“Is there an odyssey the female soul longs to make at the approach of fifty?”
(Traveling with Pomegrantes, Sue & Ann Monk Kidd)
After a decade of anticipation, the time has come to prepare for my crowning. In some ways, I’ve began ten years ago when I read that audacious article, The FU 50’s; But officially, I began my preparations in January, (or they began me):
January: Personal winter writing retreat week by the sea to open up work on a longing to be birthed memoir: Lila~Reclaiming the Divine Feminine.
February: Began listening to Traveling with Pomegrantes, a coming of age memoir of a woman in her 50’s (and her adult daughter), who I should add, travel to Greece, where I meant to be in 1986, but instead came home for my sister’s wedding, where she made me wear a red satin cowboy had, and had my heart broken; and then fell in love with my husband; so all these years later, I’m revisiting the idea of Greece; which was the location of one of my favorite films of female awakening: Shirley Valentine, which was a originally a play that I took my mother to in Cape May when we were both coming of age, like the author and her daughter.
March: Began my first full reading of The Vagina Monologues. (Several more silent readings required before I can say the C word out loud.)
April: Created a virtual book group to begin reading, A Year to Live (How to Live this Year as if It was your Last), by Stephen Levine. A book I purchased and began reading after my mother died at age 57 (periously close to my own age now that I’ll be 50), but never read more than a few chapters. Until now.
May: Began reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter~A Woman’s Journey to the Sacred Feminine, by the same author of the book that goes to Greece. Realized that the memoir that I was writing was not just about loss and coming of age, but about reclaiming the Divine Feminine.
June: Writing retreat in the Green Mountains (assigned to the Twain Room); Plus my first born graduated highschool; PLUS we attended his college orientation (during which I covertly wept; even though I’m not “that” kind of mother); Then I visited the Jardin Botanique for the The International Mosaiculture Event where I communed with the stunning Mother Earth sculpture garden (pictured above. It’s there till September. Go see it if you can! It’s an afternoon that will keep on giving.)
July: Dedicated writing weeks. Pond swimming. Moon communing. Fire circles. (If the rain ever stops.) Launching of a 7 week, online, chakra-writing journey for women. Also, visited my naturopath (OB/GYN ) for the THIRD time this season, making me question if I’m needing a midwife for this book I’m birthing.
August: Brought my vagina to church.
September: Realized that my memoir was not only a story about personal loss, but also a work that claimed, explored and awakened to the Divine Feminine.
October: Launched a 7 month on-line writing circle for women: Journey of the Voice.
November: Participated for the first time ever in NaNoWriM: 50,000 words in 30 days with the last section of my memoir: Lila: the woman, the writer & the goddess.
December: FIFTY! An overnight retreat with family & friends, celebrating women with ritual, dance, food & connections. Recorded my first spoken word poem.
What’s next… ???
Kelly Salasin, 2013