By: Francine van Dam
The other day, I was asked to perform at the opening of an exhibition of two male artists from Curacao. I packed my cuatro ( small Venezuelan guitar) and prepared some old songs in Papiamento ( the Creole language from there).
However, when I was introduced to the (mostly female) public by one of the artists, he mentioned the gathering’s theme: “Going from the dark to the light.”
This inspired me on the spot to sing AVE MARIA, the classical, Catholic aria. I told the audience how it already had been a big turnaround for me, originating from a Protestant family, to study such a Catholic hit. I didn’t mention it there, but even the schism between Protestants and Catholics influenced our ancestors in much bigger ways than we like to remember.
And then I told them that I had witnessed matriarchy in the Surinamese rainforest, and that experience showed me how we are totally impregnated with patriarchy. In thought, in behavior, in love, in every action in our lives.
For me, being born in a family with highly intellectual, cerebral behavior, I already became aware at a very young age that this way of life is only half of reality; and yes, patriarchy thrives on it.
So as a child my choice was made. I became a musician, living and thereby creating a rich pallet of emotions. And learning to be guided by my intuition.
I sincerely feel that patriarchy, with its competitive character, its corporate laws and the monogamous adoration of material wealth, must come to an end. How much more nature can there be destroyed, how much more global crisis do we need, before we realize we have to change our ways?
So I mentioned my longing for Matriarchy at the exhibition; the male artist retaliated, offended: “So you want a world without men?”
To which I answered: ”No, not at all. I think there are a lot of men, who are also stuck in the traditional male role-model, and long to change their ways”. It was amazing to witness his reaction, he was so happy to finally be recognized in this way.
Francine van Dam nowadays is a counselor/creative coach and musician, www.francinevandam.com She also owns www.lafontanita.com, a place in the blue mountains of the rocky Ardeche ( South of France) where you can resource yourself.
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