I am aware, for some of my peers, being referred to as a crone is to be avoided at all costs. The avoidance inherent to using crone as a descriptor is better understood after reading most dictionary citations such as an ugly, withered old woman; a hag; beldame and witch. Basically, dead flesh personified. I hold to the contrary position and think of crone as a proud and positive female label for a developmental life stage.
I have feelings of sadness and excitement in peeling back my youth, while elements of my crone take shape. My crone has a warped sense of curiosity that keeps me interested enough to want to continue an internal and now external reflective dialogue, as it is terribly uncomfortable when wrestling with if-I-only-knew-then-what-I-know-now state of mind. I imagine that this kind of reflective memory-mining is my prescriptioned exercise for warrior-like humility. My youth had been taken up with fresh breath, hairdo’s and don’ts, and finding the undeniable big ME. Whereas my crone desires presentability to be used somewhat as a Trojan horse that will eventually lead to the intermingling of warrior-like spirits.
My crone, embodied and emboldened in sagging flesh, is like a scientist studying and celebrating the natural decay of a life cycle. Though a crone friend corrected this outlook and described it as a “gentle flow downward” and preferred “evolution” rather than decay of the life cycle. She went on to support her corrections by describing her enthusiasm of flesh replaced by spirit. It was at this point in our 21st century crone dialogue that I spoke of my belief that leaving the decaying flesh paradigm too soon would surely result in a lackluster spirituality.
My crone is enlivened by all that is unknown in the present while using patterns of the past for calibration. My crone’s version of dancing with the stars has been imbued with quite a Spring line-up: white male system and persons of color, religious dogma and scientific evidence, prosperity and poverty (we’ll always have those one named stars), and political rhetoric and meditative mindfulness, just to name a few of this Spring’s dancing dialectical couples. My youth would have been immersed in the details of dress and address. My crone sifts through all this cultural hoopla-of-the-day to keep abreast of fixed points in civility. My crone considers civility as mature tenderness leftover from youthful love.
It was and is my youthful parts that provide the all-important clues toward the development of my own internal humanity. My crone reminds me that applying rigorous honesty in exploring my own nebulous self-structure is the ultimate task toward helping to create a viable kingdom within and beyond what may be known as ‘my life.’
So as I continue to peel back my youth as elements of my crone take shape I see this not as a replacement process, crone for youth, but a collaborative effort using the best of both in conceptualizing internalized and externalized humanity.