Handy Woman

Posted on 29 September 2005

Is it Thursday already? I’ve been working at the store all week, hours here and there; and yesterday I started clearing the office at home in preparation to paint, filing papers, moving the larger pieces of furniture and filling holes in the wall, but there is one large tear that requires joining tape. Sigh. Have to go to the hardware store this morning before work at store this afternoon. Nothing is easy but I have been complaining about this room for years (yes, years) and it’s time to take action.

This morning, Kate wrote: “My self-confidence and self-doubt could work as a wonderful team. If they didn’t take turns over-powering each other.” Kate’s journal

Yesterday, self-doubt, despair almost, filled me as I filled the holes with polyfilla. Wish it were as easy to repair myself. All day I was on the verge of tears and was still there when I arrived at Marlene’s door early evening and even a bowl of her hearty lentil soup didn’t restore my humour. Two thoughts come to mind. One holds Rich’s quote: “There comes a time, perhaps this is one of them, when you have to take yourself seriously or die.” And the other is Woodman’s idea of the abandoned child within, who has to be allowed a voice, who has to be embraced, loved even, before she/I can be brought to “maturity and health.”

Sometimes I think I’m going crazy. How can I, a woman of 56 years, a wife, a mother, be so juvenile? I am usually so capable. I usually love my life. How can I regress to childhood, feel like a little girl who wants to find a corner in which to hide and cry? And if I understand Woodman, I am supposed to respect this part of myself? My natural inclination is to deride it, beat myself up. I am more compassionate with others who are having a “bad day”. It is hard to admit that I am human. Why, I wonder. I think it links back to women feeling stupid when they tell something that is not rational, that has an air of whimsy, that erupts from the body, not the mind.

So last night, Marlene made clear another couple of chapters of Woodman’s “Conscious Femininity” and, as several women, noted, it is good to have Woodman’s ideas clarified and discussed as she is not an easy read. Several women chose to write about play, something our society does not take seriously enough. This subject, though I did not write about it last night, sits close to my heart as I wrote a piece about play years ago and am still trying to get it right (oh yes, I dabble still.) Woodman discusses the importance of play, in one section, for relationship: “People get so depressed about responsibilities and duties of marriage that when they see somebody out there with whom they can play they are fatally attracted.” We need to play, to use our imaginations creatively, together and singularly otherwise “we just die.”

Hmmm… playing with others, playing with ourselves. My mind slips into the gutter. I am becoming lighter. Oh why not?


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