Sunday, April 26, 2015
Women After All: Sex, Evolution and the End of Male Supremacy by Melvin Konner, M.D. He demonstrated how to pronounce it. You-carry-oats. My review on goodreads covers the basic info about how this book came home with me. This is about how glad I am. Dr. Konner steps on many toes covering biology, mating habits, leadership research–major tootsie squishing with the title alone. I loved it, mostly because I felt delighted to be reading. I am a feminist. Too much of the time I'm a discouraged, angry feminist, primarily because there is a lot of rage just in the discussion of what feminism is, who started it, whether 1st, 2nd or 19th wave, how inclusive feminism is regarding race, gender, age – it is daunting. Women After All is an opportunity to feel good. About our brains (bigger), our leadership skills (superior across domains and statistically significant female>male) and our opportunities in the near future. This book changed my body chemistry. I hope I can now bump into a discussion dumped into discord, and know that women's ascendancy will happen no matter if I get mad about it, if I push on it, or if I die tomorrow without seeing the outcome. While some of Dr. Konner's writing is densely academic, much is relieved with comedic reporting. Witness foreplay of the hemaphrodite red-tipped flatworm which lasts up to an hour and involves fencing (yeah, it's called that) with 2 - count 'em two penises each. Object: stab without getting stuck yourself. This behavior could be witnessed at any management meeting in any company anywhere in the USA in the 20th century. Or most episodes of Mad Men. I laughed, which maybe a red-tipped flatworm wouldn't appreciate, but I sure enjoyed the imagery. Flatworms in suits and ties. Snicker. Konner covers brain chemistry, history, the animal world today, and proposes that major change is happening right now, and an upheaval coming within 50 years. I like to think of it as a rebalancing. Weak yang for strong and equal yin:yang. How grand for our daughters, sons, granddaughters, grandsons! Hallelujah!
Sunday, April 19, 2015
ekphrasis was begun by Thomas Lynch, poet and Suzanne Haskew, artist; both Milford residents. Our Sweetgrass Writers Group discovered the event several years ago. That year much of the poetry was borrowed from other sources. The art was, and is, original and current. Last night 88 percent of the poetry was original. For the last three years, we have submitted. I hadn't written a poem for over 40 years. My friend Geri is a beautiful poet and has written poetry continuously, quietly. We have all struggled with the idea of putting our writing out in the world. We received ribbons, and still we shy from other venues. Last year Geri and I brought home four poetry awards. We still hesitate to send our words elsewhere, for all the reasons every writer feels in whatever part of the body hesitation lives. Too personal, not good enough, why do it at all? Last night, Geri heard the poetry judge acclaim her poem, and next Saturday, when we pick up our accompanying art pieces, she'll take home a blue ribbon. I read my honoree, Once Upon a Timeless Sea. This year, for the first time, I sent poems to another venue - the spring anthology call for entries from Peninsula Poets. My poem Washing the Sun will be within. As a neophyte submitter, this publication acceptance feels enormous and lovely. I hope I'll be able to overcome those voices of too personal, not good enough and why more in the close future. I'm going to start with a baby/giant step and put the poems on my blog. Deep breath. Here goes.
Monday, April 13, 2015
winning 200 word essay. The owner wants to retire after 22 years. She won the inn in the same way in 1992. The picture alone set me to dreaming big. First facts were fantasy-fulfilling. $125 entry fee, 7,000 entries (which will net the current innkeeper her retirement fund.) Favorable odds. And a beautiful story to share. The adrenalin raced through my system. Picture: writers' retreats. Plein air watercolor groups scattered on the lawn. Lending a hat to a painter who forgot hers. Equinox, solstice gatherings. My canoes back, settled on the lakeshore, eager for leisurely paddling. A barn to put the boats when the snow settles. Snowbound, reading seed catalogs and researching recipes. Chopping wood. A kitchen garden I do not have to abandon each year, planting perennials. My dad, having projects to choose from. Harmon House, with guest rooms becoming where we live. White Mountains. And so near, Hermit's Island where I fell in love with windy, rocky coasts and Maine at 16. I dreamed in color, seeing satisfied guests, worthy work, a beautiful setting. I had 24 hours of manifesting the vision. Then my Capricorn side stirred. Taxes, grass cutting, insurance, maintenance, isolation, laundry, dishes, cooking, coordinating healthcare for my brother, uprooting my 88 year old father away from local family. Hard work I can do, assuring contented guests I can do. Soothing disgruntled demanding people I can do. But I'm a senior citizen. Maybe the current owner who wants to retire is my age. It's a conundrum. My friends say go for it. My niece counseled perhaps there's another dream I can pursue. The deadline is May 7. I have a little while to discover which road I'll take. Is it worth $125 to stick a toe in a dream? Today I think yes. Tomorrow I may dare a different dream.