People have always had tremendous sway in my life. When I've found a place or space, a vocation or an avocation, and I have liked it or I have stuck around with it...it's often because of the people around me.
Ok, I have to get something out of it. I bet there are lots of cool people who play checkers, but I would rather cut a rug to "Totally Wired" by The Fall than move plastic circles around a board. And yet, I have been on some uninspiring dance floors. If the conversation and company is good enough, the banter steady enough, or the checkers moves are moving, I'm there.
But to the point, the heavy point, the point of why I am making another day of noise on this blog: a filmmaker and photographer who was a real live influence on my life no longer walks this earth. I owe so very much to her and her encouragement. To her plain and absolute demand that I get my act together and Be An Artist.
Oh, Diane. Thank you.
Some spheres of my life have been populated with women. Others with men. I need women and men in my life equally, and I find them in different spheres. I feel it when I don't have a balance of men and women in my life.
I made a list. I'm sure I could come up with more.
Cohabitation - Men
Conservation - Women and Men
Farming - Women and Men
Friendship - Depends on the decade
Herbalism - Women
Home Schooling - Women^
Intellectualism - Women
Martial Arts - Men
Motherhood - Women
Music - Men
Photography - Women
Primitive Skills - Men
Projectiles† - Men
Romance - Men
Writing - Tough one, I will go with Women because of the heavy influence of feminist essays and literature, as well as Modernist women writers.
How interesting that the creative and intellectual spheres show up with women. The Conservation and Farming spheres are equally populated by women and men, in my experience.
The shadows and marks of women in the male-dominated spheres is appreciated. Love to my Bikini Kill and Huggy Bear albums. Love to my Mom who inspired me to learn how to throw knives. Love to my women roommates. Love to the super woman-trackers, gatherers & hunters, and fire-starters. Love to the two women who have practiced martial arts with me (may there be more).
And for the men's presence among the places of women... Love to my Dad who did not put up gender barriers between me and target practice, nor between me and changing automotive oil (sorry, I go to the quick lube shop for oil changes now, because, um, I love the guys there.). Love to my bandmates (all men, except for the solitary gal who played one show with one of my bands) who encouraged me to play and sing and get crushed carrying heavy gear into filthy clubs. Love to my male woods-companions who have every expectation that I will rock the chainsaw. Love to my husband, so much love. Love to my son who gets to watch me muddle through all of it.
^ caveat: Free To Learn by Peter Gray weighs in heavily
† as in target practice and martial arts weapons. Don't read too much into the word 'projectiles'. Thanks.