Note: Amanda Moreno expects to be back with her column next weekend. In the meantime, Here’s the first part of another of our Featured Articles from Cosmophilia: You Belong Here. You may read the piece in its entirety here; comments are welcome below and on the Cosmophilia website. — Amanda P.
by Elizabeth Routledge
I turned fifty in 2012, some months before the prophecies for ‘The End of The World’ (as we knew it), were due to kick in. Being the hopeful type I felt excited at the prospect of a paradigm shift and my part in it. The world and mainstream media, however, painted a different picture: as a woman of ‘a certain age’ I was approaching invisibility and impending retirement.
The endless rampant consumerism, ecological suicide and perpetual war seemed to go on its not-so-merry way.
In a world that worships youth and the next new thing I could succumb to feeling irrelevant. Yet I keep coming across vital older and elderly women who are wise, inspiring and contributing positively to the story of our world.
One, numerologist Gail Minogue, claims that:
…offstage, waiting for the spotlight, are the middle-aged women…Everything is cyclical. We have not visited the importance of middle-aged women for about 200 years so we have little reference to this phenomena. This phase of power for this group will last until 2044 (starting 2024) so it is a long run and will have women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s running the financial systems, the political systems, the social and cultural systems and the general well-being of our society.
If she is right, then women need to get ready to (re)claim power and authority, not as monstrous ‘Maggie Thatchers’ (i.e., taking on ‘masculine’ attributes) but as leaders, curators, storytellers, filmmakers, CEOs, mentors, elders and paradigm-bridgers who can inspire and nurture future generations.
The Good Book says that without vision the people perish, but the current vision of parasitic corporations, sociopathic puppeteer politicians, mindless military/police, and a populace without privacy or freedom is not one that serves humanity, but a disparate elite who fail to realize that we are all connected. These visionaries may well be the Women of Chiron, the wounded healers who have lived forgiveness and been transformed by pain.
There are too many women who lose their vision and sense of purpose as they age. I know many who would have once been called ‘spinsters’, some desiring to be in a relationship, others glad not to be, but all questioning their place in the world. We need to be reminded of how much we have to offer, and not be seduced by marketing that would have us compare and compete and compel us to carve up our faces into the neotenous masks of plastic surgery. It is a futile resistance. The media constantly exacerbates our fears of being discarded because we are no longer childbearing, no longer desirable, and therefore of very little value.
But we have much to offer. We do belong here. We must begin to recognize the beauty of the lines and scars that tell our stories. We must begin again to value life experience, wisdom and character. We must champion the elders and their wisdom — before it is too late.
The older woman particularly needs to think bigger and bolder, to dream again, and place a new value on who she is and why she is here. “… The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind — creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers … These people — artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big-picture thinkers … The Conceptual Age,” writes Daniel Pink, in A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future.
Surely that includes the experienced female, humbled by life, yet full of empathy and understanding?
Thank-you for a powerful & affirming piece, beautifully written.
As a woman of 69, who looks every year of it (& according to a parting shot from my last ex some years ago, more than every year of it), I am very much aware that women of a certain age do indeed become invisible, & considered “unmarketable”, either in paid work or in relationships.
Possibly because I am an artist & gardener & conservationist, “retirement” is a rather meaningless idea. Yes, I have skills to share which may be crucial in future hard times, & a modicum of wisdom to share, but few are interested.
I remember watching some of the women who have risen to prominence in politics in particular, who have been as good at the guys’ game as the guys themselves, & thinking (as they spoke of war & more war) “how can that person have a uterus?” How could they as mothers or potential mothers advocate killing others’ children? This is not the model of powerful woman we need!
Yes, there is much work to do. I find that the older I become, the more outspoken I am willing to be, & the less I care what “they” (whoever that is!) think. I seem to be comfortable with cronehood.
Thank-you for the encouragement!
yes to all this and thank you
Thank you for this wonderful article!
There were several other comments here (mine included) a little while ago; I noted many had incorrect dates in January 2015; surely they were not all “moderated” out. We do begin Mercury retrograde; I wonder nonetheless.
Dorothy — DIva Carla is correct: the other comments are under the *full* version of this article on the Cosmophilia website (I have only posted half the piece here, and then you click the link to read the rest of it on the Cosmophilia website — Cosmophilia is the 2015 annual edition from PW). So those January 2015 dates are correct for those particular comments.
No Mercury retrograde trickery here! You just have to pause to notice which PW site you’re on. And don’t worry — whenever I re-post partial Cosmo articles here on the main website, I always try to send an email to the author letting them know if comments are collecting in both places.
Dorothy, your comment is with mine at the Cosmophilia site. Copy and paste here too? I’ll be back to comment more myself, later.
Thank you DivaCarla and Amanda!