In our culture, aging, dying and death are often talked about in whispered and hushed tones and often viewed as an enemy to be defeated and overcome.
But what if we had a different paradigm……one that accepted and even embraced the end of life as a passage as sacred and blessed as the birth of child?
The key to this revisioning of life and death may very well begin with an exploration of how the framework of our patriarchal system shapes our thinking, way of life, and our political and social justice systems. And it may very well inform us how male dominance, hierarchal ordering, violence and the ever present assent to power, shape every aspect of our individual and collective lives- even our deaths.
My guest this past week on Wise Woman Storytime, Leslene della Madre offers us a very different look at death and ultimately a new look at life. An initiate in the metis Paiute medicine tradition of Grandmother Mahad’yuni, and an initiated daughter in the Nepalese lineage of Ajima, protector of women and children, Leslene draws on ancient wisdom, the sacred feminine and her 45 years on the shamanic path of awakening.
Leslene’s message is an important one.
When we embrace a sacred feminine paradigm of aging, dying and death, whose foundation rests on peace, acceptance, solace, generosity, connection and love – we not only die peacefully, we live fuller and happier lives.
This is Leslene’s story and there are lessons here for all of us.
You can find out more about Leslene and order her book Midwifing Death: Returning to the Arms of the Ancient Motherat her website midwifingdeath.com. Check out her Facebook page as well.
For those of us who are older, it is quite the vantage point to be able to look back over our lives and see the influences that made and continue to make us who we are today.For most, the family of origin is probably somewhere in the mix- perhaps embracing the values of our parents and community or maybe quite the opposite – a negation of familial attitudes and beliefs.
Then there are the people we cross paths with. Sometimes there are momentary chance meetings with people who pass through our lives and leave an indelible imprint.And then there are the people we develop long term relationships with, who mold and change our ways of thinking, seeing, and living.
And of course, there’s each one of us…and how despite our upbringing, education, socioeconomic status,racial, and gender privilege – or lack of– that core of self that is open or closed to new ideas, reflective or shut down, trusting or distrusting of life and ourselves, willing or unwilling to take chances and make mistakes – that core inside of us that ultimately makes the choices anddecisions that shape who we are and how we live in the world…
This past week on Wise Woman Storytime, Sherrie Lovlershared her story of the early and ongoing influences in her life. Sherrie grew up in the Bronx and then as a young adult found herself moving to a rural part of NY where she lived on the land and homesteaded for many years and published a magazine called The Homesteaders News. From rural NY, Sherrie moved to Colorado and eventually made her way to the burgeoning Silicon Valley in California and bore witness to the birth of the tech boom.
Today, Sherrie Lovler is many things. She is a calligrapher, poet and painter. She is the author of two books, the latest On Softer Ground: Paintings, Poems and Calligraphy. She is a spiritual being connected to the Divine and lives her life with the same principles that she creates art with…openness, trust, playfulness, discipline, curiosity and the willingness to take risks.
Sherrie always had adeep seeded connection to the magic of the pen, words, and art. Combined with her connection to the “Other” this is a story about one woman’s journey to living a life devoted to art, all the while learning how to artfully live.
The classic Greek poet Simonides of Ceos wrote, “Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks.” In Sherrie Lovler’s case, you might say, art is living and living is art.
For more information about Sherrie’s calligraphy prints, art, and poetry and to purchase her book, here are her websites.Enjoy!
artandpoetry.com Her main art and poetry filled site with links to other sites and events.
natureartandpoetry.com Her blog with her most recent art and poems. 92 pairs are posted here with more coming soon.