The clan

Call me Evolution girl…I don’t know about the rest of you but, when life gives me pause and something makes me go hmmm…I always think “Clan”.

We seem to have lost the concept of the very essence of our biological makeup, the root of our origins, our place in the cosmos. It has been easy for us to forget this as we press on, into 21st century surrounded by the accoutrements and distractions of our technologically advanced lifestyles, as a society of sub-urbanites and yummy Mummies and Daddies. We feel not only do we understand nature, but indeed we have mastered it, yes…we can control it.

Global warming…*PHA*…nothing…we can reverse it. Can’t we?

Threatening viral pandemics that have historically eradicated significant portions of the earth’s population. Yeah….but we’ll have vaccines by then… won’t we….???

We only just recently conclusively confirmed that smoking can kill you. I mean… c’mon!!

So it seems to me that we really are ignoring this thing called nature, the driving force behind the evolution of every species ever to grace our earth, every living, breathing creature in its basest form. So what makes us different from all those animals…Let’s see heart, lungs liver, brain, reproductive organs hmm…. Ummm I guess… not much??

To be sure we are on top of the food chain (or at least we think so and for now….) but nonetheless we are still and just “animals”. We have evolved with a complex set of social rules and behaviors that have helped us to ensure the survival of our species, so not just animals but to be more precise clan animals. Every biological desire we experience fits neatly into a pattern of behavior established over a millennium, indeed though we loathe admitting it, we really are ruled by our hormones, and for good reason.

Women are like men, we operate the same way and we think the same way…little boys are just like little girls… no difference at all. Right?....Yeah Riiiight… Anyone with children (or a husband) knows that is a load of cr*p. This is not to say that what one can do the other cannot but that there are very distinct differences in the way we think and feel. Obvious. Our hormones are the divining rod of our existence, and maybe we should stop fighting it and just say with a shrug and a smile ...“It’s nature”…

Lets take your typical pair of pre-prandial Neanderthals and call them “Grog and Greta” and let’s follow them through their procreation with an eye to the “hormone of the day”….shall we??

Pre-menstrual symptoms make us grumpy, headachy, and even hostile. If we consider the roving fertile male of our clan, Grog, and we wish to ensure that Greta has new babies at regular intervals (as of course they do keep getting eaten by those pesky saber toothed tigers), then it is likely that Grog will be hanging out with someone a little less grumpy, headachy and hostile (who incidentally is probably or possibly ovulating). BUGGER OFF…LEAVE ME ALONE…GO AND BOTHER SOME ELSE!!!! So maybe in the evolutionary perspective PMS does have value and purpose though how the chocolate thing figures into this I am not quite sure yet…

What about the increased appetite many of us experience about a week before we begin to menstruate... Gee better stock up on those fat stores since Grog won’t be dropping by with some yummy raw Rhino shanks to nibble on since I am so GRUMPY HEADACHY AND HOSTILE. Guess maybe this IS where the chocolate thing comes in, either to bolster those fat stores or to attract GROG back for a little visit after all…although any Neanderthal worth his salt would never dare go near your chocolate…especially at that time of the month…

How about the pre-pregnancy hormone changes which induce loss of memory …
HA….Greta sure won’t be able wander off since she can’t remember where she is going, why she went (where she left her list) or… how to get back…SO looks like she won’t be straying to far from her entirely dependant infant after all… good for the survival of the species no??

Or what about for many the intense revulsion for meat during pregnancy, consider this is in the in the time of Grog well before the world health organization and stainless Kenwood refrigerators... Gee since Greta is busy reproducing she better not eat anything that might be a bit of that could sicken her or deform her baby…no way… especially not that UNREFIGERATED PARASITIC HUNK OF RAW MEAT…(*gack*)

Some pregnant women experience an increased sex drive during pregnancy, which is not to be considered on the list of “inconveniences” of course…
Hey Grog….**wink**Wink **… Wanna come over?? … And while you’re here got anything good to eat???”

Post Partum depression and fatigue. Well I guess poor demoralized Greta isn’t exactly going to wander away from her baby sine she is too tired to move and so under stimulated and lacking in confidence that she can barely function…Imagine how post partum would be if you had oodles of energy…great, but baby might suffer from all the wandering off, no?

So let’s fast forward a bit…How about Seven year itch…the common phenomenon of lost interest and chronic boredom after 7 years of coupledom…If you really think about it a single female with several older children would be quite likely to survive on her own within the “clan” with no partner…freeing Grog up to go and spread the seed… (this explains the attention span Ladies…) (No offence guys!)

And at last but not least, thankfully I do no have much to write here as it is still something I have to look forward to, menopause. (Greta talking to herself) So lets see… we have procreated…I have contributed…I do seem to have a few extra fat stores that have appeared out of nowhere (examining love handles)…(maybe to tide me through the lean times, musta been all that chocolate…) I seem to have a little less mental acu...huh??? a little less sparkle and energy… and Grog sure is a little harder to catch these days… wanders off to find knitting...)But in the perspective of procreation…makes sense no?

To some this idea may seem depressing; it may seem like a giant step backwards. Granted of course we are not in the time of Grog and if my husband forgets to bring home the groceries and wanders off 'cause I'm lacking sparkle, am grumpy, headachy or hostile there'll be hell to pay.

But in fact I think it is exactly the opposite and a giant step ahead. Maybe this is part of the swing from the 50’s Coiffed-slipper-carrying stay at home mom to the Independent-abort-or-adopt-power-broker-suit-woman. Maybe it another giant step forward again to the here-with-the-kids-and-the-laundry-again-but-loving-it mom. A backlash against the backlash maybe??

Granted it is important that we have choice, but perhaps now we can recognize ourselves as what we are. Part of a cog in the giant wheel of human evolution, and that secure in ourselves as daughters of the earth we can move forward to do whatever we wish but with peace and confidence. We can understand that we in addition to many other things, are playing an important part in a much bigger plan…or should I say clan…

So do we really need to loathe the changes we experience in our selves month in and month out, the changes that accompany us through some of the biggest milestones in our lives as women? Do we still need to be bright shiny young things that make Grogs jaw drop and other parts raise regardless of our ages and stages in life?

Perhaps we can just accept them as part of nature, maybe it is ok to age gently and gracefully, to participate sagely in the clan…to teach and to just be.


sarah said...

I like your conclusion especially. What a good way to think about life, aging and nature.

Karitown said...

Great attitude. Wish I could be more like that about aging gracefully.

Trish said...

Hhhmmm gosh nomad, lots of food for thought.

I sometimes think that the liberation that women went through in the 60's and 70's was sort of like an adolescence for woman-kind. We were resisting the limits and bounderies imposed on us by our patriarchal society and now that we have accomplished independance and choices we are free to relax and enjoy the nurturing side we all have.

Good post.

Nomad said...

Thanks Sarah...I am glad you like it!!

Karitown..thanks for dropping by. I am meaning to get over to you.
I wish I could think more like that too. I have never struggled so much with my image and feelings of self as a I have in the last 3 years (43). I always imagine myself as a tough stringy (smart funny) sage old bird (Diva) but things are turning out to be a little different than that...

Trisha...gosh I could not agree with you more...you read my mind...


My photo
Paris, France
A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)