Elegance and Crudeness: I Am Writing Today

A quickly-composed and deeply-felt post in the middle of my day…

Despite all obstacles placed in my way, many of which I erected myself, I am writing today.

I am writing about the Divine Feminine. My history in regards to such, misconceptions that abound, and ways in which She is experienced both within and without. I am writing about my own religious tradition and the ways in which even the uttering of Her name would have well been understood as heresy from the pit of hell. I am writing about the ways in which that has confused me for so many years. And I am writing about how my movement toward Her has invited me into expansiveness, empowerment, and faith beyond-compare.

As I write, I have been reflecting on words spoken by artist and activist Callahan McDonough:

“I look for that balance of elegance and crudeness in my work and the daily reference in the ‘doing’ of the work. My desire is for my work to be experienced out in the world, to make a difference that touches people’s lives.”

Yes, this.

There is a balance of both elegance and crudeness in writing. Even more, in life. When I allow for both, I then extend myself grace and forgiveness. When I allow for both, I am compelled to higher levels of creativity without incessant second-guessing. When I allow for both, I find myself in a place where darkness does not overcome light, nor does shadow (or to use Steven Pressfield’s term, resistance) overwhelm me.

I am writing today. About some of the hardest things: my own story, my own doubts, my own fears. But in each, allowing confidence and doubt, hope and despair, and yes, elegance and crudeness; the jumble of emotions, talents, insecurities, and stories that are me.

Oh, that we would live our lives in such a place: aware of the elegance and crudeness innate in us all – allowing for both and calling forth ever-more. What might we yet create? What might we yet imagine? What might we yet birth?

Grace Olivia. Due in June, 2013. My niece.Yes, this: birth. The primary and original place in which elegance and crudeness coexist. The primary and original place in which women bring forth their innate and particular power. The primary and original place in which miracles occur and the Divine Feminine makes herself known. The primary and original place in which God is made manifest in the world. Elegant. Crude. Beautiful.

I’ll take more of that, please.

OK.  Back to writing. Thanks for indulging these in-the-midst-of-my-day thoughts and emotions. And thanks, Callahan… 


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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Callahan McDonough February 4, 2013 at

    An honor received with gratitude dear Ronna. So appreciate being in conversation with you and co-creation. It does feel to me that the contrast, the crude alongside the elegant is what gives life richness, depth. Certainly in art and yes as you said in life.


    Ronna Detrick February 4, 2013 at

    The privilege and pleasure is all mine, Callahan. So grateful to be able to learn so much from and with you…


    India Holden February 6, 2013 at

    Thank you for this blog. As soon as I saw the image of the sonogram, I got meaning viscerally. So, thanks for adding that. In my teaching “crude” is most often expressed as Shadow. It’s close, but it’s not the same thing. I like the additional facet of the crude. Being from Germany, I read it to mean something more like “crass.” But once I saw the pic, I thought more in terms of not yet fully formed and in terms of how actually gross bodily processes can seem on a certain level. I felt relief at the feeling that I can include this grossness and/or crudeness from a place of sacredness instead of a place of “having overcome the resistance to messiness,” if that makes sense.

    India Holden recently posted..The Story of Kiki and the Doggie Door and How to Be Free


    Ronna Detrick February 6, 2013 at

    So glad that you kept reading, India, long enough to come to a different understanding of crudeness. I love the word – especially when juxtaposed to elegance – for this is the stuff of life, isn’t it? The messiness, the paradox, the struggle and the celebration. All of it – combined and tumbled together – is what gives life its depth and meaning.

    Grateful for your presence here…and your comments. Thank you.


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