Stage Six: Reverse Childhood

Stage Six: When the Daughter must care for the Mother

The goddesses have deemed that if old age is granted to a woman, the descent to the land of the dead is preceded by childhood in reverse. If a woman lives long enough, she becomes like a child, then like an infant, needing constant care. It is a blessing and a privilege to care for the old ones, for they are near to the gates of the goddesses. It is said that those who enter the land of the dead as babies, helpless but well cared for, are counted as jewels to the goddesses who receive the dead. The daughter that treats her mother well will receive their reward when their time to enter the land of the dead comes.

Stage Five of a Woman’s Life: Maturity

Stage Five: Maturity – Marked by the Cessation of Menses

Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels

These years are some of the happiest in an Evlantian woman’s life. This stage is heralded by the advent of eagles’ claws around the eyes and joy lines around the lips. If the goddesses have blessed her she will be honored and beloved by daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. The cessation of menses is known to bring clarity of thought not enjoyed since childhood. But, unlike childhood, she now possesses the gifts of knowledge and wisdom gained from a lifetime of experience. Mature women are a treasure to the city.

Stage Four of a Woman’s Life: Age of Opportunity

The Age of Opportunity in Evlantis corresponds loosely with our “empty nest” stage.

Stage Four: Age of Opportunity

After the Daughter Leaves Home until a Woman Reaches the Age of Maturity

Days of discovering purpose: If one has not been blessed by the goddesses to bear a daughter, a good citizen of Evlantis moves directly to this stage and must reconcile her talents to the needs of the Queendom. Mothers move to this stage directly upon completing the tasks of motherhood. This is a particularly difficult task for a mother to take on, especially after the joys of motherhood. Every other purpose in life pales in comparison to raising a daughter. Every support is made available to a mother whose daughter has left the home hearth to establish her own home. The Queendom is rich in resources to help her find her way to a life of purpose and meaning after giving of her life and self to ensure the Queendom’s legacy continues through the daughter she raised.

Stage Three of a Woman’s Life: Motherhood

Stage Three: Motherhood

Also known as the “Age of Self-Sacrifice.”

There is no higher calling in the Queendom than to become a mother. At the same time that it is the most rewarding and joyous of a woman’s existence, motherhood is the stage of greatest responsibility marked by days of self-denial. The “I want” and “I need” inherent in the first two stages of a woman’s life are transformed into “I must” and “she needs” as the mother’s desires become eclipsed by the many necessities of child rearing.

Expressions about Motherhood commonly used during the Evlantian period of Herstory

In thee household let thy daughter be a Princess, but never forget! Thou art the Queen. (Ancient saying attributed to Mother Eve)

Keep in mind that the Daughter that vexes you may someday be your Queen. (Sapheera of the Arts-mother of Sephora)

Every day in Evlantis is Daughter’s Day. (High Queen Rachel, the year her womb-born daughter Rebekkah survived the plague)

It is never too early to celebrate Mother’s Day. (Low Queen Sephora of the Arts Sector)

Click here for more Evlantis Childrearing Wisdom.

 

The One That Ran Away

Sam and I at a Renaissance Festival, Sterling, New York, summer of 1982

The One That Ran Away

Some people have “the one that got away” packed into their emotional baggage. I have “the one that ran away.”

I met him in community college in the fall of 1981 after I got kicked out of Bible College. His name was Sam. He had blue eyes and dark hair; he was brilliant, charismatic, and witty. He was the president of the Christian association on campus and every girl I knew wanted to get his attention. I never thought I had a chance with him, but I liked him so much that I didn’t want to give up without trying.

I thought long and hard about how to stand out among the competition. Finally, I sat down at my typewriter and crafted an “Application to Be Your Girlfriend.” I switched to handwriting and filled it out. I left it in his campus mailbox.

Days later he called and asked me out. In many ways we were perfectly suited for each other. Three months into our relationship he sat me down and told me about the one way we were not compatible. 

He said he was gay. He told me he hadn’t expected to feel the way he did about me. He asked what I wanted to do about his revelation and our dating.

Quite frankly, Sam was an awesome relationship for me. I preferred not to have a sexual relationship at that time. And the pros of dating Sam outweighed the absence of a physical relationship. His adventurous streak made every day exciting. His insights helped me grow. His companionship was beyond satisfying. Him being gay, while a shock, was not something I had a problem with.  

We dated for a few years before the end came. He was open and honest with me about what it was like to be gay in a culture that would not accept him for it. I accepted that he expressed his sexuality without me, and while, because we were close, he shared somewhat, he was very discrete.  We even talked openly about men he (and I) were at attracted to. But Sam had intensity that, when it was focused on me, made me feel like I was number one with him. Ours was one of the best relationships of my life. Why he ran away was horrible and heartbreaking. It happened with rare fights between us, a series of conversations that always went something like this:

Sam: “Julie, I want to be able to take our relationship further and to be able to offer you a family some day. I found a program that will turn gay men straight.”

Me: “Sam, you’re gay and that’s okay with me. If you want to have a family we will figure it out when the time is right. We could adopt. Please, don’t leave me! You’ll never come back!”

