Circles of Women

Some of the women in my (non-blog) life to whom I feel closest are women I’ve met through the men I’ve known. One of them dated a guy after he and I decided to end our three-year relationship. He introduced us at a dance, believing that we had a lot in common. Since then (more than a decade ago), he has gone on to other things and other women, but Joan and I have remained the best of friends.
And (thanks to him-whose-name-is-unmentionable-in-this-blog) now I come upon Laurie Doctor, who seems like someone I’d like to know better. Of course, she lives half-way across the country, so chances are we’ll never meet in person. But her work speaks to me. She creates from a place that I used to know well but have wandered too far from.
While I had been to her website before, I’d never gotten in touch with her. But this time I did, perhaps because the spirit that her work captures has been tapping on the back of my brain for several weeks now. It’s just wonderfully synchronistic that, again, I meet a kindred female spirit through the energies of a decidedly unkindred male.
I had lunch last week with a female friend who is an expressive arts therapist. She and I used to give workshops together (she has the credentials; I just have the chutzpah and a sense of the theatrical). She’s invited me to pick up this spring where we left off a couple of years ago and join her and her new business partner in presenting a series of workshops on “conscious aging.” I would like to do that, although a lot depends on how my mother is doing.
One door closes (dancing) and another door opens.
Meanwhile, I just joined the local Kripalu center and enrolled in a Caregivers workshop as well as a meditation session and an expressive arts day that my friend is facilitating. I noticed that they offer a Yoga for Seniors at an time late enough in the morning for me to actually be able to make. I’m thinking about it.
The solstice is on December 22. Laurie Doctor says that she’ll be getting together with some of her female friends to celebrate. I used to do that, and I’d create a ritual that would honor the power of our circle of women. These days, my circle of women has lost its shape, and we won’t be getting together until after the New Year. So, I hope that Laurie doesn’t mind if I send my spirit out into the Rockies to join her and her circle. Women. Circles. Cycles. Celebrations. As much as I love men (with the exception of one or two), they’re just not women. Heh.

16 thoughts on “Circles of Women

  1. It’s unfortunate that you decided to get involved in this. This action is an example of practicing the same behavior that you disclaimed in the person this is directed at.
    No ‘moral’ victory in this crowd.
    Disappointing.

  2. You misunderstand. I love this woman’s work. We are on the same wave-length about our spiritual sides (I have let mine slide terribly). If I could afford it, I would buy some of her work. I do find synchronicities like this compelling. I have been going back to look at her site over and over again for more than a year, but I felt that my loyalties were elsewhere.
    When I sent my *vomit* email reply-to-all, she sent me a message asking to be removed from my email list. Of course, it wasn’t my list; it was “his.”I never even realized that “he” had added her to his list. Nasty. Nasty. So I explained to her what had happened. The door opened. I walked through. Sorry you don’t approve. I do lots of things others don’t approve of. You both should know how that goes. 🙂 I have asked him-who-is-unmentionable-on-my-weblog to remove me (as well as my “spawn” and “he” called him) from “his” email list. I am making an about face and going in a totally other direction. I have no reason any more to worry about loyalty.
    Remember that there are three sides to every story: his, hers, and the truth. But I am not interested in their story versions; I am interested in connecting with a woman whose art reflects many of my spiritual values. So goes the Crone down her own chosen path. And that’s as it should be.

  3. Elaine, Your reluctance in contacting Laurie about her work in the past because you felt some kind of “loyalty” to Chris sounds to me like YOU were wrapped up in a “cult of personality” with him. Or maybe her. I’m not sure. But don’t keep laying that trip on other people.
    I have never altered my behavior around Chris. From what you say above, you have. If her work appealed to me, I would have bought something. It doesn’t.
    The particular Cult of Personality phrase sounds like something Bix invented to shut down conversation. He’s good at that lately–e.g. Human’s First.
    Lumping someone as REAL and talented and multi-dimensional as me into a “cult” mentality is trite and lame. It’s also a cop out. A conversation closer. If the accused cultress says, “Hey, duh, What’s with this Cult bullshit?” the accuser says, “Tsk Tsk. Poor little thing sucked into the cult mentality. She knows not what she does.” Where I come from that is called passive aggressive. It’s a nice little package, but nothing’s there when you unwrap it.
    Good luck with Laurie. I hear she’s expensive. (now come one–how could I help myself? it was just sitting there waiting for me!) No, really. If you like her art that much, there’s nothing wrong with buying some.

