What We Bring to the Table
By Barbara Belknap
This morning, I was in a virtual circle with several women discussing Chapter 4 of “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarrissa Pinkola Estes. We meet via ZOOM and can see each other in a kind of virtual checkerboard. The discussion was as rich and deep as it was when we began. Whether I’m with women in circle or at the local coffee shop, I leave full of energy.
Several years ago, after I retired from a very challenging job, I made a conscious decision to be with people who give me energy and to avoid at all costs the people who suck the life out of me. I am 69 years old. I don’t want to try to understand racists, misogynists, and bullies. I want to be with people who lift me up, who make me laugh, who post interesting, fun, and benevolent things on Facebook. Twitter was made for extroverts with opinions like me, but I choose who I follow and who I drop. Is it healthy? I think it is because it’s easier to stop following someone than it is to avoid an unpleasant person in the flesh.
One of the multiple notes I took from this morning’s conversation was, “We are forced to fight for what we hold dear – the desire to “feel groovy”, to hold on to the deeper knowledge, and to fight to finish what we have begun.” The book is not an easy read. It’s hard. Sharing the reading and our interpretations of what she is saying is precious to me. Each woman in the circle comes with her own current reality.
Another lesson I took today about getting distracted along the way is in my scribbled notes: “Remembering is the real task, and reminding ourselves over and over in practically mantra fashion, will bring us back to consciousness.” I scribbled “iPhone” in my notes. How many times do I get sidetracked by my iPhone? Millions. After our call, I put my iPhone in another room and began to plough through the New York Times. Don’t laugh. It’s a step in the right direction.