Nature

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About the Cha Cha Cha Changes

Published March 14, 2015 by megdedwards

killer whale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody’s change is different.  But change we do; we do change.

Adolescence is the first change. Little children start to morph right before our eyes. Tiny waif like boys fill out, voices dropping, shoulders forming.  Girls grow curves and budding breasts and the chemistry begins.  So we could call the beginning of adolescence, menoprimo, the beginning of change.

Then we go through our reproductive stage. Hormones take charge of the body and drive us through this next section of life. Let’s just call this next stage ‘meno’ and for women that stands for menstruation or non-menstruation, which is also known as ‘pregnancy’. Those are your two choices.

Then the beginning of the end; menopause. Men and women, pause. Change.

The waning of the hormones. The decrease in oestrogen and testosterone can feel pretty intense as the body  bravely tries to adjust. The list of symptoms for menopause covers pretty much anything that feels bad.

Anxiety, asthma, allergies, and arthritis can all be described as possible side effects of menopause. When the happy hormones stop the whole show changes. I gave birth fairly late at forty years and then breast fed for three years, so when the Change began I was in a free fall from happy hormones. It felt like I had returned from the moon.

Men experience the change too. I can see changes in my partner. And that’s cool because we are changing together.  We are not meant to reproduce anymore. And that’s good because we are a lot less energetic than we used to be.

The time of Change can be seen as a positive development, as long as you don’t mind the fact that you are actually getting closer to dying.

The woman’s body can rest from the rigor of monthly cycles and blood letting. She can grow a few chin hairs and have more time to take on the world.  If the man sticks with his wife he can also rest peacefully knowing that his baby making wife has retired from that job. He can mellow out and make cookies.

I did not mind the bleeding or the births. That was all pretty natural and made sense to me. It grounded me and made me feel like I was a part of the animal world in a cathartic and feral way.  Bleeding and birthing were intense bloody experiences.

When I was reaching the end days of the reproductive cycle I had massive blood lettings. The cycle would start with a minimal and discreet sort of blood; dark, scant and without pain. But it would build in intensity until I felt my muscles scraping every bit of blood from my lower body leaving me weak in the knees and pale.

The blood of the last few cycles was bright red as if from a wound. Stop now, I would say to my body, this is not menstrual  blood, you are just trying to kill me. And it stopped. Gradually the cycles slowed down, once every three months, twice a year. Once a year?

I have not heard from my womb in a long time. It is pretty quiet. It is no longer calling out the months, transforming my breasts, engineering my moods.

I am enjoying this Change. I am being transformed into a non-reproductive woman.  I am becoming a hag and a crone, a woman not weighted by sexiness or babies.

I feel strong. like a old bear waking up from a sleep, not about to take any shit from anyone.  Also, as the baby years recede behind me I feel a childish joy in the return of my own personal time.

Time to myself to write! And 50,000 words into a novel, I can honesty say I am writing. To create! Fifteen hooked rugs in the last few years and now I am planning a series of rugs and a show. To dream! I have ideas and concepts for plays, films, radio shows. The more time I have the more plans I have.

The hot flashes still surge through my body during the night. Sometimes my joints feel loose and like my hips could fall out of place. Things are changing and adjusting within me.

But I find that the sweating leaves my skin dewy and refreshed, and I believe that the heat of the flashes acts like a mid life protective fever, cleaning my body of bad chemicals and realigning my hormone levels for the next forty years of stable womanhood.

Like my girl friend the matriarchal Orca, or Killer Whale, I intend to lead the pod with my acquired wisdom.

 

 

 

 

Photo copied from skepchick.org (insights-into-menopause-come-from-killer-whales)  With thanks!

 

Artists are Drawn to Baie Verte

Published January 8, 2012 by megdedwards

At a lively dinner party last night my neighbor insisted that I write about how artists are drawn to Baie Verte because of its beauty.  I nodded my head, and sated with our delicious and happy dinner party, I said, ‘I’ll do it’.

When I organize a party at our local Baie Verte Hall, the back windows glowing in a stunning sunset over the marsh, I can easily collect about thirty artists who support themselves with their art and are acknowledged in the ‘outside’ art world.

There are artists living around every corner. We even have a yearly event called Art Across the Marsh in which the artists invite people to visit their homes and studios and see how they live.

But these days the small hamlet of Baie Verte is in quite an uproar about a recent article that described our area as desolate and depressing. When I say uproar, I mean that everyone is talking, which means that I heard from one or two people that someone ought to write a letter.

