter
in a baby carriage, with lively Ginger on a leash, and 
better behaved than when Tawny was pregnant. We both 
wait for baby’s smile. A room of my own? A priority 
since I was thirteen. Slam the door and write poems. 
I’ve lived with and without other people, at home
and abroad. Some dearest friends in Finland,
Russia, the West Coast. Laughter, confidences, tears 
together; songs, paintings, poems. All done by
women, whose minds are open, free, affectionate.
So many imbalances, suffering, poverty of spirit,
but I feel in me a tide of Life and Wholeheartedness,
the power to transform, if not to cure, anger, hatred, 
ignorance, and the need to dominate. The earth
is warming, shifting, toward Eros, away from so
much control, hostility, competition. If floods come, 
what will they wash away? If we lose face, what
do we gain? Maybe we learn to think more
clearly, see farther, love better? Isn’t that worth it?

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