In praise of crones.

If I had to spend ten years on a desert island with only one person for company I would choose a crone.

I realised this yesterday when talking with a friend about people who have inspired me. They tend to be either men who are dead or women who I have actually met.

The men tend to be people like Steve Biko with his Black Consciousness movement or Michel Foucault. The women…

I think the first person that I was ever in awe of was my 3rd form science teacher Joyce Osbourne. She must have been in her 50s or so and I loved her. Looking back I think what I loved was her deep passion for her subject and the the feeling that she knew that she was exactly where she wanted to be doing exactly what she wanted to do. We were an interested class and she expanded our minds.

Over my life though I have noticed a trend. I have had a succession of adorations of women in their 50s and older.  My favourite acter (I feel compelled to make up a gender neutral term here) would have to be Judi Dench. She has such mastery of her craft and a sense of being at ease in her body… I would love to meet her.

I think I am deeply drawn to something that happens to women when they are becoming the wise woman, the crone. While I have met men who are undoubtedly wise there is something in the presence and power of a woman who has held on to love and insight. They are those women that have let their ability to love the world be tempered and tested by the pain of life and have managed to keep hoping and exploring.

I like the word crone here. I am quite fascinated my the maiden/mother/crone trope.  Crone seems such an ugly word but it belongs to that trinity and I want to evoke that sense when I use it.

I think these women have allowed me to glimpse the positive, life giving, aspect of women’s power. It seems mysterious and rich and I suspect its negative side is the reason the church and our culture is so afraid of sex.



2 Responses to “In praise of crones.”

  1. Faith Says:

    Interesting, I remember since being quite young looking forward to my crone years. I still am.

    • fergasm Says:

      One of the interesting questions for me about cronedom, or is it cronehood is the path that women take to get there. I suspect going through the “Mother” stage in some form may be necessary… Don’t really know what that means. Somewhere in the back of my tummy it is a feeling of something to do with giving up your own desire for a while and then reclaiming it…

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