Today, re-reading the portion of Evgeny Onegin containing Tatiana's dream, I am reminded of one of my own first recurring dreams. At around the age of four, I watched a stage performance of The Snow Queen. That night, I was rushing in the dark across the ice somewhere, being chased. I remember running, running, running from some unknown pursuers ....
However, I digress: I am glad to say that I have stopped running.
I had meant to write a post on chivalry, on what the word has come to mean to me.
The word, chivalry, conjures so many associations. A woman such as myself must use her imagination to understand the whole knight - sword - jousting - business. The idea of harming another human being for the sake of a duel - I cannot abide. And yet, of course, the Grail legend, and the idea of a grand Quest: that is another matter. Along my own path, I've played the role of Princess, Dragon, and St. George. I've yearned for unicorns, and have mightily coveted the Seige Perilous, although nowhere in the legend is it mentioned that a woman might qualify for such a seat.
By the way, who do we women have as avatars in Arthurian Legend? Elaine? Guinevere? Yes, I've tried on those roles for size. Oh, horrors. "The mirror crack'd from side to side--" No wonder the very thought now makes me want to find my copy of Wuthering Heights, and scream a passage of it into the winds of a wild moor. It is not easy to be incarnate as a female on this planet -- just ask Gaia -- please forgive us, dear Mother Earth!
Solving my own puzzle through the process of elimination, I've come to a place where I've realized that I am my own knight on a white horse, and my own - dare I say it - holy Grail.
And also the gradual epiphany has dawned on me that - although it may seem rather trite - chivalry, like charity, begins at home. Along my own winding Grail path, I have been introduced to my own inner male, and female.
Between one's inner selves, I have found, it is best to develop a deep and delicate courtesy in order to achieve peace and balance. "Please," "thank you," I'm sorry," and "I love you, dear" are not out of place among one's own thoughts.
To be chivalrous is, in my opinion -- to cherish the Holy Grail of one's own heart, where burns the eternal flame. I'll join you there.
|The Meeting of the Family in Heaven (William Blake)|
And to anyone who struggles with issues of identity, gender, or who is wondering which "team" they should belong to: please, remember to be on your own side. Always. Drink deeply from your own inner waters. And the rest will work itself out.
Ofra Haza was a Yemenite-Israeli singer who passed far too soon from this world.
My deepest condolences to the families of the passengers of Kogalymavia Flight 9268.