Sep 292012
 

There is a letter I long to write, to a woman who is not my friend, not really, although both of us, when speaking to others, each of the other, would claim friendship.

This woman is one for whom I have held deep admiration, for the courage with which she has met life’s challenges and for the hard-won insights she has ferried back for the rest of us.

I love her.

I love what she has to offer our world.

I love the depth and integrity with which she risks all for noble love.

Yet I can remain silent no longer for the gifts she has forsaken, not for love but for stories about love.

And so I am moved to write to her – and because her business is not my business, I am writing to her via all the women of my world; a small, cautionary  tale that is expressive of the following spiritual laws:

* things are not as they seem;

** nothing means anything;

*** forsake your true work at your peril.*

* For this she has done, in common with just about all women of all recorded time, in return for masculine approval/loyalty/affection. For women, ahead of all the creatures of the world, are prone to living lives other than their own.

My friend has spent a decade and more in dedicated pursuit of truth about life and love on Earth. She was among the most knowledgeable people I have ever known; she knew no enemies; she had surrendered so very much for her work; she was at the pinnacle of her power.

At the height of empowered middle age she was ready to face the world and teach what she had learned . . . she was positioned to claim all that she had dreamed for herself and her life . . . and yet she surrendered it all to the forces of masculine dis/interest.

This is what I would say to her, if I thought her business was my business.

Dear Friend,

I remember when last you visited me: as you walked away from my front door, your back to me, you did not see my outstretched hand longing to call you back, longing to say ‘do not do this’.

Do not forsake all you have worked for, only to begin your journey anew for the sake of another; do not allow his path to hijack yours.

Please, no.

Please, know.

Please know you are ready to move forward into all you have dreamed for your life and your world.

Your time is now.

Before that, I saw you on the street and you excitedly told me about a new man in your life, your ‘twin flame’: The One, finally delivered to your heart by the great Universal force of life some call God.

For a moment I was excited for you . . . and then my heart in turn sank for you. For this same Universal force tests us, and you had failed to see this; right at the moment we feel we have learned valuable lessons we are tested, we are always tested.

And your test was this: another man 20 years your junior.

Please no, I wanted to say, please say no.

Please hold out for a man worth the salt in your veins, the blood in your heart, the love in your being, the maturity in your soul.

Please hold out for an older man.

Please, have courage to meet your match.

Please, in the meantime, find courage enough to bear the absence of ‘the other’.

*****

But no, we all know women can readily justify any love at all; in my friend’s case, she laid claim to the story about a universally-ordained twin flame (the one story she would find impossible to ignore).

And so my friend has begun her journey anew. She has followed the young man along his pathway. She has thought new thoughts. She has spoken half-truths, no longer truly believing what she thinks she knows. She has taken up enemies where previously she had none.

The other day I found a You Tube video posted by her. I clicked on the link and burst into tears. For there was my friend speaking the familiar words, her beautiful face once so alive now haggard and drawn; her spirit low; her heart broken; her soul stretched to breaking point.

All this, for him.

All this, because she did not trust life enough to continue her own journey.

All this, because she suspected/knew that the price of her own success would be the loss of his resolute attention/affection.

And so she turned her back on her own truth and immersed herself in the life of another at the expense of her own sweet self.

Instead of remaining true to her own hard-won path, she has taken on his ideas, his words, his thoughts, his enemies.

And she has failed utterly to recognise that these are the ideas, words, thoughts and battles of a young man – he will not hold true to any such in maturity.

For he will walk away from her later, as assuredly as he would have walked before now had she proved a threat to his superiority, a challenge to his fumbling, forming identity.

I know all this, because no woman, other than a woman who has forgotten the power and beauty of her own truth, other than a woman who has failed utterly to remember who she was before, would have posted that video believing it to be an advertisement for her work.

A relationship that demands this price is not love.

Is not Love.

Is not universally ordained.

Is not even courageous.

