Hello, please refer to me as Indigo…
This blog is a playspace for ideas, words and images. It is a spot for reviews and a showcase for resources, links, issues, experiences and ideas which centre around (but are not necessarily confined to) issues that affect the lives of older women who have a lust for life, an appetite for the imaginative and an appreciation of death.
Because it deals with issues relating to aging, sex and dying, it is not for everyone.
However if these are matters which concern, interest, challenge or delight you please be welcome…
(Not suitable for people under 18 years)
Nothing I write here should be considered universal or regarded as prescriptive for others, and in the event that I receive support or remuneration from any products, reviews or services mentioned in my writing I will clearly state this.
⚡️ “Older Women & Sexuality”https://t.co/koOQwqr8ZP
— Indigo Byrd (@midnightoasis64) September 23, 2017
Why this blog – now?
I am a 64 year old single Anglo-Australian woman on a re-vitalised journey of self discovery, which began after the passing of my much loved mother early in 2017. Mum had been my live in companion and I, her carer, for three and a half years prior to her death at age 91. Coming to terms with the death of someone you love is hard, however I’ve since discovered that coming to terms with re-emerging life in the aftermath of a death can also be very difficult…
During the time mum and I lived together my sexual energies had become dormant. Therefore the unexpected reemergence of my sexuality a few days after Mums’ death was a shocking, yet welcome event, which challenged both my sense of self, and vision for the future. It has become one of life’s pivotal moments leading to an ongoing search for emotional well being, through creative, sexual and intellectual stimulation.
Blogging offers me ways to reflect on the aftermath of this pivotal moment; to reflect on my life to date, share a sense of the present and perhaps set in motion possibilities for whatever time I have left.
As an artist (whose practice, of necessity, has been on hold for a number of years) sometime writer, and occasional dancer, creativity is a vital part of my being. I approach my art as I approach this blog – with an eye for beauty, complexity and possibility. Exploring my changing body through the visual arts, including photography, while simultaneously believing that my ideas, erotic writings and everyday observations will resonate with others forms the basis for my work.
The Personal is The Political…
Thanks to a far sighted government back in the 1970’s, I have attended university and subsequently went on to teach there. Consequently I am well aware that I now occupy a relatively privileged and mostly mainstream position, although my marital and economic status still leaves me vulnerable to age related issues which are now being identified as affecting older people, especially women.
However I count myself fortunate to live in a country where there is a degree of tolerance of women expressing their sexuality even if only in a normative way. However, as a society we often continue to dismiss or stigmatise issues relating to gender equality and ability rights, gender identity and body positivity, diverse approaches to sexuality including BDSM; as well as racial, socio-economic, socio-cultural and gender related poverty all of which take on additional complexities when age and sexual expression is factored in.
A short time after my mother died I read a book related to the need for changes in the aged care industry, which became part of the catalyst for this blog. The book, which I admit was at least 15 years old, mentioned the intolerant and judgemental attitude of a worker in an aged care facility toward an elderly resident who liked to engage in masturbation in the ‘privacy’ of her room. This, and the reports of sexual abuse of the elderly which are reported all too often in the newspapers give me further reasons to write.
As a woman who is in the process of re-discovering sexual and sensual pleasure in her older years, I feel outraged and challenged by these callous instances. I also feel the need to maintain a position of relative anonymity (hence my blogging name Indigo), in order to protect myself from malice and predation. Some behaviours are hard to get past, and sexism and ageism are not far below the surface.
Thinking about this incident and the attitudes which underpin it also leads me further into the labyrinth of aged care, dying and death which started my initial journey. Therefore a part of this blog will offer a space in which to begin to question what may be for me, for others and ultimately for the planet, a well lived life and a good death?
Navigating the blog…
Posts in this blog document aspects of my journey – with some “seriously playful” asides, such as adventuring into sensual photography, erotic writing. reviews of selected toys, books, art and film – returning to my past as much to the present for material to share. By doing this I hope not only to connect to the memories of people of my generation but also those who are coming after and have an appreciation for history.
The pages also feature links to my own and other people’s exploration of matters which are often taboo or marginal in contemporary society while honouring aspects of Inspiration, Imagination, Creativity and Sexuality. The latter are ways of working in the world which may be seen as part of the “imaginal realm” (1) of the archetypal Greek Goddess Aphrodite.
Persephone’s Realm refers to another archetypal Goddess – Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld. This menu links to pages in which I consider aspects of aging, death and dying and gives me a space to explore links and ideas on what a good death might entail for me when the time arrives. The importance of continuing to express sexuality as we age, become residents in nursing homes and/or make our desires and wishes known through “advanced directives” or “living wills” are also vital issues.
Persephone’s archetype also gives me ways to approach physical, social and psychological issues which have featured in my own life and also play out in the lives of others; including rape, depression and the compulsion, desire and passion to inhabit and acknowledge the importance of living in shadowy spaces or at the thresholds for any length of time, for whatever reason.
If the archetypal approach doesn’t work for you that’s fine, but I hope you find the links and ideas useful anyway. My pages vary a lot in tone (you can take the woman out of the academy, but you can’t take the academy out of the woman) and also include links to my other sites on Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook and Patreon, some of which are still in the pipeline.