dichotomy

A friend and I were talking about the word “crone” the other day. When did there get to be such a dichotomy? she asked, spreading her arms wide. On one side is the kindly white-haired wise woman. On the other side is the witch hag. Thinking about myself, the truth is, I can be either. There is a stone hardness in me that was never there when I was younger. It isn’t bitterness that I am no longer what I was. It’s more of a sizing up of those around me, an unwillingness to put up with too much nonsense. Stop it, I say inside. No manipulation. Just truth. We can deal from truth, no matter how difficult. I had a friend once who made a group of woman laugh when she assured us that her husband would never leave her for a younger woman. He couldn’t go through menopause again, she explained. We roared in a bawdy, loud, oh-don’t-we know-it-way. There is a poem I love by Hyacinthe Hill. She tries to soothe her lover, who is noticing her aging. I‘ve sacrificed the fat, and froth, and fur of youth to walk through fire, swim inward rivers, pray at the wailing wall, Hill says. You mourn like a child over a broken doll. Only the core of this crone was ever real. Well….yeah.

Does the word crone scare you? Why?

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4 responses to “dichotomy

  1. I love your observation here. …The stone hardness…unwillingness to put up…
    Right on, Sista

    Thank you!

    Love,
    D

  2. judith schara caldwell

    I have never liked the word crone – it has always meant “witch” to me. I don’t know where that came from – fairy tales, perhaps? I wish we women, in all our collective wisdom, could think up a new word that doesn’t carry negative baggage. I’m going to send out a help wanted search to all my women friends and see if we can do better.
    Judith

  3. Crone isn’t necessarily a bad word…it does deal with aging but,…only with those that are aging and have forgotten or never learned how to leap over any regrets…then, the crone arises!

  4. I’m not afraid of the prospect of becoming a crone; I’m already something of a Granny Weatherwax personality. It will be nice to have the authority of age and experience to go with it. 🙂

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