The old saying is, "As the crow flies," not crone.
But just one day after turning the older-but-more-knowledgeable age of 58, I finally accept that I have entered The Crone -- i.e., The Wise Woman -- phase of my life.
No brag, my friends. Just fact.
|Artist's rendition of me|
But I must confess that even before I turned 40, I habitually spent every last cent of my pin moolah on all sorts of lotions and potions promising to erase lines, wrinkles, dark circles, discoloration...blah, blah, blah. Had to stay looking young, attractive, eyes bright, lips plump, yada, yada, yada.
Yeah, well, here's what I now have to say -- and firmly believe -- about that: Oil of Olay Shmolay.
What I have thankfully come to understand is this: Growing older gracefully has nothing to do with outward appearances. It's all about the beautiful, more meaningful, inner/spiritual and intellectually creative transformation that naturally takes place as a woman ages.
Seriously. I've researched this issue.
(Pay no attention to the half-empty bottle of Classy Lady, a sweet, white table wine from Danish Wines and Vines, Exira, IA, stashed behind my laptop.)
Granted, check your online Merriam-Webster and it defines "crone" as "a withered old woman."
Au contraire mon ami!
According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of several women's issues books, the woman in menopause, known mythologically as "the crone," her estrogen waning, is a woman at a crossroads in life, torn between the old way she has always known and a new way she has just begun to dream of. A voice from the old way, according to Northrup, tries to convince the woman to stay in place.
(Cue the Tune In To Menopause music station on Pandora.)
But, says Northrup, another voice calls her, insisting the menopausal woman explore exciting aspects of herself that have been dormant during her years of caring/focusing on others.
What I glean from all this Saturday night research is this: Through the discovery of those new, more creative/self-reliant traits shines The Crone's/Wise Woman's true beauty. And it has nothing to do with under eye concealers, my darlings.
Bottom line? Evolving croneilogically, as it were, is all about the estrogen. Or lack thereof. And when it comes to blossoming into The Crone, less estrogen is definitely more empowering. Gives one a gutsy, learned-from-experience "Been There. Done That. Don't Mess With Me." mojo.
So what is estrogen, really? Well, the word, estrogen, per Wikipedia, comes from the Greek oistros meaning, literally, verve or inspiration, or figuratively, sexual passion or desire, and the suffix -gen, meaning "producer of".
Hence, waning estrogen obviously means we Menopausal/Postmenopausal Mavens tend to generate/produce our, ahem, verve and inspiration in, um, other, more amazingly strong and spiritual ways.
Hungry for more Ann Heise Kult, The Crone insight?
Fun Fact: Too much estrogen is, obviously, the evil, hormonal culprit that in sixth grade caused me to swoon over Don, a brown-eyed classic Bad Boy in my class who repeatedly replied to my giggly, eyelash-batting "Hi, Don!" with a mumbled, monotone "Go to hell, Heise."
Moments later, convinced Don was merely playing hard to get in front of his friends, I'd dreamily doodle Don and Ann = LOVE on the back of my paper bag-covered spelling book. Don was my Destiny...he just didn't know it.
Two years later, I am sure it was too much estrogen that induced my delusions, as recorded ad nauseam in my junior high diary, that "Don was staring at me in study hall today."
Not only Don, but Rick and Gary and later, in high school, Paul, Pete and every other boy in study hall.
In estrogen-reduced Crone/Wise Woman retrospect/reality, not one of those guys was staring at me. Ever. Call it hormone-laced wishful thinking.
More Classy Lady please...
Now, at this point, Dear Reader, you may well be thinking, "At what point can one be sure she has successfully evolved into The Crone/Wise Woman?"
Frankly, my Dear Reader, I don't have a damn clue. To each her own estrogen levels. And they're a wily bunch.
But what I do know is this: Honest to Goodness, last night, after ushering in my 58th birthday -- older, wiser and clearly, sans estrogen -- I dreamed I ran into Brad Pitt at the grocery store, told him how much I loved him in Thelma and Louise, and then, giggling and batting my baby blues, I invited him over for dinner. Without making one iota of eye contact with me whatsoever, ol' Brad mumbled a monotone "No." I shrugged my shoulders and yawned. "Your loss."
And then, without further adieu, I simply turned and sauntered off, emotionally unscathed, self-respect in tact, leaving the Pittster agog.
Obviously, only a woman in her Crone/Wise Woman stage -- i.e., the spiritual mastery phase of a woman's life -- could so easily shrug off such a rude dis from the likes of Brad Pitt and leave him agog. Even, if only in her dreams. So, yeah. I am definitely there.
My point -- and I do have one -- is this: You will know, Dear Reader! You will know!
P.S. If you haven't already, please vote wisely Tuesday, Nov. 4! Remember, our foremothers fought long and hard for women's rights. And we are still fighting. So much is at stake...