|Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
|Midway on our life’s journey, I found myself
In dark woods, the right road lost.
In the up-slope direction the forest thins, revealing a ground almost denuded of foliage; the path is lined with faux-marble statuary and tinkling wind chimes.
The way leading down into the forest valley seems treacherously uneven, overgrown with moss and littered with ice-cream sandwich wrappers and empty killians bottles.
The news is full of cougars, milfs, gilfs, as our new modern standard for proper middle age. There’s simply no excuse for not being in flared lounge pants and a supportive top. But the pantheon of elder females from my childhood was rather different. These women were sturdy and slow moving. I recall their bodies as huge monoliths of compressed flesh. They could take one of today’s cougars down with a hairgrip shiv and make it look like a tanning bed accident all while stretching the roast for one more supper. I would very much like to see our culture re-aquaint itself with that rarely-tapped minority, the battle-axe.
How did women earn that epithet?
Imagine such a tool, heavy and sharp, nicked along its blade by the occasional resistant femur, its handle stained by all the ways a person can leak. It’s aesthetic value is entirely based on it’s ability to illustrate a narrative, one of survival, loss, utility and despair.