This short book is, before anything else, a celebration of the Seasoned Woman. She is a treasure of wisdom and grace who needs to be observed for her beauty and for the abundance of sagacity and benevolence she has quietly demonstrated to those willing to open their eyes and observe. It is she and her students who have kept humanity's careening ship, often manned by drunken sailors, afloat.
It is she who has historically been most responsible for the proper nurturing of the hearts, minds, and spirits of both males and females as they have grown and evolved in a world fraught with physical, intellectual, and moral dangers.
Of course, the book generalizes. Not every word applies to every seasoned female on the planet. But the model and the true examples are familiar to all of us because the Seasoned Woman has been our mother, grandmother, sister, lover, or friend.
We are arguably living in the most dangerous time in human history. We are destroying the earth that sustains us, ignoring the pollutants and microbes that may decimate us, building the machines that have the capability to extinct us, and reveling in the societal and political animosities that harden our hearts and souls to it all.
Frankly, most of this is the legacy of a ubiquitous succession of patriarchies that have produced a rather prickly world for most of it's human inhabitants and an existentially dangerous world for all of us.
So now, in a time when women of all ages are asserting themselves with increasing power and are being listened to in ways that are long overdue, this short book offers a heartfelt, often poetic celebration of who the Seasoned Woman has been and is and the place she ought to take in our hearts, minds, and spirits - and the exigencies of our daily lives.
After an introduction and a chapter on how the Seasoned Woman is perceived and misperceived, Chapter Two looks at who she actually is. It looks at the value of her experiences and what she has learned from them. It ends, as do all of the succeeding chapters, with specific and practical lessons the rest of us may want to incorporate into our own lives.
Chapter Three talks about the heart of the Seasoned Woman. It discusses the qualities of love and compassion and the benefits of understanding and practicing it. These concepts are illustrated by a few poems and a number of true anecdotes. Throughout the chapter, the moral imperative of being guided by our hearts is emphasized.
Chapter Four discusses the mind of the Seasoned Woman. Intellectual curiosity, lifelong learning, and true enlightenment are discussed. Right Opinion is contrasted with True Knowledge. The basic metaphysical question, "What is real?" is asked. It will not be surprising to anyone who has been guided by one or more Seasoned Women that the answers to this question present themselves most clearly when the mind and the heart collaborate in the search for meaning.
Chapter Five examines the spirit of the Seasoned Woman. More true anecdotes illustrate the patience, passion, and power of her spirit. The text explores her understanding of compassion and how it is related to her own autonomy and to the autonomy of those she touches. The chapter ends with a discussion of the now in which the Seasoned Woman has learned to live.
Chapter Six deals with the body of the Seasoned Woman and how even her physicality is misperceived and underappreciated. It explores the artificial and unnatural expectations fabricated by individuals, industries, and corporations pushing highly profitable but often ludicrously synthetic solutions to perceived problems. The physical beauty of the Seasoned Woman is juxtaposed with our culture's protean and preposterous preoccupation with the deification and exploitation of the nymph.
Chapter Seven explores the sexuality of the Seasoned Woman. Spoiler alert: She's the best!