Sam: “I will come back! I’m doing this for you!”

Me: “You are not doing this for me, because I don’t want you to change! I love you the way you are! And if you go, you will never come back! I know it! Please, don’t go!”

I lost that fight, and just as I had known I would, I lost Sam forever. What happened at the place he went, the quest he undertook, would have been his story to tell. 

Our relationship, thankfully, wasn’t exactly over. I lost my Sam, but I gained Guy. During his experiences at the program he went to, he embraced his sexual identity, came out, and from then on preferred to be called by his middle name. We kept in touch on an off through the years, though our lives were very different; while I was putting diapers on my babies, he was wrapping naked men up in saran wrap at parties.

Over the last decade we had become close again. We would get together about once a year, and we would chat by phone in between visits. Last year he told me he still had the application to be his girlfriend. He asked me, more than once, to move to Georgia to live with him. He let me know that the relationship we had had been as significant to him as it was to me.

This year I had planned to go see him in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend to attend Dragon Con together. He was so excited he sent me last year’s program and would call to talk frequently about my trip. Neither of had any inkling he’d be going on a much different journey.

Guy was hospitalized June 1, 2018. The reports of his progress varied a great deal, some days he improved, some days he had set backs. But the set backs increased and on June 27th I received the call that he had, once again, left me.

I grieved hard for weeks. Then one day I realized it’s not myself I should feel sorry for. Sam/Guy had left me before, and I had learned how to get by without him. Now my heart grieves for those who loved him who have never lost him before. His close friends, his neighbors, his family. It is a big adjustment to live without the benefit of his wit, his intense passion for social justice, and his magnetic charisma. 

Just like before, Sam/Guy has travelled on without me. I am wiser now. I have hope that one day we will be  together again.

He impacted my life, and he impacted the world my books take place in. Here are three ways that early and awesome relationship influenced the world where women rule.

  1. When he was Sam, he encouraged me to write. He read all my stories and even remembered them better than I do. Guy also encouraged me, and this year he gave me the constructive criticism I needed to fine tune a chapter in book three.
  2. The experience of watching Sam live a lie about who he was in a culture that would not accept him with open arms had a lasting impact on me. It is why, in the alternate earth where women rule, that love between women and men is forbidden. Women partner (and unpartner) with women romantically. Pregnancies are scheduled for population stability by the Quickening Committee. For fun, I thought heterosexuals should have to experience the world I had to watch Same live in.
  3. Sam/Guy was my inspiration for a character in books one and two. One of my favorite characters, Octovin, is brilliant, charismatic, opportunistic, and gay. And like Sam/Guy did, Octovin flirts with a lot of gray areas in the civilization he lives in. 

Stage Two of a Woman’s Life

Stage Two: Age of Self-Discovery – Seventh Birthday through Motherhood

Marked by learning in all its forms, these days are more difficult than those of First Childhood, but exciting at the same time. Each girl sheds the vestiges of childhood as she takes on the responsibilities of citizenship. The delights of learning are balanced with the difficulties of choosing a life path to walk and thus which Sector to live in. During this stage is the fiery trial of separating from one’s own mother.

The Livestock Sector

The City of Evlantis is ruled by women, for women. The city is divided into six clique-like sectors.

My sister (dressed as a princess) riding her horse, Maarz (dressed as a dragon) at a horse show. When I asked her if I could use this picture she responded, “As long as Maarz gets credit!”

The women of the Livestock Sector have the “critter gene”! They love animals, and that love is returned in kind. These women are conscientious, responsible, and effective. They are the shepherdesses and keepers of the flocks. They breed animals to be pets for other sectors. In addition to tending animals, they specialize in fashions, having a monopoly on wool and furs. Their love for the animal queendom is often blamed for the high rate of convictions and deaths of those citizens who break the ban of love between women and men-slaves.

The Religion Sector

A friend wasn’t able to model for this blog…so I used pictures of my Grandma Polly. She was a missionary to Singapore in the 1950s. I had fun looking through all the photos.

The City of Evlantis is ruled by women, for women. The city is divided into six clique-like sectors.

The Religion Sector attracts women of great vision and intuition. They are in touch with their spiritual nature, aware that the world and everyone in it is connected by far more than our senses can take in. Part of what fulfills women in the Religion Sector is finding and fostering growth in others around them. In their religion, there is a goddess for every want or need known to women, and the priestesses guide the women of the other Sectors to properly supplicate to the goddesses to meet their needs. Another vital function the priestesses fill is to educate the children of Evlantis.

The Agriculture Sector

The City of Evlantis is ruled by women, for women. The city is divided into six clique-like sectors.

The Agriculture Sector of Evlantis attracts two types of women: those with a gift for nurturing plants and those with a gift for nurturing people. These women are intelligent and possess an ability to get work done. They tend to find beauty everywhere, and they have a propensity to heal whatever is broken. In many ways the Agriculture Sector is the most prestigious of the Sectors, because without the fruits of the Agriculture Sector, the people of the Queendom would die of starvation and disease.