Self-Proclaimed Resident Crone of Blogdom and practitioner of Headology and/or just a little ol' retired grandma raising hell at the keyboard

The Name is the Game

KALILILY: from Kali and Lilith. Also, Elaine the fair, Elaine the loveable, Elaine the lily maid of Astalot, from Tennyson's Idyll's of the King. We are all both light and dark, and our shadowside is often even more powerful in our psyches than our sunny sides. It is up to each of us to get to know our shadows and learn how to dance them into a positively channeled personal power.

Kalilily Time is my place to do just that, especially now that I have moved to the mountains with my mother, for whom I am caregiver -- with help, now from my sibling, with whom we share living space.

Kalilily Time also continues to be my place to express my personal objections to the attitudes and actions of neocons and the overly right/eous, most of whom seem to have forgotton how to live by the Golden Rule and by the spirit of our American democratic history. It's my place to take delight, not only in my right to dissent, but also in the pleasures of my constantly changing Croney life.

And, when the dark spirit moves me, to BITCH about the things that drive me personally crazy.

Most of the Rest of the Story

gray.jpg I am 68 years old -- a mother of two, a grandma of one, and the daughter of an 92 year-old increasingly befuddled mom for whom I am caregiver. I was married in the 60s, divorced in the 80s and was a published writer while and since.

I've had several careers, and all of them relied on my communication skills, especially as those helped to promote changes in entrenched dehumanizing systems. For my last twenty years in the workforce, I had various administrative positions with the New York State Education Department, including as a grant writer of a proposal that brought in $10 million for a statewide project in Math, Science, and Technology. I have both a B.A. and M.A. in English and Education. I retired several years ago so that I'd have the energy and stamina to give my mother the help she needs. It's not easy. I moved out of her house when I was seventeen and vowed I would never live with her again. Sometimes you have to do the right thing because -- well, because it's the right thing to do.

I've been a feminist all my life, even before I knew what the word meant. My friends include both men and women. My significant others have only been male, and I used to be a pretty good ballroom dance partner for some of the best of them.

I voraciously read sci fi and mystery novels with kick-ass female protagonists. They're usually written by women, but one of my favorite male writers is Terry Pratchett. I love his irreverence and clever truth-telling. I particularly love his old Granny Weatherwax, and I aspire to be as good at practicing Headology as she is.

The Rest of the Rest of the Story

That's the story that continues to be told on my weblog -- the story of a tired caregiver, a determined activist, a doting grandmother, a proud mother. And so far, like Mehitabel, "there's a dance in the ol' dame yet."

I was the first President of Blog Sisters. I used to write poetry, and I've had some published over the years, the last time in 1998. But now I mostly blog.

If you have the time and inclination, you are welcome to read a revealing interview with me conducted by Frank Paynter soon after I began blogging. If you wonder how I got where I am today, it's all there, with expletives undeleted. And if you wonder how I'm feeling these days, these poems of mine get right to the points:

Usually a Woman

Most women will spend 17 years caring for children and 18 years helping an elderly parent.

It's usually a woman, you know,
who opens a hand, lends a heart.
Usually a woman, you know,
who makes a full plate,
sends a silly card,
welcomes someone else's child
into softly tireless arms.

It's usually a woman,you know,
who gives in, gives up, gives.
Usually a woman, you know,
who knits her brow over fevered ones,
endlessly stitching raveled sleaves.
It's usually a woman, you know,
who nurses, nods, kneels.
Usually a woman, you know,
who comforts, cares -- not just, you know,
for moments, but, you know,
for life.

Oh, I know. There are men
who do that too. But how many do

you know?

Old Lady Rap-Back

you don't see me
not really with
my angles softened
my curves
gone to middle thick

I see that your gaze
doesn't stick
on my face
lined with time's weary tricks

I know you got it
tough rough never enough
you think that's new?

I grew a tough skin
long before you
rode into surf and sin

and as for fuckin'?
I was mouthing it
long before your sorry ass
passed its first gas

I know the words but
I make a choice of voice
that says more than you
think you know

copyright Elaine Frankonis 2004

ekalilily at gmail dot com