Tag Archives: crones

I’m Beginning to Feel Old

SADHVI
SADHVI

I have not felt like sharing much in the last month or so…not on FB, not on Instagram, not on Google+, not on nothing.  How about you?  You don’t have to answer that, I was just being facetious.

Lately, I hear the word “awesome” being used to describe just about every feeling, item of food, and life situation that one can experience.  And the other day, I heard my first “Super-Awesome!”, which is how the women behind the counter described a tea-towel with hand-stamped chickens on it.  I mean, it was nice, but it was not “Super-Awesome”!

Maybe it’s the equivalet of the word “Cool” that we used to describe everthing back in the day.  There was not, however, so much positive and prozac-y emotion put into it, and frankly, it makes uncomfortable.

If my generation was low-key, this one is high-strung and often, not there, but still “awesome”.

I am easily annoyed these days, and I think it has something to do with the fact that everything seems to be changing so much.

For instance, I used to enjoy being greeted by salespeople, and to start interacting with them in a fun, easy-going way.  But no one does that these days.  The new way to interact is through “social media”, which to me, is just another way for company’s to sell gadgets, devices, and toy’s to the masses.  That’s about all it is about, really.  We are just consumers in the end, playing “awesome” games, and being hooked to our TV’s iPads, mini iPad’s, smartphones, and sharing everything we got via FB.

I guess I miss relating in the way that satisfied me way back when: in person, on the phone, or in a letter.  Yeah, I am getting old.

I do talk to a lot of younger people, and I am always amused when I hear them say they are “getting off of the gadget thing”, or, “nah, I don’t do FaceBook anymore”, as if they are drugs, which of course, they are.

Despite all the changes and Grand-T conjuctions, and the U.N. saying that it’s either clean up the planet or die, well, I do take time to feel grateful for things in my life, as crazy as it feels to me.

If nothing else, it makes me feel more vulnerable and small and human.  And since I don’t have to worry about going over my minutes, or recharging my device to feel that, I like it.  In fact, it’s awesome. 🙂

Take a look at the video…try it, you’ll like it.

In Praise of Technology

 On the 7th of January, as we were driving my son to the airport in Charlotte, NC, already worried that we were going to miss his plane for Tel Aviv (where he is doing a six-month fellowship), he announced that he had left a vital sheet of information on the dining table back home.  This paper contained the name, address, and phone number for the person who was going to meet him in the airport at the other end of his trip, so you can imagine my reaction!  But, while his mother (and father) descended into panic, my son calmly called his sister, still at home, and asked her to find the paper, take a picture of it, up close enough for him to read it, and then text it to his phone.  The whole process took about five minutes.  Our car never even slowed down!

Another anachronism: the payphone line!
Another anachronism:
the payphone line!

As we drove on, I couldn’t help but describe to my son how that same set of events would have played out fifty years earlier.  I could see two possible scenarios:  1) a rapid turn-around and drive back home to pick up the paper, missing the plane or 2) a frantic search for a rest area with a payphone, followed by a desperate crawl all over the floor of the car looking for a quarter, followed by someone standing miserably in the freezing cold with a pencil and paper held awkwardly in hand while trying to hear the words and numbers being dictated over the phone, with no writing surface except someone else’s back!  (Not to mention–unless you were lucky enough to have little Wash ‘n Dry wipes in your purse–the lingering fear that you might have contracted something from the pay phone.)

The computer my husband used to write his dissertation!
The computer my husband used to write his dissertation!

And this got me to thinking about some of the scenes from my life that would never happen nowadays:

1) the common experience of being lost in a city, late for some event, and listening to my parents fret over whether they should stop and ask directions (my mother’s preference) or keep driving around looking (my father’s choice

2) the experience of being out somewhere, away from home or the library, and trying to win an argument about some basic historical, literary, or scientific fact and not being able to prove your point without driving back home and pulling out the Columbia Encyclopedia

A manual typewriter
A manual typewriter

3) being completely out of touch with your family, except for letters in your mail box or the collect call home from the “hall phone” in your college dorm, which was usually right out in the middle of people, with no privacy at all

4) typing my senior thesis in graduate school on a manual type writer with four carbon copies and having to correct all four every time I made a mistake

5) running out of “White Out” and panicking

6) shuffling through paper cards in the card catalogue of your college to find a book (I miss this one!)

7) even a more recent change:  calling and embarrassing your child at a party to make sure he/she is alive (texting provides such a better cover for parenting!)

So,  I suppose there are some wonderful things about technology!

My father's first car phone!
My father’s first car phone!

A Retiring Mind Part II

Amoke Kubat
Amoke Kubat

Move over James T. Kirk, a retiring mind left to its own, totally uninterrupted and undiminished possession, goes beyond the final frontier. My fist size chunk of grey matter becomes my private Intergalactic Teleporter. I am the Queen of Flashback and Flash dancing memories!

Mind you, minding me, is a mix of guilty pleasure and alarming revelations. My mind jumps back to things half thought, wishful imagination and unsolicited information that hungers for a future that I have yet to charter with certainty. Some memories are surprising, others are stunners.

In 1968, I decided to stop wearing sanitary belts with Kotex as large as manhole covers.

Remember?
Remember?