The neighbours have been talking about an article published in the Telegraph Journal by Mike Landry, about a friend of ours, artist Anna Torma.  Up until a day ago there was a direct link to the article but on-line news is no  longer free so this link may take you to the Telegraph Journal subscription page.

Landry takes pains to begin his article, a complimentary and extensive interview with Hungarian born artist Anna Torma, with a long description of his dreary drive to Baie Verte.  His aim was obviously to contrast Anna’s lively and colorful work with the bleak surroundings of rural New Brunswick.

An evocative beginning for his article, truly, but the description of the roads he traveled said more about him than Anna. This was a man who really does not like the rural landscape.

His description immediately put me in my mind of my mother’s reaction when we bought our old house. She used the same word as him, desolate. And I think she went on to say it was devoid of life. She saw a flat grey horizon, possibly reminding her of her childhood in Saskatoon, where we saw a fabulous coast teeming with life.

“On any grey winter’s day,” begins Landry, “heading north on Route 16 from AuLac to Port Elgin is a desolate drive”.   He continues to describe in detail his sunny winter drive through our delightful and picturesque part of the Maritimes. In his view the snowy hills and dales and the sun bleached barns decorated in icicles are depressing.  I can’t help but think, in comparison to what? Long straight streets, shiny new high rises?

My opinion is that the writer, a man with a recognizably Acadian last name, escaped his rural background to live the young person’s dream in a big city, only to be transplanted back into the land that he once so happily escaped. His promotion, or otherwise, has left him with a fairly good job in Saint John, but bitter and envious of people who are ‘really’ living in Ontario.

Although it may have been his intention to draw attention to the vibrant art of Anna Torma through the juxtaposition with the lonely bleak landscape, he let us see into his heart. He misses the big city and his big dreams.

The older residents of Baie Verte, who have lived here all their lives, were offended by his description. But all the others, the ones like me from ‘away’, are keeping mum.  We are content that our busy, ambitious friends from back home are not drawn to our quiet corner.  We don’t want to advertise our little piece of paradise.

But still I feel that I must defend the honor of my born and bred Maritimer neighbours so I will tell you that not all the artists and writers here are transplanted Upper Canadian ‘hippy’, or the more recent term, ‘hipster’ drop outs.

One of my favorite artists is my neighbor, Noreen Spence, the one who suggested that I write in defense of our beautiful marshland.  Noreen is a retired nurse in her eighties who walks every day and is busy bringing up her 18 year old granddaughter. She would not call herself an artist but her walls show the evidence of someone who examines, explores, and then feels the need to express.

In her reading room she has some humbly framed but beautifully captured water color paintings of the bay in its fall splendor of burnt orange and bright blue. And in the kitchen there is a fabulous rug hook hanging on the wall that is an impressionistic masterpiece of the bay.

With carefully chosen wool she has recreated the view I see from my window, but she did not follow a kit or a pattern; she just dug in and did the hard work of an honest artist, who tries to translate the beauty she sees into something from her own hand.

The bay outside my window draws me out every day. Sometimes I drop what I am doing, grab my camera and try to capture the beauty of our particular landscape.  When my youngest child is picked up by the school bus I wander up the road, and then down an old railway path that leads me into the woods. The walk takes almost an hour but I don’t notice the time passing as I examine the tiny footsteps in the snow that show the busy social life of wild animals.

I look forward to every season, even the winter one that we are in right now.  We can expect huge storms that bury us in deep drifts, frozen pipes, lots of nights around the woodstove, daily trips to the bird feeders, and the bay, in its arctic beauty offering up its daily feast for the eyes. The eagle swoops, the crows wait in the tree outside my window for peanuts and a small red fox whips across the white blue tundra of the frozen sea and out to the island to look for some dinner.

Far from desolate, the view outside of my window is alive and draws you into the natural world. When it has been a long cold winter I feed the birds and little animals every crumb of our compost. The fact that we are not living in a mass of humanity makes us more humane, and the fact that we have to depend on each other for help occasionally makes us live a less isolated life than in a city.

Artists do seem to be drawn to the area; it is a good place to think and create. But that Anna Torma, internationally acclaimed artist that she is, is also known for her parties.  In the summer she makes goulash in a pot on an open fire and we all drink wine and sit on blankets under the weeping trees just as she did in her homeland.

Found on Facebook – Murmuration

Published November 6, 2011 by megdedwards

A beautiful video made by Sophie Windsor Clive and a friend as they paddle into a murmuration of  starlings, masses of diving and flying birds take over the sky. The video, on Vimeo, makes your heart soar; at times the tiny specks seem to make up whorls of fingerprints or swirling storms.

Please watch it endless times!

http://vimeo.com/31158841

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