Why The Bareheaded Woman?
Short Answer: Because I'm interested in doin' some truth tradin'...
Grading the Brilliant Cut of Truth
Truth can be a) helpful, b) hurtful, and c) benign. When truth is helpful it is a welcomed affirmation. More rarely understood, hurtful truth can be an important road sign giving you direction along your life-path if you brave the pain long enough to read the sign.
When truth hurts, it is a flash of light highlighting the darkened spots of our spirit, or our tarnish, and shows us the falling short of our own expectations which need attention, before the tarnish begins to eat away at the metal of our being. We pay little to no attention to expectations which mean nothing to ourselves other than in reaction to the imposition of those external expectations. To our souls, truth is simply a gage and as such, is benign.
In its benign state, truth is often ignored, especially if inconvenient to a predetermined or desired outcome. In fact, most truth is benign in original nature. It is neither for nor against. Truth simply is. Any additional definitions are subjective and humankind is the only creature of the Creator capable of complex subjectivity. Between humans, truth can be a commodity given and traded or withheld.
Brilliant Snowflakes and Beaver Dams
This is the age of dealing with truth in all perspectives. For the first time in this collective human memory, technology (printing, electronics, transportation, etc.) has converged to allow for the broadest global human communication since the alleged schism at the Tower of Babylon. We've been given a second (or final) chance to understand each other and learn to sing in harmony not only with all humans, but with all of interdependent creation.
There is collective truth in stereotype as well as in archetype even if it is not currently politically correct to discuss such honestly. So, we doll it up in statistical babble and file much of it under an ever-expanding diorama of mental health issues, each group biased against another. Remaining so divided--closed as opposed to open ubiquity--we as a species shall disappear in dominant numbers. In other words, the Creative nature of the universe may declare a “do-over” for humans and Mother Nature will give us a time-out, as it were, to think about what we have done and figure out how to do differently the next time we are allowed to be a dominant force.
As human-truth is a many-splendored thing, as fearfully and wonderfully made as humans themselves, we try to break down our collectiveness into understandable proportions. As uniquely special as we each like to think, and in the west are taught from childhood, that we are individually, our sociological studies and categorization of ourselves also affirms the realistic side of being a unique snowflake "just like everyone else."
Some of us struggle to be our own unique little snowflake within inhospitable environments (snow doesn't do well in Florida, for instance). We spend time in migration looking for that proper place, or evaporate in despair. Some of us morph our outward selves into another form, like snow into rain, but are never wholly reconciled with the transformation.
Some of us are perfectly happy being rogue snowflakes, sometimes turning up in the most unlikely places and then disappearing again as quickly as arrived. Some others of us have grown up to define ourselves by our position and treatment within our given societies. We tend to find security in that all around us is a known paradigm. We may find our particular situation suits us just fine. Rain can be as startling during a Canadian January as snow can be in the Caribbean.
Humans are a social creature and even the most introverted of us require a limited amount of interaction to survive. This is especially true in 21st century western society where little of life's necessities are produced by the individual themselves. Since humans are also the only creature with freewill, we are the only creature without a species-defined survival genetic blueprint other than to observe-and-understand.
Where ever a beaver finds itself, it is provided with the blueprints of how to create a dam; but, a beaver cannot build a different kind of house if no water or trees are present. Additionally and more importantly, it really has a hard time being a beaver in anything other than a dam--especially not a contented beaver.
This is why humane zoos, menageries and aquariums go to great lengths to create natural habitat enclosures and why caged animals really aren't worth visiting. In the west, we even have a collective understanding of the misery of a caged creature that shows up in cartoons (especially political), literature and theater. In our visual-stimuli saturated environment, a memory is shared of miserable, bored circus animals in tiny trailer cages whether we individually witnessed one or not. For some of us here in the USA, our worst fear is that of being caged and we watch the growing rates of our incarcerated countrymen for increasingly smaller infractions with great distress.
A human has no built-in blueprint for a house but has the ability to dream, to create, to build something that is suitable, from what is available, through trial and error (aka "adapting"). We rely on communication with the humans, as well as the other animal, mineral and vegetable kingdoms, around us to give us input and ideas to shorten our learning curve in the name of survival, but ultimately it is our choice to build what we will since it is generally up to the freewill of the capable individual human to provide shelter from the elements for himself (reserving the definition of "capable" for another time)
In western societies, that shelter is not usually self-built but provided for by the trade of labor with other humans through a medium of exchange, the current favorite being fiat currency. Most of us would have difficulty setting up a tent, never mind building a house. I did say "most," not "all," for those of you who have acquired the ability to shelter yourself if necessary. But even western humans whose business is to build houses for other western humans, rarely build their own house.