  4. I’m sure you will, in fact, find Laurie Doctor “a woman whose art reflects many of [your] spiritual values.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. You seem a perfect pair. Good luck.

  5. Hmm. I am loyal to someone whom I believe is my friend, even blog friend, and someone who has earned my respect. When he publicly attacks me because I call him on his public nastiness and then publicly sets himself up as my enemy, I no longer feel that loyalty. And loyalty, to me, includes avoiding situations that might cause him further hurt. But all bets are off when I get treated as nastily as I was treated. While I have questioned his approach to exercising his humanity, I never treated him the way he treated me. And I have no reason to continue loyalty to someone like that. It has nothing to do with buying into the cult of the personality. (Which I think he tries to foster.) It has to do the freedom to point out when someone is being nasty. I once respected his creative mind. Now, I just feel sorry for him. And Jeneane, you have a very special relationship with him; it has always been obvious that you are one of his annointed ones. (That’s how a cult personality functions.) And,you look at him as your mentor, so it’s understandable why you would come to his defense (as the unconditional-love mother figure). That’s commendable. But, I’m just been a blogger who tries to question the validity of people who have set themselves up as cult figures, the assumed right, of some of them, to be nasty. Just because he has had to demonize me, doesn’t mean that you have to, but I understand if that falls under your definition of loyalty. (That’s what he also tried to do with Laurie; in his mind, if you don’t love him, you must hate him. Now, if that isn’t black and white thinking, I don’t know what it.)
    If you check out my bio on Blog Sisters, you’ll see that most of my background is in the arts-in-education. I value art and artists whose work reflects a deep authenticity, a struggle to hold onto the essential spirit of what it means to be human in a world of dehumanizing forces. That’s what I see in Doctor’s work — that struggle. As you know, struggles are often two steps forward; one step back.
    Sometimes my heart breaks when I sense his struggle through his own darkness. But that doesn’t give him the right to be nasty.
    He and I don’t live in the same universe. It’s just as well. I have found that lots of bloggers I respect are here with me.

  6. I also met a freind through a “He that shall remain nameless.” In our case she was the “other woman.” Or I was, depending on how you look at it.
    How we became aquainted tought me something: that a person can’t be discounted by any one given situation or instance. Before we got to know each other we disliked each other. That was only because the situation made us competitors. After sharing the past few years we’re now very good friends. Jackie’s a person who’s kind, giving, introspective, and loyal. Qualitities that I want to emulate. Of course our mutual ex boyfriend is out of the picture all together.
    There’s a Kripalu Yoga center here in Indiana, but I don’t know what it’s about.
    Have fun running the workshop. Keep us posted on how it goes.
    Ylonka

  7. “And Jeneane, you have a very special relationship with him; it has always been obvious that you are one of his annointed ones. (That’s how a cult personality functions.) And,you look at him as your mentor, so it’s understandable why you would come to his defense (as the unconditional-love mother figure). That’s commendable.”
    Elaine, you’ve lost your mind.
    I never label people passive aggressive. But your recent behavior is just that.
    I’m with Shelley. Everyone needs to quit the posturing unless you’re ready to come out with all the emails over the last many months–because there was nothing on the recent post of RB’s calling you anything except Bix’s crone dame, which you are.
    Defending yourself is never a crime. Baiting people who ignore you and finally tell you to go away (aka fuck off) until they finally make you go away is hardly noble. A typical game.
    This isn’t about Laurie. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about Cults. It’s not even about this post or that post or this email or that email. Only you know what it’s really about.

  8. Exhibt A: “But, I’m just been a blogger who tries to question the validity of people who have set themselves up as cult figures…”
    Exhibit B: “Elaine of Kalilily, Resident Crone of Blogdom”
    No further comment.

