Lots of noise in the house yesterday. I went to the university library and watched a documentary on Virginia Woolf. Afterwards, I wanted to paint something using the color black. Woolf described her madness as waves that washed over her. She also said her first memory was of being at a house near the sea listening to the waves. I painted what looked like waves on the canvas. As I painted, I listened to Joni Mitchell.
For many years now, I have been living in a women’s world. In my last two jobs before I retired, I worked almost exclusively with women. Having grown up as a radical feminist, most of what I read throughout my life were books written by women. My bulging bookshelf contains only one book written by a man. Having never married or had children, my mental space has been predominately female.
The older I get the more removed I feel from children and childbearing. I am almost coming to a point of not thinking of women and children together anymore. What I conceive of as the Great Mother is the creator of all, the female equivalent of the male God. When someone mentioned Doris Lessing yesterday, I immediately said, “She’s one of my goddesses.”
There are women all over the world doing transformational work, yet we never hear about them in mainstream media. Instead, women are simply painted clowns in the male circus. Women’s struggle for liberation has always been a side issue, a matter of “the girls acting up.” In fact, women are now called girls more than they are called women.
I said many posts ago that I was not going to use the word woman but I have not been able to come up with an adequate alternative. While I resent “gendered” language, I don’t know how to communicate without it. When one starts to transcend gender, what is this called? And how does one behave as a non-gendered person. After having a lesbian affair, Woolf wrote a book called Orlando, about a person who was alternately male and female.
After resenting being “the other” as a woman, I am coming to enjoy being “the other” as a liberative being. I just checked and liberative does not appear to be a word. So, I am inventing it. I wrote a few days ago that not all people have the liberative urge, not all people want to transcend what they are. Marge Piercey wrote a book called, “Woman on the Edge of Time” and I often think of the main character’s struggle to live in this world and in another. Mary Daly’s later books were also about women moving from this reality into another one.
Are we all goddesses with the ability to create worlds? Don’t we all do this everyday in our own lives? When I wake up in the morning, it is a new day, a fresh canvas. I can paint whatever I want. How do I make something completely new? How do I live an uncompromisingly radical, creative life?