Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ecdysis FAQs

Don't you just LOVE my new header? Actually, it's kinda big for my taste, but it definitely gets the point across: HEY, THIS IS THE BLOG OF A WOMYN'S ECDYSIS. Just in case you forgot your spectacles or you think this is some site where Asian womyn will be taking off their clothes. OHHHHH NOOOO, you are sorely mistaken. You can see clearly at the celestial top. Even my mama would be able to read it.

I feel it's time to shed a bit of my personal stuff, this being MY ecdysis and all, and answer some basic questions that have surfaced.

So, what exactly is an "ecdysis?"
Ah yes, the ever popular question of origin. In college I was a retreat guru (and still am) and I ended up in a long conversation with a mentor. He listened deeply to my questions, my restless, and my impatience for NEWness. Back then, I felt emotionally brittle and in constant need for open ears. Anyway, this priest leaned back in his chair after listening to me drone on about my identity and he said, "I have an image that you are trying to shed something, like how a snake sheds its skin and in its place is a new identity, more vibrant, more alive than before." I thought about that. I liked that even if I didn't really understand it. Yet.

I began wondering if there was a term for someone who constantly shed their skin into newness.

A few months later I moved to the pacific northwest. I was playing my first game of Scrabble with friends (yes, the first time ever). Due to my ultra-competitive nature and lust for words, I pulled a dictionary rather violently to check the validity of someone's word. I can't remember if I dropped it or if the page settled and my eyes saw an unique-spelled word with a picture of a snake and other animals. Attracted to the 'y' in the middle (there just aren't many words spelled as such) and the hard consanents. I stopped to read it. I found an explanation of the cycle of shedding. I read the words but saw symbolism: cycle, rebirth, life, and skin. And it continues, there is never one identity, you keep shedding into more brilliance and more life. The word was and will always be ECDYSIS.

So, why do you spell wom/y/a/e/n with a 'y'?
In case you haven't realized, our world can be a cruel place to exist. In addition to cruelty, we love to stuff people into boxes and torture them if they don't conform to what "norms" indicate is acceptable. This happens everday in every part of the world in large scale bombing war ways and in small snide comment in elevator ways. Spelling Womyn with a 'y' is one of my more passive avenues of activism. It represents my knowledge that gender is one of the most socialized and ridiculously important facets of behavior. If a womyn or man acts different, smells different, speaks in bizarre ways, we distance ourselves from what is unfamiliar. Spelling with a 'y' is one form of my dissent, one more way to express that I am different; and see the world in color, not gray, and certainly not black and white. I see spectrum, variations, interpretation, metaphor, and wideness. If you back away because of a 'y,' that's fine with me. We probably would not get along anyway.


  1. Love the new banner! Interesting about the origin and discovery of Ecdysis for you!! Keep the blog entries coming. I love them.

  2. She Who Throws Clay3:40 PM

    Looooove the photographs. Tell it like ya see it, sistah!


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