Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Every woman (and man) is an island

When John Donne, the English poet, penned his Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions in 1624 he wrote for an audience in an era far removed from the one we live in today.

He’d never have imagined that the earth would be re-aligned -  new countries would spring up and old countries would be renamed. The idea of community has been around since time immemorial, ever since birds of a feather have flocked together. 

We have continents and countries that are interconnected and separated by race, religion and nationalist rhetoric. The human race is big on belonging and ownership – the source of nearly all conflict. There’s nothing new about the unification of humanity. Saints, clerics, scholars, rich and poor men understand inter-dependence but what if it’s all too much?

John Donne was an unashamed romantic. He believed in the brotherhood of man, building the world a home and furnishing it with love…growing apple trees and honey bees and snow white coloured doves…get the picture? He would have probably taught the world to sing too!

Blue Bayou
A harmonious world might exist in another galaxy but it’s definitely not Planet Earth! This clod, known as our world, is in dire straits. Hell we can’t even get along in cyberspace let alone in a parking space. Globalisation has made us acutely aware of the challenges we face in re-thinking some of our common values.

The information highway enables us with a username and log-in but disables us from human connections. We have facetime, email time, skype time, phone and text time. There’s very few avenues left for us to escape from our fellow man unless we’re prepared to brave the Antarctic or the Gobi. Communication today is shallow. 

Parents phone their children and ask what they’ve had for lunch. Children phone their parents whilst shopping for shoes trying to squeeze even more cash out of them. We complain and fret simply because there’s a ready ear that we can pour vitriol into. Perhaps women are among the worst offenders since we just love sharing and dissecting the myriad details of our lives. Men, especially the ones with a holier-than-thou attitude, will feel slightly superior until we do some eavesdropping, and find that bitchiness is not just a female perogative.

My idyll
Let phones, emails and males go unanswered and ignored . Our souls seek peace. Men and peace rarely go together.I've yet to meet one who's in touch with his feminine side fails but never out of touch with his contacts who also thinks he’s a babe magnet! 

His toys or weapons – oh yes they have a sharp side -  iphone, ipod, fuel injection and eyeing the softer sex can be causes for concern. He can stalk, provoke, beguile, dupe, disconnect and economise the truth with any or all of those aids. A man’s world is a hallowed domain that he doesn’t care to share and…. he’s welcome to it!

Traditionally women have been the care-givers so they seek out objects on which they can shower their love and affection. That’s why women love purchases and associations. Shoes, clothes, cosmetics, careers and relationships devour their time and wardrobe space.

The men in their life were sometimes acquired like works of art. They are displayed (or just splayed) on the sofa. Sometimes they move from the sofa to the fridge for a snack and a root beer. Nearly always they’re falling asleep sitting down…in front of cable TV. 

Crowded House!
Motherhood is not as attractive an option – too much like hard work….and who wants to work that hard….after a hard day’s work? How can you possibly take care of someone else’s needs if you’ve neglected your own?

Women have gone full circle and claimed Planet Venus for their own. On Venus they find many of their own kind who’ve tried to share their lives with one man or several and it just hasn’t worked out. They haven’t found their equal and looking for him is proving tiresome.

Modern woman (and man) have found sanctuary in their interests. For some, an evening spent on decoupage, stencilling, cross stitch, painting, jewellery making, flower arranging, glass blowing or moulding clay is wholly satisfying. The more energetic find inspiration from toning their bodies at Zumba, sultry, Latin dancing, kick boxing, cycling and circuit training. The intellectual woman (and man) spends time with books – a mind journey will never leave you wanting for physical company – “get out of my face, my nose is staying in this book or glued to my e-reader!” Single-minded woman is a rambunctious story weaver – she’s a blogger, a poet, playwright, novelist and raconteur. She doesn’t need inane company to feel alive.

I don't need rescuing!
She creates Hobby Island and devotes herself to it. Her island is not a lonely place but she is alone. In the vast ocean that is life she stumbles across many islands and she takes pleasure in them all.  Each is not without its dangers though….the danger of discovery.

There’s nothing worse than finding yourself on an island that’s inhabited. Guess who could be coming to dinner? Some ship wrecked dead beat who’ll bore the pants off you with a  repartee of swashbuckling tall stories After all, his imagination has been running wild amongst the flora and fauna on the island and you're the eye candy! The best thing you can do is jump into your boat and hoist up the sails. He’s about to pillage and plunder.

Out there somewhere you may find what you’re looking for but only if you don’t settle for second best. Swaying palms, cool breezes, shimmering seas, bucketfuls of sunshine and white, hot sands – if it’s too good to be true then you’re probably right -  even paradise can be tainted.

Free spirits
Try island hopping before you decide to settle. You are as alluring as the most bountiful island on earth. Don’t be hasty and part with all of your ripeness. There’ll be invaders who’ll want to claim a piece of you. Your time, your space is precious and your shores are to die for. The crested waves know it and impatiently rush to taste the sweetness.

A woman’s heart is an island; a refuge and comfort for herself. Sometimes she’ll share herself and sometimes she’ll erect fences. If she allows you to spend a night under a canopy of tropical stars, watching the sun dip into the horizon, kindly accept. When dawn comes she will busy herself and you may find yourself rebuffed.

Floating my boat
A man and woman are opposites by nature but there is a place for them to meet in harmony. It takes a lot of trying and failing before you get it right. No one should ever feel stranded as gadgets help us keep in touch or you can opt for the old-fashioned method of communication – a message in a bottle.

Enjoy your space and if you ever want to experience the tranquility of an island home then put up a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign. Enlightenment never seeks a companion and neither should you…unless his name is solitude and he knows when to zip it!

Woman (and man) is an island. Home is everywhere and nowhere. Don’t tie her down. Let her spirit dance in the sand and swim to the darkest depths. There’s poetry in her heart but she needs a bolt hole to bring forth her creativity so let her (and him) be.



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