satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)
My life has been far too busy of late. My own doing, of course. No one is forcing me to attend the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival, to go out to lunch, to hostess a group of women here for a storytelling afternoon.
I enjoyed all these things, even if that last did require a certain frantic 'shove the rubble into cupboards and rooms not on display' yesterday morning.
I am having a quiet day today. Walked the dog, did a few yoga stretches, surrendered the yoga mat to Penny the Cranky black cat, and I've been on the brown couch reading UNDER STORY by Inga Simpson, with breaks for toast, chocolate, and now, green tea.
You know, I waited most of my life to find my Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I read the book when I was twenty-something, and craved a group of friends who would be there, no matter what. Long-standing friends with whom I could share everything. I've never had that. No blood sisters, no relatives I am close to, and groups of people have come and gone in my life.
Fandom wasn't a place to find my sisterhood. I was too weird for even them. Parenting groups, nope. The Frankston Orchid Society - they were too weird for me.
Over and over, I'd think 'this is the one', only to have the group fall apart.
But now, in my 50's, when I think some of my more prickly edges have softened, my heart has opened in new ways, and I have inevitably grown more into my true self, I find myself in two groups that accept me wholeheartedly.
First there's the memoir group I belong to, with OopsIHadABaby, Gardener, and HippieRussian. We've been together over three years now, and are closer than sisters. We've thrown each other much-belated 21st birthday parties, celebrated publications, commiserated over rejection slips. We've bolstered each other through difficult writing patches, bitched about various jobs, and held each other as we reveal the most hidden parts of ourselves. These are the ladies to whom I consign my journals, and who must break into my house after I'm dead, and steal them. Whenever one of us is nervous about reading out a piece of writing, for fear of judgement, we hold her in silence, compassion, and love. We make space for her to forgive that younger, unknowing self.
We have agreed that we simply have to continue writing memoirs for the rest of our lives, so that we can continue meeting every two weeks. Even if those memoirs devolve into 'my three years at a shit job', or 'the dog walking weirdos I meet'. As we dig deeper, we realise that there's another story, and another, and another. I have never felt more accepted in my life.
The other group came into my life most unexpectedly last year. I was at the Fig Tree Café, having morning tea with my two young grandsons, and somehow I got talking to one of the ladies at the next table. BritchyWitch revealed that her group were parents from Vermont South Special School, where TwentiesBoy used to go. I was invited to join their group as an Elder Stateswoman, someone who's gone through the VSSS and Heatherwood High thing, and whose young adult is now in a recreation programme through Interchange Outer East.
I thought this group would be a fly-by-night thing, but I find myself turning up every few weeks, and sharing my life with theirs. I have found true friends there, who care, and share, and don't place conditions on how any of us parent.
The themes of both these groups: no judgement.
And perhaps I had to wait until my own heart felt safe enough to open, and cease being so judging. Only then could others find their way in.
Do I have sisters? No, not of the 'same parents, same blood' variety. Nieces, great-nieces, cousins, yes.
Do I have women who are sisters? Yes. OopsIHadABaby, SnakyPoet, Gardener, HippieRussian, BritchyWitch, Blondie, PaulFan, and a few others. The sisters of my heart.


satyapriya: Macchu Picchu 2009 (Default)

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