Though she is a woman

By Kate. September 19th, 2010

Though it is a woman speaking
Soraya’s voice is “patriarchal.*” The Elders
with their wisdom choose for us.

Like all elders, they conserve the past.

Patterns must not change, or if they must
the rate of change held back.

The settled course of mortal death must keep its sway for now,
and for tomorrow,
and only after the day after the day after tomorrow
may it begin to loose.

Elders always hold back change, and
perhaps they are wise to do so.

Or perhaps they are simply old and conservative.
Perhaps, like all elites, they are self-serving.

I do not know.
As a “progressive” I hold opposite ideas at once:

No patriarchy should command my life
Yet we should respect the wisdom of the aged.

It may be moot: Oxadrenals project may fail
But against all odds, I see it succeed
And tragedy — the unavoidable choice between two rights — arise.** — Kate

*Properly, “matriarchal,” I know, but if there was a time that a matriarchy ruled the world, it was before written history. That they would have been as oppressive as any patriarchy should go without saying! But I have no historical memory of matriarchal oppression, only patriarchal, and therefore I use the word above, even though as “Observer” points out, it’s not quite right.


  1. Observer says:

    Our societies around the world are vastly patriarchal, it’s true. However, when speaking of a woman, I believe the term you’re looking for is matriarchal.

    I understand the sentiment of not wanting anyone to command your life, but to live in any society, patriarchal or matriarchal, there will always be social standards that the society is run by…So, it could be said that even though the wish to not be commanded is there, we allow ourselves to be commanded regardless…

    (~Just thought I could add a little creative perspective. :) )

    As for ageist philosophies, there should be mutual respect all around. The young should respect their elders for their experience and wisdom, and the elders should respect their youngers* for their modern ways of thinking (as those ways change with each generation) and their willingness to put forth the effort to make changes. Whether young or old, advice can be sought and given respectively.

    *(Yes, I say ‘youngers’ instead of ‘youth,’ because not everyone younger than you is necessarily in their youthful prime.)

  2. Merlin says:

    Kate – I understand your sentiments, and, as usual you have eloquently presented them. Your conclusion seems slightly off the mark, though.

    You define the choice between two rights as a tragedy. This isn’t necessarily so. Once upon a time, natural disasters worked to help keep our population growth in check, so that overall population growth was very slow. Our mostly agrarian lifestyle contributed as well. However, with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, we’ve seen (with the help of technologies like the automobile and ships the size of cities) change in our ability to distribute goods and care for the health of others. Expectant mothers and young infants used to be one of the leading global causes of death, and now it is comparatively rare that a woman dies in childbirth, even being able to live to have 2-5 more children, the birth of any one of which would have likely killed her just 100 years ago.

    As a result, our global population is around 6.7 billion people and still going up faster than even tragic natural disasters can reign in. In my youth I remember learning in school that our global population was around 4 billion, and some scientists say even that number is too great for long-term viability. We don’t need to save everyone; indeed, we can’t. Trying to provide for them is tearing the planet up. I think we need that planetary reset that you would term a tragedy, as well as a return to the mostly agrarian societies of the past, for the health of the planet.

    But – as a caveat, I must make a confession. My viewpoint may be more close to the immortal than mortal. I’m a weird, unscientific, hybrid. I am an immortal being, with memories that go back nearly to the time of Christ, but in that span of time I have used MANY very mortal bodies. The body I have now is mortal. I have no “proofs” of my immortal memories, aside from my knowledge in this lifetime of the doingness of things that nobody has taught me to do. I’ve never been famous, or a world leader. But, I’m a fair cook, can drive any vehicle you can legally put on a street, get along great with most any animal, can design clothes and cut/sew them, organize a library from scratch, calculate a tax return for individuals or small businesses, and (with the help of dictionaries) slowly read materials in a couple of languages that are now dead. Well, and the time I told a school teacher that there was an error in a children’s biography about someone I knew in the time just after the US Civil War – and was proven correct when an adult reading level biography of the same person was consulted. This body was 8 at that time.

  3. Kate says:

    Observer: See my comment added to the post!

    Merlin: Re the first part of your post, I was invoking something Hegel said that got to me when I learned it in college: “Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.”

    About the second part of your post: It sounds, then, like what you have is perfect past life recall. I wonder, does each life span pick up pretty soon after the other one ends? The Tibetans say reincarnation happens within about four years, and usually not too far from where one died in the previous life.

  4. Merlin says:

    Kate – I’m not sure I’d call it perfect, but I do have fairly clear past life recall, to use that terminology. I have a suspicion that my activity on this planet goes back a lot farther than that, but something at that point (perhaps one of your Hegel tragedies?) is preventing my recall from going farther back. I’d say that the Tibetans are close, but that it’s not so much a “within” as it is an “average” because there is one gap of about 10 years I wasn’t here doing anything during. That was 1957-67, and in 67 I took over this body after it’s prior “operator” vacated it, believing it to be unviable.

    Believe me, I know this sounds very sci-fi or fantasy, but I came into this body already speaking English fluently. My mom & teachers have told me I was reading at a junior high level in first grade, but I didn’t learn my family’s names until halfway through my Kindergarten year of school. My first memory of this lifetime actually involves me being outside this body and watching the prior user make the decision to leave because he thought the body was going to die. The injury involved an extreme trauma to the left arm & shoulder that only a few years earlier might have resulted in death, or amputation of the entire arm at best. After he (the prior user) left, I heard the doctor say they saved “his” life and the arm, so I decided to give the family their son back. Hooking up to the body was easy, but integrating to the family didn’t work so well – I wasn’t the son they wanted or knew, and I’ve always known why – and that I couldn’t tell my fundamentalist Christian “parents” why.

    As for how far from where the previous body died – that happened in Wichita, Kansas, and I got this body in Emporia, Kansas. A distance of about 90 miles, I think.

  5. c says:

    that’s interesting.. you’re a walk in… this is an exciting time to be reincarnating to…

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