Who Am I?

If you are reading this site, you may wonder who I am.  For about 40 years, I have written stories,  poems, memoirs, features, reviews and other pieces for a variety of women’s literary, art, and spirituality publications.  My work has appeared in The Goddess Pages, Feminism and Religion,  SageWoman, Moondance,  the We’Moon calendars, Matrifocus, The Beltane Papers, and Women Artists News, and in a number of book anthologies, among others.  I have also given readings and workshops.  I see my writing as a bridge between everyday life now and a world where all people believe that they and all other beings are sacred, everyone is respected for who they are, love is unconditional, and creativity is an everyday occurrence.  I am also a student jazz/rock/funk/you-name-it drummer and plan to intertwine that with my writing in the future.  For 30 years, I was a public health and social services professional working with vulnerable people in urban, suburban and rural areas, an experience which has greatly influenced my thinking and writing.  I grew up in Michigan, but now live in New England.

A Few Words about How I Got Here

The ideas in these blog pages have come about over some 35 years. I grew up in a very progressive church and family in which everyone was considered to be sacred and worthy of respect and dignity and my sister and I were encouraged to think expansively about questions of theology. I have been blessed by this upbringing every day and I know it is rare.

In my 20s, I moved to New York City where I first encountered the concept of “Goddess.” As a writer, I was interested in myths, and so when Diane Wolkstein announced an evening performance of her newly translated Inanna (Wolkstein, Diane, and Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer, Harper and Row, New York, 1983) at the American Museum of Natural History, I bought a ticket. Winding my way through the darkened galleries, a la “A Night at the Museum,” was the perfect setting for the mystical experience that awaited me. As I watched Diane Wolkstein perform the story of Inanna, I had the epiphany that throughout most of human history, it was a common human experience for women to see their own faces in the Divine, to walk into temples and see statues of goddesses who looked like them and whose experiences may mirror their own. I had, of course, known that goddesses were worshipped, but I had never before understood at the most profound level, how seeing a deity in the form of a woman made me understand my own sacredness in a way I had not before.

I thought about this as I went about my work in New York City in a large municipal social services agency. As part of my job, I went to the various boroughs to raise awareness of and find ways to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable residents — frail, destitute elders, people with AIDS (at a time when there was no cure or much understanding about how it was spread or could be managed), and others. I lived in the East Village and so met many neighbors who were homeless and hungry on my way home from work every day. I have continued to provide public health and social services in urban, suburban, and rural communities since moving to New England.

As I considered what was truly behind the suffering I was observing — not just the institutional issues but the fear, hatred, and devaluing of some people by others, and the lifelong abuse endured by many — I connected it to my epiphany at the Museum and the reading I had begun to do about goddesses and the matriarchal (meaning egalitarian, peaceful, and creativity-loving, where women and men are equal and neither dominates) cultures that worshipped some of them. I came to see that because only some people in our society are considered fully sacred; because compassion, gentleness and peacefulness are perceived as weakness; because the Earth is no longer our divine Mother, but just real estate, the despair I saw all around me was inevitable unless these perceptions changed and that a re-emergence of the Female Divine was essential to that. 

I realized, if we can uncover those elements of the Female Divine that are hidden in our western society, if we can bring back that which is valuable and create that which is needed but has never been, if we can focus our efforts on the everyday people who we see all around us — the person we meet in the supermarket, in school, at the neighborhood coffee clatch, at church, synagogue, mosque or temple, of wherever we may go — maybe we can begin to turn our world around.

This blog is my contribution to that effort.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Foxy Lady
    Oct 01, 2007 @ 19:56:18

    Carolyn, this is a wonderful and interesting place. Good job.

    I’m in the process reading your articles.

    C

    Reply

  2. carolynlboyd
    Oct 01, 2007 @ 20:06:53

    Thanks! It’s a lot of fun to do and I have met some wonderful people who have come to visit.

    Reply

  3. motherwintermoon
    Dec 19, 2007 @ 23:19:16

    I look forward to reading your novel!

    I cherish your writing, your gift of spirit, and your energy. Thank you for being here…it’s such a loVely, soothing, uplifting place to visit.

    Thank you so much! I live in what has been snow country for the past couple of weeks so have been shovelling and otherwise trying to cope instead of writing any posts, so I really appreciate these words of encouragement to get back here among wonderful people like you!

    Reply

  4. motherwintermoon
    Dec 21, 2007 @ 00:35:53

    Oh, I’m sorry about the snow shoveling! Keep warm and safe.

    Looking forward to more posts when you get a break from snow duty. Snuggly wishes, Goddess Sister, MW

    Thank you so much for these good wishes! Now it’s not only snow shovelling, but I was in a car accident this morning caused partly by weather (and partly by the other driver who decided to run a red light on icy streets…) so I’m dealing with that, too. But now I have more time to write because I won’t be driving anyplace for awhile! Hope you are safe and warm wherever you are!

    Reply

  5. motherwintermoon
    Dec 26, 2007 @ 13:32:32

    Oh, I hope no one was hurt! All you alright physically? I know a car accident is always traumatic emotionally and spiritually. Driving on ice, especially the dreaded black ice, is treacherous. Walking on it isn’t a whole lot better! Sending many blessings for safe passage wherever you may be or venture. LoVe and emotional hugs, MW

    Thank you for your blessings! I had a typical level of whiplash/muscle strain, but I wasn’t seriously injured. Even though it was a snowy day, it was actually caused by someone running a red light and whacking a snowplow, which sent him flying across the intersection right into my car head on. I’m looking for the message in the experience but so far can only come up with “don’t be sitting at an intersection when another car runs a red light.” Thank you again for your concern – actually, I have been overwhelmed by the concern of so many people – maybe that’s the lesson!

    Reply

  6. Kole
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 18:08:13

    i’ve only read a couple of your writings so far. but i love them! its great to hear from a soul like yours. :}

    Thank you so much!

    Reply

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