Archives for category: Mary Magdalene

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

― Coco Chanel

REFLECTIONS:

Thank God for this Blogmoir. It became readily apparent to me over the course of this week that I would never have taken a step away from the comfort of Mother Mary towards Mary Magdalene, if I had not committed to it in Week 15’s post. In rereading Week 15, I nearly fell asleep… it was so wordy…full of intellectualizing gobbledygook. Obviously I’m more comfortable talking about becoming The Other Woman than being her.

Here is a quick synopsis of my progression towards my first virtual chat with a new man!

On Wednesday, the day I arrived back home in BC,  I chose a dating Website. The light and humorous site, Plenty of Fish had an appealing ring. I didn’t want a site that cost money or sounded too serious. On Thursday I began to fill out the questionnaire…where do I live,what is my age, ethnicity and hair colour…irrefutable facts… but then I stopped. I shut down my computer when I was required to create a minimum 100 word profile describing myself and my desires. Before I could do this I had to have a little cry and admit that this meant I was moving away from the dream of spending the rest of my life with ‘He Who Will Remain Nameless’. I felt defeated, as though I had received a failing grade in my ability to elicit love from the man I love.

Eventually though, I had an epiphany…I recalled a 15th Century Arthurian Ballad read to me by my analyst in 2005, called Sir Gawain and the Lady Ragnell. To save his life, King Arthur must be able to articulate “The one thing all women most desire.” A wonderful story unfolds, ending with King Arthur and Sir Gawain realizing that women want, above all else, sovereignty over their own life …the freedom to be self-determining. Taking this 500 year old advice, I too can be self determining. I now have the opportunity to arrange my life with my likes and dislikes at the forefront. For example, I can clearly voice my desire to be loved, and then find a man who willingly wants to fulfill this desire. It will no longer be enough for me to fulfill his desires, if mine are deemed less important, and remain unfulfilled.

15th Century Text from Bodleian Library-Oxford

Sir Gawain and The Lady Ragnell-The Loathly Lady

This version of the tale is not the best but it gives you a quick synopsis.  http://www.silver-branch.org/ssbcreations/GawainLL.html

In the past I attempted to compile an itemized list of men’s needs and desires, based on societal norms of desirability(tall, emaciated with a vapid expression)coupled with the characteristics gleaned from a close scrutiny of the man I was attempting to entice. I surreptitiously noted female traits that ‘he’ reacted to, and attempted to transmogrify into this bizarre creation. In a patriarchal society, women’s desires are often cloaked in niceties or seductions. My requests of men were prefaced by the placating “Would it be okay with you if I…” or ” When you get a minute, it would be so nice if you…”

Emaciated and Vacant-the Price of being Society’s Muse

Although unaware of this, I must have felt my needs and desires were onerous, unpleasant and/or unimportant vis a vis the man’s. As asking for what I wanted seemed forward and therefore unladylike, I hoped men would intuit what I needed, just as I intuited their needs. Feeling perilously unfulfilled by men throughout my life, leads me to believe that the men I knew either lacked intuitiveness or believed the fulfillment of my needs was not their responsibility!

Once this revelation was upon me,  I put on my new lipstick, drank a cup of tea from my pretty cup, and began to write about myself and my desires…boldly and from my heart. I did not deemphasize or devalue my intelligence nor my interests. I actually said that although I find people intriguing, I enjoy spending time with those who are self aware!. My closing statement of desire says…I would love to spend time with a man who has enough time and resources to share in some of my passions and introduce me to some of his!

REACTIONS FROM  the first 3 MEN using Goldilocks’s Scale

#1 TOO HOT  “Would you like to meet for lunch tomorrow (Sunday) in Qualicum? Afterwards, there is a piano concert there (Debussy, sp.?), but I don’t know how many tickets remain. It’s at The Old School House at 2:30 p.m. We could have lunch before the concert.”

#2 TOO COLD “BORING”

#3 JUST RIGHT  “Welcome to the Island!!! I live in the Comox Valley just north of you. Quaint little spot…Bowser. I know it fairly well and have friends living there. Also, welcome to POF…not as easy as it looks…Should you see anything in my profile that resonates with you I’d love to hear from you and if not…wishing you much success on your fishing expedition!!!”

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 16 OF 52

CHANGING FROM BEING THE OBJECT OF A MAN’S DESIRE

I felt both empowered and vulnerable in clearly describing some of my strengths and desires. The virtual world is a perfect place to begin the practice of being myself. Face to face I might be tempted to put his needs first, the second I noticed his interest wan. Or I might be tempted to shift my opinion, ever so slightly, if I felt what I’d said hadn’t resonated with him.

In these efforts to please myself, I must be strong enough to be rejected(90 men looked at my profile 10 responded)…to be told I am ‘BORING’ and still be confident enough to CONTINUE being me.To not be tempted to read any man’s interests and tweak mine a tad in hopes of attracting him!

