There Will Be a Thousand Years of Peace and Prosperity and They Will Be Ushered in by the Women is written as a “flip” book. This means that there are two versions of the same book under one cover written in two different styles.
The first book is written in the style of an IRISH/CHEROKEE/WOMAN which is what I am! The second is written – as much as I am capable – in a style more comfortable with the dominant system.
Version I meanders more. There are a lot of quotes from many cultures scattered throughout Version I, especially from elders. Most women and especially most Native people know to listen to their elders as one of the storehouses of great wisdom for us all.
Our elders, if they have done their work and truly participated in their lives, are people who have lived long enough to know someone, who knew someone, who knew someone who lived when things were different. They have direct knowledge from their teachers and their own experience that the way cultures functioned were different from the way they are now. It is so easy to think that the way things are in our time and our place is the “way the world is, has always been, and has to be.” Elders know differently. They have a perspective that only the living of life can give them.
Also, most of us who are in the earlier stages of our lives are so busy doing the tasks of those stages that we don’t have any time to reflect on what we are doing or why. The beauty of old age is that most of us, if we listen to our bodies, are beginning to slow down. We don’t need to rush and get there so fast. If we take life slowly, we have time to savor the experience.
I don’t know whether it is because of their brain structure, their hormones, or because they are not so “important” in the culture, and women seem to have an affinity to “take more time” to teach and be taught. Native people also, unless they have chosen to become like the dominant culture, seem to have more “time” available. As an elder in Ireland told me – “God made time and he (sic) made plenty of it.”
So, as I say, in Version I, I take the time to throw in an appropriate quote I love, indulge in a story about myself and learnings from the many mistakes I have made, or indulge in a story told to me by someone else yet relevant to the point I am making (usually!).
Version I is written more like I like to communicate. I have learned that people learn differently when told a story than when fed “facts.” And, I believe, that the “story” approach results in more ownership being taken from the lesson of the story than when rules are recited. Version I is written to engage the whole being-body, mind and spirit – and involve the whole person in the information.
Version II is different. I have always been taught the proper use of the English language and also have been a great stickler for using the language correctly. Listening to TV is often painful for me because of 1) a growing trend (it seems) not to match singular and plural nouns and pronouns with the proper verb, 2) a complete absence of the proper use of participles, 3) a confused proper use of I and me – – – I could go on and on. Yet, there is more to language than its grammar.
Version II is leaner. It is written to emphasize concepts and linear thinking. It sets up dualisms (as I have done with I and II – ugh!). It focuses on disembodied concepts and ideas. And is written in a more approved-of conceptual/linear style . . . “Just the facts, ma’am,” as much as I am capable of doing that.
The style of Version II and of academic writing is trying to control the mind of the reader and eliminate feelings as much as possible. This style strives for objectivity, proof, rationality, reductionism and empiricism (again – as much as is possible for me).
Throughout my writing career, my editors have struggled with how I am “supposed to write.” They have gone “nuts” with my making up a word to fit the occasion. They don’t like that the “style is not an accepted style.” They are afraid the titles will “offend”. My first editor told me that she was going crazy with my manuscript because it was not “linear.” She said that it moved forward, then looped back picking up pieces, then moved forward, then looped back – – – And, it was very effective. AND, it was not the way it was “supposed to be done.”
What I now know is that “the way it is supposed to be done” is code for the patriarchy, the White Male System, the Addictive System, the Technological, Mechanistic, Materialistic System and I do not wish to reside there all the time with what I think or how I think or what I write or how I write. Hence – two versions and I put the most interesting first.