Women have always rocked the cradle, supported their partners, striven to make the planet a habitable place. These days, they also head families, earn their own keep, watchdog the environment, fight the lies society abounds with, “earn the bacon and fry it up in a pan,” raise their children, often alone, and struggle to prevail over fate, not just endure it. At the same time, they strive to be healthy, beautiful and sexy.
It’s a very tall order.
According to the American Bar Association, the average American Marriage is 9.3 years and one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. That’s a great opportunity for marketers and a pretty hard hit to the heart, because no matter what the statistics say, from what I can see, we women still dream of love and children and happily ever afters.
As it happens, Fate or our own needs, seem to be forcing us to trade in the Glass Slipper fantasy for the Glass Ceiling fantasy. As the likelihood of Prince Charming dwindles, we’re having to make it all up as we go along, struggling to do it all alone, or with the help of our women friends, in a landscape that’s confusing for the heart.
We’ve been told by women’s magazines for two decades that we can do it all… we’ve been told by the TV media that we can have it all… but for most of us slugging it out alone in the face of the odds, that really means exhaustion at the end of the day and a pervasive sense of failure. Where did I go wrong? we ask ourselves. Why doesn’t my life look like the ones on television? What did I not do that I should have done? We’ve become skilled at the triage modern life demands – which fire do I put out first? – but the soft, woundable heart still longs for love, protection, strong arms to hold us and a loving heart with which to share the journey. Hmmm.
Statistically, most of us have three full-time jobs… wife or single head of household… mother or granny… business-person, whether to afford the groceries, or to fulfill a dream. Working mother is a redundancy, as they say; with jobs or not, women have always worked hard.
So, uncertain of self, probably not skinny or wealthy or beautiful enough to match the fantasies we’ve been fed for a media-lifetime, we stand and try to prevail in this Brave New World of size 0’s and instant billionaires, most of whom seem to be somewhere north of 60, with wives younger than sperm. Longing for love and sexual fulfillment in a time when a tumble in the hay can have grave consequences…. striving to climb the ladder of success with family, home and hearth strapped firmly to our hearts… having been told by Oprah and Dr. Phil we can have it all if we just try a little harder, go to the gym three days a week, follow the right how-to’s, and learn The Secret.
To tell the truth, it amazes me that we’re pulling it off as well as we are. Our day-to-day lives may be a study in triage, but our spirits seem game to go the distance. Maybe it’s because the flip side of the tough stuff is that we’re freer than we’ve ever been. And stronger. Growing in power and stature. Choosing for ourselves a destiny not predetermined by fate or father or husband. Not since the Goddess ruled the affairs of men 4,000 years ago, have women had the opportunities that open to us now. The Astrological Community and the Native Americans believe female energies are rising like a tsunami, propelling us forward on their inexorable tide. It’s just harder than we thought to ride the wave.
Women, I’ve come to believe, are not just multi-taskers, whirling like dervishes through a juggler’s life, but multidimensional beings, doing our best to bring all our parts to the party of life, as conscientiously as we can, every single day… work, marriage, motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood… sorrow, joy, spirituality, laughter, learning, love. Good men do the same, I believe, but I can only speak from my side of the gender abyss with any clarity. I come from a family of decent, stalwart men, so I don’t leave them out of these musings from angst or forgetfulness, I just can’t speak for what goes on in men’s souls.
I wrote some verses about the shift my esoteric friends and I believe is in progress… a shift from male power dominance to female. It’s supposed to last 2000 years, which is plenty of time to either get it right, or be corrupted by the power trip.
I called it a prayer but it’s really just a ramble, like a conversation with a Goddess if She happened to stop by for a cup of tea. And it’s also a plea for the courage and clarity for men and women to build a better world together.
See what you think:
Prayer for a Goddess Time
Cathy Cash Spellman
We learned a lot
In the men’s time,
Didn’t we, Mother?
All those strong male energies
Wild, free, sexual, passionate.
Warlike, on the downside
But powerful and protective, on the up.
Linear of brain
The shortest distance between points
The way to go
The gifts were varied
An Industrial Revolution
Monday night football
Man in space
Men in black
A couple of World Wars
God the Father
Courage and self-sacrifice
Not all good, or all bad
From the female principle
The Goddess consciousness
That’s about to transform the world
One more time
So what will we women do
Now that we have to put our money
Where our mouths are?
We, too, are imperfect
Just in a different way
Spiraling in and out
Like DNA in search of the center
Mother, guide us in our new exercise of power
And the courage of our convictions
Let us not strive to be clones of men
And therefore second best again
Let us not manifest the bitch who castrates
Or the harridan who carps
Not the clinging vine
Or the plastic Barbie
But the best of what we are
Let us rise to the occasion of ourselves
To create a new world
Built on the strengths of the old
Balancing the follies
Not replacing testosterone excesses
With those of estrogen
But rather making
The way to go.
We get 2000 years
To see if we can do it any better
Than the boys did.
Let’s not be so foolish as to think
It’s easy to rule the world
Or that power doesn’t corrupt
Let us paddle carefully
Between the Scylla and Charybdis
Of power and reward
Toward spiritual awakening
Toward children who are safe and loved
Toward all we dreamed in the dark times
Give us the courage to tell the truth
No one wants to hear
The strength to fight for everybody’s rights
Not just our own
The courage to be afraid
And not let fear determine what we do
The compassion to feel others’
Hurt and Hunger
As keenly as we feel our own
Let us honor
The teachers and the seekers
And the givers
Let us no longer measure
Success in money
But in character and heart.
Let us feed the hungry
Clothe the naked
Visit the sick
Honor the elders
Treasure the earth
Let us raise the mark
And mean to hit it
Because the reward is not
That we’ve won or proven a point
But that we’ve built
A better world
On the foundation already struggled for
Then let us join our strengths
So that this time
We all win.
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2010