  9. What’s in a name. Heh. Actually, I thought someone would pick up on that long ago. That’s all it is, a blog identity, a sub-title, rather than a title, a leitmotif. Kind of like theonetruebix. I do not court a following nor annoint a coterie. Actually, now that you mention it, it started as a way to assert my age and, hopefully, to get other older people interested in blogging. It didn’t work. But I still like how it sounds.

  10. “No further comment.”
    Coming from the BabeMagnet beloved of all women, that’ll be the fucking day! Exhibits A and B traded. Result, Elaine changes her blog title to suit the Sun King.
    Chris, get a life, one that doesn’t depend on validating yourself through the annihilation of others. It’s not tiring. It’s fucking boring. Drop the Jungian shit, find a Freudian therapist, eat more pills, lay off the coffee, and get some sleep.
    You don’t seem to understand that, behind their outpouring of hurt, anger, support, banner waving, etc. [whichever applies], people care for you. By continuing to abuse that caring, you’re being an asshole, putting your friendships at risk, and destroying those of others. You have considerable clout and the fallout could be considerable. Is it bloody well worth it? If you’re keen to be the martyr, behave like one. Piss off and die. Don’t manipulate others into doing it for you.
    [And no comments from the peanut gallery. Chris knows the power of words; he knows how to use them, and he knows how to manipulate people. It’s called Gonzo marketing.]
    By behaving like a prepubescent fucking child, you’re starting to piss people off. For God’s sake, can’t you see it? You’re behaving like a paper-weight Mugabe. Cut it already. Not all your friends drive Porsches. Not all women are sluts. Not all criticism is unwarranted. C’mon, get a fucking grip on yourself. I’d rather see you remain a public figure than become a public joke.
    You’ve caused a lot of shit. Either apologize or back off. Just go back to writing. It’s what you do, man, and few do it better. The rest will sort itself out. We care for you, you dumb oaf, but we care for others too.
    And, no, this is not a morality play. There aren’t any points to be scored. It’s about getting along without losing too much of our self-respect. Most aren’t keen on putting theirs on the line but I keep mine well hidden. Whatever you choose to do, it’s no skin off my nose. I just hope you’ll do the right thing. For yourself if for nobody else.

  11. “The particular Cult of Personality phrase sounds like something Bix invented to shut down conversation. He’s good at that lately–e.g. Human’s First.”
    Oh cry me a river of false blood and give me a fucking break. Just because I happened to point out on Humans First that wanting corporations to talk to us as human beings makes not one whit of sense unless we’re also talking about making corporations change their actual behavior is not trying to shut down conversation, it’s pointing out a fatal flaw in the the composition of the cluetrain.
    But since we’re still carping on the cult of personality business, this is perfect cult-like behavior: Labelling any criticism of the belief system as some sort of violent and impositional heresy.
    Feh feh feh on that whole damn attitude.
    And if I had any interest in shutting down conversation, the single first place I would have done so was on my own damned weblog when the swarm of warbloggers descended upon me to talk about raping me up the ass, in my own comments areas. And I didn’t. So how exactly do I end up being someone triyng to shut down conversation?
    Jesus H. Kwanza, this is like trying to have a discussion with Scientologists and Libertarians.

  12. Oddly enough, one would think that if someone wants corporations to talk like human beings, they might feel comfortable with other actual human beings talking like human beings, too. But I guess not. When we actual human beings talk in our real voices, we’re apparently subject to some sort of rageboyish version of political correctness wherein we aren’t allowed to behave or write in anything even glancingly resembling the way he behaves or writes — which seems especially hypocritical, given how un-PC in the traditional sense Locke himself is.
    Go figure.

  13. Peanut gallery, hmmm. But I like peanuts. Especially covered in chocolate.
    I never got the “cult of personality” impression from this site. The “Crone of Blogdom” always makes me think that there are older bloggers here. And the graphics don’t really seem self aggrandizing. It seems more homey.
    Anyway, I can’t get that song “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” out of my head, I think I need less coffee this morning.

  14. Hee hee. That song has been running through my head, too, even though it has a terrible message — making grandma into an awful old nag! But it is a funny image. And a catchy tune.
    How about chocolate covered pretzels? That’s my addiction!
    And if there are more older bloggers out there, I wish they’d show their faces here! Or at least their voices.

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