Tuesday, July 10, 2012


A friend who is traveling the great midlife highway with me said, "We're both unraveling."

Coming undone? I didn't know whether to say Uh-uh, or Uh-oh, or Uh-huh. She is a weaver, so maybe she knew what she's talking about. I thought about it for a few days and decided I didn't like the idea of coming apart. I prefer re-raveling to unraveling. The Urban Dictionary's definition of reravel is "the process of undoing something that was 'unraveled.' " That's no improvement.

So as a cranky woman of a certain age, I reserve the right to make my own definition. Re-raveling means making something new from material that already exists.

This is precisely what is happening at Cheese Importers, my workplace. Tomorrow begins the move to a new building a couple of blocks away from where it's been located for nearly thirty years. It's rare to encounter this kind of symmetry, where outer circumstances like a business relocating matches my inner circumstances. Fertility is formally leaving the building. I am going from being a woman who can reproduce offspring to a woman who can't.

I'm thankful I live at a time where I have actually had a choice in the matter, though there are people and institutions who dispute this. And to this I say: Until men can get pregnant, women ought to at least have the courtesy of deciding whether, and when, they want to bear children.

Women have access to all kinds of information about how to care for their bodies after menopause. Christiane Northrup writes books to help women maintain vibrant good health within the context of a still feminine, if not reproductively viable, body, not to mention benefits to mental health. Yoga is a blessing along the same lines. Resources like this give me a form to re-ravel around. I'm looking forward to creating a few new loops and patterns of my own.