Eating Beets During Menopause ~ obsessions

Right from the jar with a fork I suck, beet juice dripping. I’m desperate for redness, want it on my tongue, inside me, outside me, paint for my warrior face, for my warrior place, addicted to those blood red days, drunk with missing those blood red days.

I smile meekly, polite as always, as if I’d been caught in some sinful pleasure of youth, some foolish pleasure of old age. The way it really is is there’s a pack of dingoes inside me, teeth tearing like mad, craving red meat, red beets, red blooded life.

My red trail marked my lovers, my babies, my fingerprints in blood, I have lived other lives when life grew inside me, but I die prematurely when bloodless menopause comes in the pale afternoon as I recline like a ghost, drained of colour, barren as a dessert; seeking respite. Please pass the beets.

Nostalgia, yes; denial, yes; grieving, yes, yes, yes. Pour red wine where blood once flowed. Quicken my heart with red memories: sweet cherries, raspberries, red beets, a red tongue singing old time songs of yesterdays when the moon beat the rhythm of life. Pass the beets, now, I howl.

When blood pulsed through plump veins, the flush of excitement that was my life thrilled me. Now, in retreat, my blood hides from me, my skin shrivels in the sunshine. Where once I was a gathering place for women, men, and children, I am alone. Don’t talk to me about the wisdom of crones. Don’t talk about the phases of the moon. Spare me the lecture on the righteousness of the cycle of life. Leave me my beets and memories, my blood-red, howling-red beets.

This is the rage of my present life: life is maddeningly calm. The maniacal hormonal surges have subsided. Where has passion slipped off to? Where the danger of bleeding in public? Where has the possibility of being pregnant after every coupling gone?

Feed me beets and make me bleed again so I might throb with the possibilities of life and death and know the luxury of my voice singing in triumph. Who can stand this calm? No wonder old ladies dye their hair blue! No wonder we strike out with our umbrellas! We are mad as corpses with the calm of a bloodless life.

Cover me with rose petals, red and fragrant; feed me beets and red red berries; tell me how I blush and flush and gush in gorgeous rednesses. Don’t feed me watercress sandwiches and tea in the afternoon parlour; look at me! All my life I’ve been a warrior, fearless in the face of bleeding, a priestess on the sacred altars. I cannot stop!

Donna Caruso, an aging writer and filmmaker, rages against Mother Nature from her home in rural Saskatchewan.