Letter from Olivia Robertson
How pathetically we submit to fate! Whether we see fate as the inevitable suffering terminated by death of our brief earthly lives, or as the inexorable judge who punishes us for sundry sins, we never seek guidance from the fates themselves! We avoid them like the Athenians, who banished them from Athens to a provincial temple, hopefully designating them as the "Benevolent Ones."
Men might defy the Fates and be designated heroes: women, never. The ideal women not only submitted to father, husband and son, but also Fate. From China, where the three obediences were laid down for the "lesser ones", to Ben Bolt's "Alice", who rejoiced in his smile and trembled at his frown, women were most honoured for obeying the rules laid down by men, to whom they were possessions: laws vaingloriously attributed to God.
Now is the time for women to realise that within themselves are the Fates. Generously, we concede a like realisation for men! We are Clotho, Lachesis and Atropus. We are Urd, Vivandi and Skuld. We create our own Nemesis. But this hurts. It is so much easier for women to blame others: our parents, childhood abuse, lack of opportunity: and of course, men! Then there are the patriarchal establishments who have stunted our development. Yet we women are half the human race and we need to protect our children and bring them to their own potential.
How may this be done? Not by creating new regulations, new laws, new mind-born customs. Not by conformity, duplication. Truly we weave our part of the tapestry of life we need to be creative, to invent our own designs, not copy other patterns from times long gone. The myths we create in this dream called life will bring us the fulfilment our souls, our only contribution to that Greater Reality from which we all emanate.
But there is a warning. Let us contemplate that perfection of woman's art, the Spider's web. Its star within, its logarithmic spiral, forms a perfect pathway for the spider to glide on silken feet: but do not let us suffer the fate of her mates, and get entangled in a web of delusions. Let us weave legends, but not make them spin our shrouds. But if we are entrapped in self-created nightmares, only the fates show their compassion, and with their mysterious fingers, unravel the imprisoning threads.
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[Article from #106 Samhain 2002 Isian News.]
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