This is my new book cover*. In a few days, I’ll be ready to go live with it. Right now, I’m still in transition mode, in more ways than one.
“I am gradually approaching the period in my life when work comes first. When both the boys went away for Easter, I hardly did anything but work. Worked, slept, ate and went for short walks. But above all I worked. And yet I wonder whether the ‘blessing’ is not missing from such work. No longer diverted by other emotions, I work the way a cow grazes.”–Kathe Kollwitz (from a diary entry, 1910)
“For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.”–Kathe Kollwitz (from a diary entry, 1912; often misattributed to Doris Lessing)
If we pretend for a moment that I’ll live an average lifespan before I drop dead of a heart attack, then, by this pretense, I’m not in the last third of my life. Being that I’m not much of a gambler, I’m already there. Women naturally enter into this life phase of “work”, especially if they’re mothers who’ve had no careers in their younger years. In the above quotes, you will see the artist Kollwitz’s transformation from finding her new phase of work to be without blessing–ordinary, perhaps, or rote–to finding it to be satisfying and stimulating only two years later. For many women, this latter stage of life is when we capture our purpose, what waits inside the soul, what has been waiting throughout all those years while we’ve given birth to our physical offspring and have nurtured them to adulthood.
What’s left for us after that? Our souls will attempt to produce their own living, healthy children that aren’t confined to our biology. Because my children were born over a span of twelve years, I won’t truly enter into this new “work” phase for a while. However, my soul wants to go there; it’s only natural, as my two eldest are nearly adults. It’s part of the natural cycle of the feminine. What can I say? The cycles call to us, even to us moderns who are often cut off from them. Even if we’ve lived the spinster life and worked a great career throughout our fertile years, or have suffered from infertility, we still must resolve the issues we’ll face at these natural transitions.
*Obviously, this is the print edition minus the blurb. I posted it because I wanted you to check out the detail on the dragon wing that wraps to the back cover. You can find the artist’s profile here: JartStar. I really like the work he did for me; he’s also very agreeable and easy to work with. Not all artists are. My only complaint is that the project took longer than I wanted and/or expected.