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?