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.

The Government Sector

Rose has been in management since she was 18; first she managed one coffee shop, then two…now she has moved on to a grocery store!

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

The women of the Government Sector love law and order. They enjoy solving problems, especially in committee. They enjoy passing laws to make things in the Queendom run smoothly, and they like the admiration they receive for their high status in society. There is a lot more to Government than meets the eye. In order to keep the City of Evlantis in line with the Constitution handed down by Mother Eve, a good politician must know when to apply the law and when to turn a blind eye to infractions. The women of the Government Sector are wonderful hostesses. True, the pressure they put on themselves to make everything perfect tends to attract high-strung women, but the Queendom would fall apart without their contributions to the public good: passing new laws, reviewing and destroying archaic laws, running the courts, and working with the Soldier Sector to ensure the Queendom is as peaceful as huwomanely possible.

The Origin of the City of Evlantis, the city where The Queendom of Evlantis and Sephora’s Revenge take place

The city of Evlantis was centuries old. It had been founded by Eve, the Mother of all Huwomanity, but abandoned when the area was depleted of game, and when drought fell upon the land. For a while, so the records of herstory reveal, women and men lived as nomads. The Mother of all Huwomanity was said to have lived 939 years. In the latter years of her life she expressed a wish to return to the city she founded. Returning to the ruins of the abandoned city, her people found the area rich in game, and fresh water was plentiful. Structures were patched and re-built upon the early foundations of the city, and the Mother of all Huwomanity died surrounded by her people in the place she loved most on earth.

It was common knowledge that the Mother of all Huwomanity held a fierce bitterness and prejudice against men, a trait that she passed on to her daughters. There were many legends explaining how the Great Mother of All came to walk upon the earth pregnant and alone. The most popular legend told of how the goddesses had created the Great Mother in their image. Afterward, they created a man to impregnate her. That man abandoned her, not realizing that she was superior to him as the bearer of huwoman life. There was nothing but loneliness and death for him, so the legend went.

Yet the goddesses had not been kind to the abandoned Eve. The Mother of All had borne the curse of twin sons. In her bitterness she ruled them with an iron hand, until one rose up and slew the other in a fit of jealous rage for a favor she had justly shown. The grief this caused pushed her bitterness into full-fledged hatred, and she counseled her daughters and many generations of granddaughters never to give their hearts to men. She taught her descendants to see men as treacherous beings, inferior to woman.

Women had never liked the nomadic life. The leaders who ruled after the Great Mother made improvements in the city. Women could achieve favored status by making discoveries in the fields of animal husbandry, farming, the arts of subduing men, medical science, self-defense, and other life skills that would allow them to stay at their home hearths instead of roaming from place to place.

The Great Mother’s legacy of hatred toward mankind took root in her children and their children until, over many centuries, men’s rights were obliterated completely. They became slaves to the women, valued only for their ability to do physical labor and to impregnate the women as and when it was demanded of them.

 

The Genesis of the Alternate Earth of the Unfallen Series

In book one of the series, The Queendom of Evlantis, the Earth is populated by two groups of people, though neither group is aware that the other exists. Here is the creation story of this alternate earth:

In the Garden of Paradisia, Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Though she tried every wile she possessed to tempt Adam to indulge in the fruit with her, he remained stalwart in his resolve and true to the command of his Maker not to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.

When the Creator of the Universe came to visit, Eve hid in fear. After a time, the Master told Adam that Eve had been cast out of the garden and banished beyond a high wall built of sheets of rock that the Master had called forth from deep within the earth to surround Paradisia. From that day forward, there were two rules in Paradisia: not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and not to cross the great wall.

Adam had thousands of acres of land to explore and cultivate, but he was lonely, more so than before Eve had been created for him. Often he stood at the wall weeping for his lost mate. Whenever the Creator visited Paradisia, Adam was asked if he wished to have a new woman. Adam held on to hope and always asked if Eve could come back to him. The answer was the same for 939 years. Eve was on the other side of the wall, but could not return to the garden.

In the 940th year after Eve’s departure, the Master visited Adam and told him that Eve was gone forever. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil had claimed Eve’s life, and she no longer walked upon the earth. Adam mourned a few years more, and then, the next time the Master visited, Adam agreed to take a new woman to be his soul mate and companion.

The name of his new wife was Aurora. Though she was curious about many things, she saw that her husband was crippled by a great hurt. Adam never told her about Eve, but he made it clear that he did not wish to lose Aurora, and treasured her greatly. She was a brilliant woman. Her intuition told her Adam had lost a woman who came before her, one who disobeyed the command of the Master. She loved Adam and wished to cause him no pain.

Centuries passed. In time, Aurora bore twelve children. Pain at the loss of Eve struck Adam less often, though there were times when he grappled with sadness, especially when a certain flower, a scent, or a particular birdsong reminded him of her.

Aurora taught her children above all to follow the commands of the Master. For Aurora and her children, there was no death or mourning, no wailing or pain. Adam alone bore the shadow of sadness that Eve’s sin had cast upon the garden. Life in the garden was perfect. There were challenges and discoveries that made every day seem like a new adventure. They lived like kings and queens in their own natural paradise, laughing often, working hard and playing harder, and wanting for nothing.

Once in a while Adam wondered about something: if Eve no longer walked the earth, why was Paradisia confined by a wall? But Adam’s obedience to the Lord God was so perfect that he let his trust in his Master overshadow his curiosity, and in time, his happiness became complete. For Adam did not know that when Eve was cast out of the garden, she was pregnant with his issue.