Rather, they exchange fiat currency acquired from building Human A's house, with Human B to do the actual building of their own house, or parts of the house, for them. Or they just buy a house another firm built and modify it to suit. If they are the human that actually nails the nails in a house-building concern, they probably cannot afford their own house and will exchange so earned fiat currency for the privilege of living under another human's fiat currency purchased roof. Some people who could build a house and would build a house cannot build a house because they don't have the licensing required (aka "permission") from the government to do so and must exchange currency with someone with that licensing (acquired by exchanging currency with the government and agreeing to only build things the government way) to do so for them.
Dammed If You Do--Damned If You Don't
In the west, you cannot build anything anywhere anyhow without permission from a government made up of other humans. People do, of course, in remote areas far away from government eyes but they are not supposed to do so under penalty of being caged. It is an insanely complicated process but navigation of it is necessary for survival in the west. Our governments even tell beavers when and where they can build: it is called some version of The Department of Wildlife Management. It all takes a vast amount of communication between humans.
Karl Marx once wrote that “[d]emocracy is a form of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury, and bankrupt the nation” (emphasis mine). However right he may be in some regards and wrong in others, he does highlight here why most authoritarian regimes' first movements are to hijack the press and other forms of communication between the humans they attempt to control.
Communist China has recently embraced a more open economic system which hasn't carried over into other venues. It could be said that instead, government has closed information windows previously ignored to counter balance the opening of economic doors, but still the humans under subjection find a way to communicate with each other and the outside communities. Iran is another type of authoritarian government experiencing fallout from human communication and individual interpretation of spiritual literature. The days-of-rage all over the middle east, the orange revolution and its offspring all are a result of the average joe being able to communicate with another average joe and getting ideas "above their station" in the eyes of their respective governments.
During this ongoing economic collapse, the United States capital markets and Federal Reserve (not a USA Government entity) are stonewalling transparency of information venues and with good reason. On another front, I cannot begin to describe (but I probably will at some future point) the backhanded nods and winks going on between Big Pharma and the FDA (definitely a USA Government entity) which we regular humans are not supposed to, and they go to great lengths to make sure we do not, hear about--Freedom of Information Act not withstanding.
Still, and fortunately for us regular humans, word is getting around through new information venues and links to heretofore unavailable communities (hence the increased interest in Internet censorship and privitization by our various governments). Every patriarchal government and market of questionable intent that has been brought to its knees has been due to undesired communication amongst the plebeians--another argument for communication being necessary for survival.
It is not the money itself, fiat or otherwise, the power or the labor, nor the production and consumption, that makes this world go 'round contrary to what anyone may say. It is communication. The currency would be useless without communication, the power and labor unvalued, and the consumption limited to the survival means of one. With no communication between one and another, there would be no perpetuation of the species at all.
No man, or woman, is an island in anything but a spiritual sense. So even if one is not always in agreement with the precepts of the surrounding humans, part of survival is understanding how those other humans categorize oneself because they will deal with you accordingly in negotiations to either your own benefit or detriment. Whatever you may think of yourself, you must be realistic about your current natural world and its inherent hierarchies. It is much like we do not totally defy the law of gravity when we desire to fly but have learned how to fly by working within the law--flying not being an inherent blueprint for our species. It does not matter how much you would fetch if you were auctioned at Christie's, if the only available market is the local garage sale.
A Beaver Named Rose
But the laws of the Creator supersede the laws of man so to thine own self, the created self, be true. If you know you are innately different from the rest of your kith and kin, I do not recommend trying to swim with the current if your natural inclination is to swim against. You never know... you just may be a salmon in a trout stream and would defeat your purpose by trying to be a trout.
So, if it looks like a beaver and sounds like a beaver but lives in a cage...is it still a beaver?
Unless you want to live like a caged beaver, you must chose to: a) live and die by your placement within your tribe; b) find a tribe where your genus is favored; or c) spark evolution within your tribe...
And then there is the last and hardest choice: d) all of the above.
I have ever preferred the road less traveled. It, indeed, has made all the difference.
Thank you all who may have joined me; I am so glad you could make it. Meet me at the well again, when I answer the question:
What is a Bareheaded Woman?
La Verite, Lefebvre 1870
Woman Brushing Her Hair, Degas 19th c.