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How would your life have been different?

(Photo by Mikaela Larm)

Guestblog by Jennifer Wynne

How might your life have been different, if,
deep within, you carried an image of the Great Mother?
And, when things seemed very, very bad, you could
imagine that you were sitting in the lap of the Goddess,
held tightly…
embraced at last
And, that you could hear Her saying to you,
“I love you…
I love you and I need you to bring forth your self.”
And, if, in that image you could see the Great
Mother looking to Her daughters, looking to each
woman to revel, in her own life, the beauty, strength,
and wisdom of the Mother…

(poem by Judith Duerk, from “Circle of Stones”)

This book and many of its passages touch me deeply.  Imagine a world where women sit in power with one another, nurturing each other to blossom fully into ourselves… no comparison, no fighting for the scraps of power thrown to us by the patriarchy… Imagine, we all could go to a place of sisterhood, of deep listening, and empowerment whenever we needed, that this circle lifted us up and spoke to us in all moments of our lives, deep wisdom in which our true selves were honored as absolutely and totally precious.  How we could relax then, into ourselves, laughing at ourselves and experiences, crying our heartbreak, embodying our fierceness, sensually responding to life in safety and joy.  How would our lives have been different?

I mourn the absence of this in my life, especially as a young woman when I so needed to look to mentors, to mothers, to affirm and guide me.  How would my life have been different?  I would trust myself more, know my gifts and share them readily, be deepened by the wisdom and experience of those women before me, who invented the wheel so I could fly from its spokes and journey into uncharted territory, where I could lead those who would travel beyond me.  There would be a deep sense of self love, of warmth, of solidness and airiness, where I could relax and let my body loose with pleasure.

When I gaze upon the Great Goddess of Laussel I feel that loosness in her body, an ease of assumed safety, power and love.  She holds the horn, ready to insert it into her lips and blow through womb of creation.  Hear me, I am woman, and I am super ripe and sexy!!  I bless you to worship me!!  Yippee!!

I will grieve the tragedy of the loss of this support for myself, for my mother and grandmothers, probably everyday of my life.  Somehow it is so hard for me to let go of what we missed, although I continue to build this support for myself.  And as I “bear the unbearable” loss, my heart cracks, shatters, shards still hanging on, continuing to break, and the tenderness and compassion bloom out immense, unending, flowing out from this broken and cherished place.

As a dance I feel the yearning to reach out to another woman, and see my friend Joanna sitting at the edge of the room.  I go and lay my head in her lap and she strokes me, my hair and face.  We watch the other dancers.  When I am ready, I sit up and we dance while sitting together, our arms moving against one another, hands circling, moving and touching, stoking, honoring, caressing.  It feels so good, and so dangerous, the sensuality we are taught to only share with a lover.  But why?  My sister touches me and I touch her, in love and safety, touching me only the way another sister can, so nurturing, so gentle, so sensitive, I am healed, once more, and I can embody the sisterhood, the divine mother, and the love of a circle of women I no longer have to mourn.

I am Jennifer Wynne and I was born in San Francisco in 1971 and raised in the Bay Area by white liberal people who wore a lot of corduroy.  I earned my BA in Women’s Studies and Psychology and have worked in the fields of education and social services for 15 years.  I have been interested in gender since I was 5 years old when I would boldly tell anyone who would listen about “chauvinism” and “women’s liberation.”    As an adult I realized my passion for children’s welfare and have worked in the social services and educational fields primarily supporting abused and neglected children.  Currently I am finishing my Masters in Integral Psychology at CIIS.  I live in a cabin in the forest above Grass Valley with my partner, our 5 month old son, my beloved dog and three cats.  I actively participate in 5rhythms Dance and Women’s Temple with a wonderful community of friends.