There’s nothing like a canoe for making you think about power. And our first five minutes in one were not heroic minutes.
“Jill Malone!” Mary said. “Stop trying to steer from the front.” And then, moments later. “Jill Malone! You are not leading this dance.”
And then we ended up in a tree. But you know, we had a bunch of help, as we were rammed by four other canoes, also working through who the fuck was alpha.
Monday night we watched Gillian Welch and David Rawlings pretend to be awkward. In fact, they exude power. At one point she turned toward him and her entire body radiated. You could see her muscles flex and the music pushed between them and came at us in waves. We were overwhelmed.
I used to think I could make people more comfortable by pretending I wasn’t powerful. I led reluctantly. I took charge only when I could do so without fanfare. I’m more comfortable on the periphery. I’d swallow the correct answer to avoid seeming like a showboat. In other words, I undermined my own power to keep from hurting anyone else’s feelings.
Sort of like marrying a boy to make it easier to live in my family.
If you don’t practice wielding your power, you are going to fuck some shit up. You are going to come across as insincere rather than kind. You are going to hoard when you should share, or keep to the outskirts when you should be in the center. You are going to sail right into a tree. You are going to irritate your wife when it’s her turn to lead. I stopped trying to steer. I started enjoying the trip. Power is most effective when we’re honest about it. Two alphas in one boat is only problematic when they decide to struggle.