My friend, once a beautiful woman, like so many before her has been drained of life.

Which leaves a question, a small question with ramifications so immense they could change the evolutionary course of humanity:

What will it take for women to stand, unbowed and uncompromised, for and with their own life’s work?

To have faith in ourselves.

To be true, to ourselves.

To be willing to risk his approval, affection, loyalty in return for the heralded truth of our own existence.

To believe our life’s work, with or without his approval, is of such value, the world cannot function without it.

To love, with all our heart, our own beautiful lives.

Here, friends, is the revolution in waiting.

 September 29, 2012  Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
May 112012
 

ROTARY & CARL, AUGUSTA, GA

 

When Carl Thornton Jr, one of the most intelligent radio interviewers whose microphone I’ve had the pleasure of gracing with my breath, asked me about obligation today – and what I meant by that in my book – I knew I was on thin Georgian ice.

I answered by speaking about the obligation of the feminine to please, that as little girls or grown women we are expected to smile at the masculine world. And there are consequences, major or minor, for not responding as a woman should.

Notice how I avoid using the word ‘men’? This is so folk will listen, maybe, without falling into man-hating-holes and thus hijacking my point.

Women are encoded with the pleasing gene. Whether its an obligation to smile or an obligation – and I knew it was coming, I am skating close to that thin ice – I am about to say ‘sex’ on Georgian radio . . .

This is a state that jails teenagers for having sex with someone on the other side of that fine line called ‘minor’. And jails them for a long time.

In the time it took to think the words ‘I am about to say sex on Georgian radio’, the word was out.

And I moved on. And the interview moved on.

My publisher, sitting in the station foyer during the interview, said the phones ran mad for a time – perhaps because of a small word, perhaps for reasons this particular foreigner may never know.

This morning I helped the Rotary Club hand out dictionaries and coloring-in books to kids at Stevens Creek school, up the road from my publisher’s house. As I was

Handing out Rotary's coloring-in books to first graders

being photographed left, right and center I read the back of the coloring-in book and blinked at Rotary’s impressive mission.

They have four principles they borrowed from US businessman Herbert J. Taylor, known as the ‘Four Way Test’ for ethics.

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

I wonder what I would have thought about a coloring-in book with a small speech about this on the back when I was five.

 May 11, 2012  Tagged with: ,  2 Responses »
Mar 212012
 
Dear Australians, particularly those who value social, political and economic reform – it is time to Pay Attention.
Who among us has not promised someone the world and then changed our minds?
At present we have a team of women in our federal parliament who are taking on the tobacco, private health and mining industries, who have delivered an incredible amount of funds to schools and hospitals, who have won pay equity for women in the public sector, who have led significant action on climate change, who are even giving gay marriage a fair crack of the whip.
It is time to rally behind them, to thank them, to show them our support, to publicly defend them, to tell a different story to that peddled by haters across the media, social and political spectrums.
The media may not be whipping up the leadership story – but they sure as hell are obsessing about the minutiae, indulging in a fanatical frenzy whose only aim is to tear the flesh from prime ministerial dignity.
Democracy is precious. One glimpse at the Arab Spring ought to slug home to us that democracy is ours by design, not right.
The time is now, before we lose them, to thank our current leaders for their courage and give them our public support. Because if things go on as they are we will lose them. Imagine that, we will lose them.
We have one of the most progressive governments on Earth at this time. And it is led by women who are devoted to the same things the people I know are devoted to, even if we don’t agree on everything.
These are women who boldly and unapologetically marched through the gates left open for them by the ones who came before.
It’s time to stand with them, to tell a different story. Perhaps one that begins ‘thank you Julia for weathering the incessant storm and taking a stand on climate change’, ‘thank you Tanya and Nicola for having the courage to tackle Big Tobacco and Big Private Health’, ‘thank you everyone involved for delivering pay equity to the public sector’.
Just ‘thank you’ would be fine.