If we are wise, why don’t we celebrate?

By Jacqueline Hope
Sibylesque Jacqueline Hope Quote

Wise Woman Ceremony for Nicky

These are the words I read as celebrant at the ceremony.

The Reading:

“To each and every one of us here we hold special memories, of this remarkable person who has stepped ever so gently into our hearts and lives and left an indelible footprint, and we honour her for that.

She has many titles daughter, sister, auntie, cousin, friend colleague, neighbour. However she is also a wife, extraordinaire and awesome mother to the joy of her life her beloved sons ….

In these aspects of her persona she has often shone brightly and ever so occasionally there has been some lack lustre. But nothing a fag and a cup of coffee couldn’t sort out! Eh boys?”

Sibylesque  Wise Women Ceremony” It is in her persona of Midwife, she has dedicated the majority of her energy, expertise, joy, love, and wisdom. She has been practicing her ‘wise woman’ skills for more years than she cares to remember.

These hands have been privileged to welcome many, many souls into this world, with tears of joy, and relief!!”

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The Ritual:

The circle of woman join hands and circle to the left and the right of Nicky as the drum is beaten they chanting or singing

“I am the maiden, the Mother, The Crone. (Which ever applies) and we honor and love you Nicky.

One by one the woman jump into the circle and spin around with Nicky until all are within the circle.

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Picture 2

Jacqueline Hope is a very young gorgeous 64-year-old divorcee and forcibly retired midwife, who has worked in England, Dubai, Australia, and Peru. She is a marriage celebrant from WA and has a practice in intuitive counseling whose motto is H.O.P.E  – Hold on pain ends. She is the mother of two grown adult-children a son, who, it seems, are rarely are dazzled by their mother’s, brilliance.   (No prophet is recognized in their own land sigh!) She is saving the ‘pennies’ in the hope of swanning off for another adventure.

Dancing photo source: Unsourced.

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Why it is good to be old!

By Kerry Cue

Sibylesque old age quote 2

In, At Seventy, her journal chronicling the year that began on her 70th birthday, American Poet May Sarton noted that aging offers an opportunity to become more fully ourselves and , more not less, individual. (How to Age, Anne Karpf, The School of Life, p9) Sarton wrote the quote (above) when she was 85 years old.

Yet this celebration of the Self that embodies a quiet acceptance – rather than Me-glorious-Me narcissim – is something rarely articulated in our culture. We are presented with images of age as a ‘hideous ruin’, what sociologist Mike Featherstone calls ‘a pornography of old age’. See The Portrait of the Mother by the Artist

Sibylesque Senior Moment

So it is a delight to open a newspaper and discover an article titled: On turning 70 by Liz Byrski (SMH 3 AUG 2014), which celebrated aging. Byrski begins with “Seventy feels like a reward for patience and perseverance, and I am determined to make the most of what follows.” While other milestone birthdays in Byrski’s life – 21, 40, 50 – did not deliver a feeling of change, waking up on her 70th birthday was a liberating experience.

‘I’d arrived; something had shifted’ she wrote. A pair of high heels was symbolic of this shift. A symbol of ‘discomfort and restrictions of conformity’, she chucked them out. She became more herself. Byrski does not shy away from the physical challenges of old age. But insists ‘we are living proof for young people that ageing can be a time of pleasure, satisfaction, opportunity and yes, even new horizons.’

We, THE SIBYLS, declare Liz Byrski an Honorary Sibyl for her open spirit, contagious vitality and willingness to explore that philosophical question ‘what does it mean to grow old?’

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liz bryskicompanyofstrangersLiz Byrski is a WA-based broadcaster and an author of both fiction and non-fiction books. She started writing novels in her late fifties based on interesting and active older female characters as, so often, the stereotype of older women in novels were limited to the nosey neighbour, interfering mother-in-law, frail and dependent burden, or lonely miserable spinster.lastchance

Her books include In the Company of Strangers and Last Chance Café.

Photo Source: !950s Social Archives

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