My next entry in the 100 Untimed Books challenge I’m filing under prompt #38: Best Years.
Wise Women: A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage, and Beauty by Joyce Tenneson.
Joyce Tenneson is a photographer, and this book is the result of a project where she travelled across America photographing women from all walks of life between the ages of 65 to over 100. Each spread in the book contains a portrait and a brief statement from the woman photographed – a little insight into their life, or some wise counsel, or something else altogether. It’s a rich compilation of cronedom that I found delightful.
Crone was once a positive expression for female elders, and then it fell into a long patriarchial history connoting insult. I’m so glad it’s being reclaimed as a word of respect and celebration. I often think of the term crown when I think of crone – and often croning ceremonies include the presentation of a crown. For me it represents the honoring the crown chakra and the wisdom that can emanate outward from elders.
One of my favorite portaits is of Zelda Kaplan, at age 85, wearing a fabulous tall hat. This is what she says:
“…I travel to remote villages around the world where women weave their own cloth. I design all my own clothes and try to keep the integrity of the cloth. I like hats. This one makes me feel like I’m a mythic priest who brings joy and love to the people around me.”
Indeed! Isn’t that fabulous?
Using my floriography rating system, I’m awarding this book and the women photographed floral crowns of Angelica (inspiration), Aethiopica calla lily (magnificient beauty), and Corn cockle (duration).
As I scrolled through my proposed 2017 reading list, I’ve found several books I want to read on wisdom, and on aging. I’m curious to see where this journey will take me. But wherever I wander, I certainly hope we all find ourselves in positions of more wisdom this year. There’s no denying we’ll all have aged no matter what.
What about you? What are you reading? What wise woman has touched your heart or taught you something you treasure? What’s your dance with aging like? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.