(One of my friends did call them just that). These pads were like riding in a saddle. If you were a bleeder like me, an accident could gush out at any moment from back or front or both. One day I CHOSE to switch and use a new way to sop up my oozing womanliness. I got me a box of compressed cotton, less conspicuous, for the modern woman, TAMPONS. Proud of myself, I swaggered home with a variety of sizes that promised “going with the flow” like a real natural woman. I decided to become an expert: I practiced taking care of business with my new hygienic tools that severed the legacy of taking the rag off the bush.

I loved peeling off the thin wrappers of the tiny little feminine things. Holding my breath, stilling shaking legs, I pushed Tampon number one up a chute never travelled. It was a bit snug but not uncomfortable.  It pulled out easily enough. I was fascinated that something no bigger than my pinkie could swell, clog and hold back my monthly monsoon. So, Tampon number two, a larger size, was inserted. I walked around with my secret intact. I did a happy dance! It did not move! Who would know? I was now a woman of mystery. “Oh really” TAMPON number three, the largest, asked my body. Then it sucked up all mystery, ritual and moisture. No amount of pulling released the dry knot of cockeyed liberation from my body. You know you have a friend for life when your girlfriend comes to your rescue, respectively demonstrates a surgical skill for removing a foreign object, and does not ask any questions.

In 1975, I lived with a cannibal and two Jesuses. I lived commune style in a large Victorian House off Portobello Road in London. portobellos rd.The cannibal lived in the basement. We seldom interacted and rarely spoke to each other. I only went downstairs to bar-b-que on a homemade grill on hotter summer days. He never licked his lips over sizzling ribs with my secret sauce. He didn’t stand around telling me stories or appeared hungry as I made plates to sell to homesick Americans on Portobello Road. He always seemed sleepy and slow and quite possibly satiated. I wondered who he had eaten. However my pervasive shyness and southern sensibilities told me that was too personal of a question to ask.

On the other hand, it was impossible to not get personal with Jesus the Pure (as he was blond) and Jesus the Dark (who was a bit mangy looking). They lived in the hallways on separate floors. They were drawn together like magnets. They constantly fought and had to be pulled apart. Depending on who interrupted their epic battle, one or the other and sometimes both got thrown outside. They would fly at each other and use fists, feet and teeth. They never said a word as they delivered and received punches that knocked holes into walls, shattered glass and broke stairway banisters. Neither ever preached nor sang the gospels in the presence or absence of the other. My guess was that the forces of light and dark was really an on-going universal struggle.

Later, I discovered, “For F**** sake keep Jesus out” written on the walls, just as I opened the door for a visitor.  Under that somebody had scrawled, “Which one?” More written, “They both can go to hell”. The visitor and I stared at the wall. I had a nagging sense she thought I had wrote it. I was an 22 year old colored woman far from my Southern Los Angeles home and the very racist, newly integrating America.

I wonder how these two very specific memories serve me. What are the lessons?  Are they worth keeping or sweeping? Am I in the throes of another individuation process? I survived the parallel journeys from girl, maiden to crone and colored to black to American of African descent. memoriesAs an Elder, I am racing towards the finish line to get to my fullest humanity. I am going into a deeper space. I pray to enjoy and remember.

Amoke Kubat is a writer, artist and community elder living and working in North Minneapolis, Minnesota.  http://amokekubat.com 

http://www.livingwombceremonies.com/

 

 

 

Sadhvi Sez: When Joni Mitchell was singing with James Taylor

ME AND OUR DOG, BELLO

I honestly don’t feel like there is a small gap between me and the next generation any more.  It  feels too big to say that. 

I don’t like FaceBook much any more either.  In fact, I find myself wanting to be on the computer less and less, but more and more time is spent there.  Hmm.

I’ve been trying and cannot seem to take a break from my computer and cell phone for even one day.  It is a true addiction.  Just wondering, how many hours do you spend on your computer each day?

One night this past week, my husband and I were making dinner together.  I am cranky by nature, and people who know me understand.  I mean, I am not used to having him around helping me in my, I mean, our kitchen, so he put on an old Cat Stevens CD, and within a few minutes I found myself in a really nice space.  Music will do that to me.  I imagine my Mom and Dad had similar experiences, but with Buddy Holly

So I am getting old – damn it!  Since there isn’t much I can do about it, except whine a little from time to time, I want to share another song that takes me back to a time that makes me feel relaxed and in a mellow space.  Enjoy!

 

Joni Mitchell playing with James Taylor, singing background harmony on the song: “You can close your Eyes”.

 

 

 

Sadhvi shares being Grateful

Sadhvi the Roasted Chestnut Vendor!
I got a lot of emails, wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday.  Facebook postings from friends were abundant.  It was nice.
Being far away from family AND chestnut roasters to boot, Thanksgiving is always a very busy day after a week of being busy selling  “Freshly Roasted Italian Chestnuts” outside of the health food store here in town.
After chilling out for an hour or so after coming home, we ate a simple meal of  homemade Quiche Lorraine (I always make a few extra pie crusts and freeze them, so that on busy days I can take one out before I leave the house and it’s good when I get home) with salad and greens from the garden.  It was so good to relax, knowing that we have a day off today, and that we could sleep in too.  No Black Friday for us.
I read everyone’s little share about being thankful at this special time of year, but here’s the one that got to me.  It’s all about opening our eyes…I found it beautiful.  Thanks Daniela for sending it!