Historian, author, editor, educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, others who believe in learning from and making history. Thousands of articles and posts and a free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.
—"The best works by living writers on the heart of New Orleans." Miz' Remy is the author of Annie.
The culture, mythology and history of a time influence the relationships between men and women. Those relationships are further complicated in our times by the mass media. How do we come to terms with who we are when we are told so many conflicting stories about who we should be?
Look at male and female relationships from the same perspectives.
We lack today a mythology.
Our numbers of real heroes and heroines are few.
Ask yourself why?
If you were to write today a story, a fable, a myth of a hero or heroine what attributes would they have? How would these differ from those attributes of previous centuries?
Would Odysseus today be a hero?
Would Penelope be undoing her weaving?
How has the Women's Movement changed lives, perspectives, attitudes? How has it re-defined roles for women and men, and are those roles clarified? How do women and men feel about them?
How do people react to extremists of any ideology?
In what ways do 'revolutions' change the ones who started them; the ones who opposed them; the ones who remained neutral?
What impact do the "revolutions" of your time have on you or your character in his time?
What questions raised by change remain unanswered and how does that impact on your life and your character’s?
There have been in this century alone, several myths about what a man is, what a woman is.
Start writing and see how many different myths surrounding men and women there have been in just this century.
Where does your life come in? Is your life conflicted because you came of age between role shifts and changes?
What do the terms sex, sexuality, sensuality, and sexual communion mean to you?
How are each of these portrayed on television, in the movies, and in advertising?
Have each part of you write a letter to the other part and see what you have to say to each other. Could be a real enlightening dialogue emerging that might want further explorations.
Every once in a great while, we mere, mortal men meet up with very special women... Call them gypsies, witches, mermaids, whatever. I prefer to call them sirens. Soulful, sensational sirens...
One can never be sure where they come from. They just seem to suddenly arrive on the scene. Smiling, sunnily, serenely... They are women who can blend easily into a crowd, or not — one can be looking right at them and never see them. Until... you see a light, and there they sit. Smiling, sunnily, serenely.
They've been there all along, they tell you, ever so swiftly. You've just never wanted to see them. Or, simply weren't ready, until the time was just right.
I guess they come from the water because it seems that is where they are most comfortable, at peace, and oh, so calm. Sometimes when they are talking with you, animatedly, excitingly, engagingly, they'll suddenly stop mid-sentence, go very quiet, eyes glazing over, sitting so perfectly still, pausing, pondering. Suddenly, they tell you, they have to leave, go away, get replenished and recharged. I guess they go back to their pier, moon over the water, etc. These soul, sensational sirens — smiling sunnily, serenely.
I dated one once. But, I never realized it until it was way too late. I now understand that she was in search of her Neptune, the man who could challenge her deep, soulful spirit; but not conquer it. My trouble was I wanted to hold tight to this slinky, sensual sprite. But, I suffocated her. She kept talking about trying to come up for air... I think I was slowly drowning her.
I wasn't until I met a pure, prairie woman that I realized I had shared in something special with the siren of my sleepless nights. This pure, prairie woman, you know the kind — rooted, grounded, bound to the earth, revealed to me that her mother was of the siren species. As her daughter, my pure prairie woman felt that she could never measure up to or attain the deep soulfulness of spirit that her mother possessed.
The pure, prairie daughter was terrified of the water. Could not and would not learn to swim. Disliked seafood — she would break out into a dreadful rash at the mere sight of it... Now, her siren mother, sensing her daughter's deep distress, gently guided her pure, prairie soul to a place in the middle of a field, not too far from their house. There in the field, she gave her daughter three bags — one filled with herbs, one with vegetable seeds, and the last one with flower bulbs.
She showed her daughter how too plant seeds and nurture them through their growth; and more importantly, she showed her how to use the miracle of water to nourish and help the plants to flourish.
I now understand why my pure, prairie woman lovingly tends to her gardens like she tends to our children. Her wise, water mother taught her earth daughter that she could find the deep richness of her soul running through a meadow of high grass just as the siren does swimming in the sea.
My earth wife also gets that glazed look in her eyes when she has been confined too long in the city or in a building. I know she is yearning and thinking about the cool, sweet grass tickling her bare feet.
Oh, women. Sensational sirens or pure prairie. I do know we mortal men couldn't live without them, try as we might.
I glance over at my own daughter wading slowly in the water. She looks over her shoulder at me. Smiling, sunnily, serenely. Uh oh, I think — starting to get up. She laughs as she throws herself headlong into the water — swimming so gracefully. Her pure, prairie mother looks up, smiling to herself , as she digs deeply into the earth, planting and then — watering her flowers...
I do not apologize for my manhood:
for my power, strength, sexuality, creativity.
I am these and so much more.
I am the sacred river from which
the seed of life flows
to walk the sacred path.
I do not apologize for my womanhood:
for my power, gentleness, sexuality, creativity.
I am these and so much more.
I am the sacred well from which life springs;
kicking, reaching, demanding
to walk the sacred path.
This item is part of WelcomeHomeSoldier.com: historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.
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