Not sure how much I will post on this event, which, after 27 years of annual meetings in various places, felt even more intensely “crone” than usual.
So let us just start here, with a photo I took of the bare breast of a 75 year old crone who, after the event was over, and we were in the process of checking out, getting bags packed, etc. stopped a number of us to show us her breast. This was right there, in the lobby of the hotel.
Now you may think this is outrageous, but actually, in the context of Crone, it was to be expected. Ever since that summer evening, back in 1989, when I told the story of my numinous dream of the giant raven, clawing on my shoulders from behind, cawing, WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT’S TIME! IT’S TIME! and all the dozen or so women around that table in the special room of a Chinese restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming, picked up on the dream, suddenly we were dropped into the atmosphere of the Crone, that of profound reverence and total hilarity. Both. Bridging, blending that polarity. For two hours, we were plunged into Her spell. And though this was ostensibly a birthday party for a woman turning 40, we never even sang Happy Birthday.
And it’s been the same way ever since. All is appreciated and nothing is forbidden to those who know who they are. And that includes all the stuff we don’t like about ourselves and tend to project on others. Until we learn not to do that! And wow, does that take time! Many decades, usually. Which leads to my favorite “definition” of Crone: A Crone is one who eats her own shadow.
Crone Chronicles: A Journal of Conscious Aging (1989-2001) started a few days later after the “birthday party,” as a tiny newsletter to 100 women, “Calling All Crones!” Crones Counsel began three years later, also in Jackson Hole, and has been ongoing since.
So back to this Crones Counsel, the 27th annual gathering, and that final photo opportunity given to me by B.B., who had just bared her breast for us to not only see, but to palpate. “Touch it!” she cried, laughing. “Just think of it as my stomach.”
It’s amazing what the absence of “the nipple” can do. In this case, she replaced it with a beautiful tattoo.
Oh, and BTW: B.B. is off now, to hike the El Camino de Santiago trail in Spain. She will attempt the final 130 miles. Says she wants to do it “before my knees give out.” YES!