Saturday, October 9, 2010

Solo Woman

A lifetime is a unique tapestry of many threads - complex, colorful, and often frayed around the edges. Or it is a dance - a pull-and-push of solitude and engagement, of being alone and being with others, of personal self-interest and generous love. From the time we are born, when the umbilical cord is cut, we are expelled into the world alone. We may be surrounded by others, but we have lost the comfort of - and the intimate connection to - our mother in the womb. And when we die, we are also fundamentally alone, although we may then, too, be surrounded by others.
Women, particularly, are often alone. We are alone in our homes when children are at school.  We are alone if husbands desert us or divorce us or die before us. We may have children, and grandchildren for company and comfort, but they also leave us to lead lives of their own.
Solo women are sustained by a special type of inner strength, a unique female courage. Female courage is different from the outer strength and courage more typical of men.  Woman’s courage arises from a source within her being that knows she must survive no matter what is happening around her. She must survive and thrive for the sake of her children and for the sake of those in her community who depend upon her.  

A particularly important source of sustenance for women is the friendship and support of other women. 
In my own life, travel and exploration have also sustained my soul because they draw me out of myself into the larger world. Spurred by an urge to travel, I have lived for five years in four different countries outside the U.S. - three years in Europe and two years in Asia. Some of these experiences will be recounted in this blog.
Women often find it difficult to strike out on their own because they/we fear the consequences of being without protection, particularly the protection of a male, one who may be stronger and more savvy in the ways of the world. But if a woman gives over her safety and well-being to a man, she is playing dice with her life. The field of my friendships and acquaintances is littered with women who have been duped, betrayed, abused, abandoned, and otherwise misused by men in their lives. I know some women who have had good and lasting relationships with men, but in those cases, they – the women – have insisted upon, received and maintained equal partnership with their men.

And life is a journey - full of side-trips, pitfalls, amazing views, accidents, and moments of insights. On this site, I'll share some of mine with you.

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