Hello Dearest Goddess, it’s Z.
I thought I’d drop in on this Thanksgiving and personally give you a huge thank you for this year. Of course I loved other years as well, but this year has brought so many changes in consciousness and health, and learning curves… that I have to take the time and tell you how grateful I am to the Fates.
Not all was fun, nevertheless I think you have outdone yourself if that is possible.
The year started with a big loss, Merlin Stone passed away in January. This was a shock because most of us didn’t even know where she lived, she has dropped off our radar many years ago. In a way it was good to find out that she was with us all this time, but also that she was very ill and in pain. Her passing however painful was a blessing. I don’t wish long life on anybody who is in horrific pain as she was.
Bobbie, my wife, and I have decided that we take the Goddess flag from this strong and important spirit, and carry on her memory and Goddess message.
Right after this loss, my little black Puli girl one day just refused to eat. For a Puli dog, this means the end. She was 12 years old, a respectable age for dogs her size. I put her down when it seemed like that’s what she wanted. They tell you in so many ways. My heart is broken ever since, I am huge animal/dog lover, and the walks we have taken together in the cemetery park became very lonely without her. I felt her spirit for a while when we started up the car to the park, I felt her behind me. I even talked to her, sometimes I could have sworn she rubbed against my feet .But now her presence had faded, and I think she has moved on. That hurts double .
We made plans to collect as many interviews from other Goddess feminists about Merlin Stone as we humanly could. We started in the spring, with Susan Weed, on her farm where I am teaching now almost annually.
On the other side of the Catskill Mountains we found my other long time friend Carol Clement, artist, now full time organic farmer. She was looking good, living her beliefs, earth-centered work, growing food and animals, selling humanly treated food, running her restaurant. She also has a nice husband, but he wasn’t around that trip. Farming requires a lot of errands. I miss Carol, or as we called her in L.A. “CC”.
We recalled some of our adventures, how we hooked up back in 1974. She just arrived in the city, she told me, and she was looking to something to do. There was a witch trial going on in L.A. She thought she could get a job as a court artist. She attended my trial, where I lost big time, but won nine years after many appeals. Later we met and had a book project together, SELENE the World most Famous Bull Leaper, which is now back in print via Amazon. There was nothing out back then for young girls to relate to, to be strong, and victorious.
As we pulled away in the car, I saw her face a little sad, she gave up her art for becoming a farmer. Love that CC. She is true blue! (thump on the heart with my hand.) She walks the walk. Her place is called Heatheridge Farm, she is getting very good write ups and you need a reservation to be there and eat.
I was grateful to feel her presence at this later time in our lives. I often go to her website just to see how the livestock is doing. There she is delivering little lambs, talking to her guard llamas who drive away intruders. Next time I make more time to hang with her.
My other long time friend Joan Nixon scooped up us and drove us around in NYC for the rest of the interviews. Then there was the relentless summer heat of the city. And each day had become hotter than the one before. We gasped for air, yearned for air conditioned spaces.
A highlight in our journey, we met and interviewed the legendary Gloria Steinem. I adore this woman, and I felt like a schoolgirl in her cool apartment. She lives in the upper east side, as she should, in a two story attended by soft spoken sari clad ladies from India .Gloria was not a religionist. I think she still isn’t, but after forty years she did see the importance of the Goddess Movement in feminism. Our paths have crossed several times in the past. She came though L.A. when she launched Ms Magazine. The fledgling Women’s Center called her up and complained that while she gets a hefty honorarium from the University to give a talk about feminism, the local women’s center, the practice of feminism is struggling to make the rent each month. Our sister Gloria generously said to send somebody to talk about the center. We can have the podium after she has finished, and she will donate to the Women’s Center $5oo dollars. That was a sum enough for two months rent!
I was dispatched to give my first public speech at the University (I have forgotten which one), and then fork over the money to the Center as promised.
Gloria and Ms. Sloan finished their magnificent speech, big applause followed and the audience started to leave. I wasn’t introduced. I took a deep breath and took the stage. All I remember is the back of the people as they started filing out.
I have introduced myself, and must have said something funny because there was a smidgen of laughing, then the audience turned around back, and slowly took their seats again.
I don’t know what I said, probably discussed the immediate issues at the center, personal stuff, like Inez a homeless woman who made phone calls to the Vatican, demanded to speak to the Pope, and we need the money to pay our phone bill. True story. In short, I found my voice as a speaker and found my inborn humor; and talent to be intimate with an audience without fear. It was an awesome gift this opportunity and it has launched me as a feminist speaker. I still have the zeroxed copy of the check Gloria handed me after it. I meant to show it to her to celebrate her awesome blessing on my life, but I didn’t bring it along. I’ll show it to her some other day.
Anyway dearest Goddess, I thank you for letting me finally be part of the greater Feminist Movement, not just a fringe element without the blessing of the legendary Gloria. Now we are official.
And I thank Merlin Stone. Because it was her who unearthed from the libraries of the world the remnants of our Goddess past. We all met “over her” as it were. She gave us back our past, she gave us a global heritage, not owned by any one group, but all women from around the world.
The journey was fast and we have collected more than 30 interviews from different women, some who knew Merlin, some who just felt her influence.
And in the middle of it all we put up our house for sale.
This blog is to be continued. Enough said for now, gratitude for the rest as well.