I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS IS HOW I HAVE LIVED MY LIFE WITH MEN

So for Week 16 of 52, I will state my desires in a straightforward and direct manner, so that I will be known for who I truly am. I will stop being the object of any man’s desires and instead find a mutually agreed upon meeting ground for our minds and hearts.

REFLECTIONS

This morning my plan had been to write as soon as I woke up. But first, like most writers, I cleaned a fairly clean room and then I sorted some drawers and files…then I procrastinated some more by reading quotes about procrastination.

“As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone. Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It’s a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.” ― Paul Rudnick

After reading this, I gave into the mood 100% and descended into time waster’s hell…British Mystery Series. In my attempt to download Blue Murder from a ‘legal’ site, my computer froze on a pornography pop-up. This has never happened in the countless times I have used ____.com to watch British Mysteries(a fabulous life sucking, soul shrivelling site that will not be named).

Incredulous Me

In the 45 minutes it took me to wrestle my computer out of the hands of this Porn Industry computer hacker, I had a transformative experience with the naked young girl posing on my screen. Here she was, the other woman, entering my life, uninvited yet again!  My first reaction was anger and judgement after a furtive glance at her body. I mentally chastised her for luring men away from decent women. And I think I am enlightened and compassionate. I took a deep cleansing breath, and worked my way off my self righteous pedestal. I looked at her again, searching her eyes, to see her for the person she is…to stop my objectification of her. I then experienced a transformative shift. I felt a surge of compassion well up in my heart for this sad-eyed, young girl who believed that this job was her only option. That her only talent was her willingness to let others use her for their gratification.

Once again, fate intervened and my post was jettisoned in a surprising direction. The most uncomfortable of subjects…sex… Argh. Too personal, too confusing… I think I’ll get me to a Nunnery…But before I go, I will try to unravel some of the complexity around women and sexuality…the whore/madonna complex.

If I intend to be embody The Other Woman, I must attempt to end my androgynous persona. I am comfortable now, having men only as friends. I cannot imagine flirting, kissing and God forbid, anyone but me and my doctor, seeing me naked.

When I was single, immersed in the dance of finding boyfriends and husbands, emphasizing my sexuality was expected and condoned. I felt comfortable in this role and like most women, I was never more attractive (or thinner) than on my wedding day(s). I enjoyed being pursued and desired. But the feeling of desirability is long gone, a distant memory. Mothering and sensuality seemed antithetical. Mothers are meant to be available – perpetually opened armed with a ready lap: soothing, encouraging, nurturing…the antithesis of alluring. 

How am I ever going to find the other woman inside of me? I’m not a mother of young children any longer but neither am I The Other Woman! I’m definitely Between 2 Marys, in some androgynous zone of ambiguity. Perhaps the extreme duality of the whore/madonna can be tempered, even though centuries of history seem to indicate otherwise. In 16th Century Venice for example, this Italian city was founded in the myth of Venus rising from the sea. Two iconic yet disparate images of the goddess Venus reflected the mores of Venice; one goddess image is the pure and inviolate virgin, the other, its antithesis, the licentious goddess…seeker of pleasure and love. In viewing paintings of the disparate goddesses, the virgin is in white, alone or with angelic children, while the libidinous goddess is with a man, half-clothed,  the colour red prevalent!

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 Venetian women with a sizeable dowery, could marry a rich man. As his wife, the woman was a cloistered creature, without education or financial independence, her life being devoted entirely to home and family. Women without fortune chose to enter the convent  or to become a courtesan. But Venetian courtesans, unlike the wives, could mingle freely with the rich and famous and acquire an education and wealth of their own. They could  participate in literary, political and intellectual circles, publish any works, and importantly, all the sensual pleasures were available at her beckoning. Although the 16th Century Venetian courtesan lived a somewhat enviable lifestyle, this did not last. Religious zealots blamed the plague and war on the courtesans’ debauchery, and ended the delicate balance that allowed both sets of women to coexist.

 The polarity between the virtuous and the licentious became intensified. 500 years later and this tension still exists. Can a woman be compassionate and nurturing in ‘kick-ass’ high heels? Can a woman who enjoys a sensual life, have the respect of her society?

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 15 OF 52

CHANGING FROM MOTHER MARY TO MARY MAGDALENE

Where to start on this? How to move out of my comfort zone of intellectualizing The Other Woman, and become her? As this Blog is an open forum, ideas are welcome!

I will share one step I have made…I purchased  a beautiful, deep pink lipstick…and I am wearing it! This colour is more bold than any I have worn in years… if I wore lipstick at all. I feel good applying it to my lips. It certainly makes me more visible.

But most importantly, I must once again, see men as more than friends…I can barely type I am so nervous. I’m afraid of what I might commit to in my zeal to finish this post. I am driving back to BC and am scrambling to pack and schlep my stuff down the 3 flights of stairs.(not complaining too loudly dear daughter who has taken her Mother in).

See how quickly I can avoid the subject at hand!

Here goes…for Week 15 of 52 in my desire to move from the Mother Mary to Mary Magdalene, I will create a profile of myself and post it on a singles dating website. ARGHHH…

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