I love blogging and thinking about blog posts.  I’m sure I bring up Friend for the Ride much too much, although husband Cliff has been quite tolerant.

So  in December, when we went to the Rembrandt in America exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art, I had the blog on my mind as I looked into the faces of each portrait.  When I stopped in front of Maria Bockenolle (above) something about her face compelled me to do more than think.  I tried to communicate with her.  For real.

Maria, please send some insights on what menopause was like in 1634.

Give me something I can tell my readers–advice, tips, remedies that have been lost across the ages.

Something that will encourage all of us twenty-first century types as we straggle into this new arena.

Maria looked right back at me.  I promise you she did.  Her mouth was turned in a willing expression.  Her eyes said, “Certainly, my dear.”   The hand on her abdomen meant she might be pondering her own feminine anatomy.

So I waited.

And I waited some more.

Maybe Maria figures she’s finished with The Change of Life, and she’s tired of the topic.

Maybe that white ruff around her neck gave her such HORRIBLE hot flashes, that the subject makes her fume.

Maybe Mr. Rembrandt interfered, thinking I had invaded Maria’s personal space.

Maria did not speak out loud in the quiet of the art gallery, and she didn’t speak to me telepathically.


I might have been able to rock the art world AND the blog world, and I’ve only been blogging for three months!

Rats again!

But I guarantee that while I stood in front of Maria Bockenolle, I felt the pull of The Great Womanhood.

Women throughout the ages have experienced menopause.

A simple thought, I know.

But that simple thought encourages me.

What about you?

Maria’s Husband: FYI, below is, the  Reverend Johannes Elison. I didn’t ask him any questions as his expression is  less inviting than his wife’s, even though he may have been a lovely man.

Reverend Johannes Elison - van Rijn Rembrandt - Painting Reproduction



Barbara Younger

Barbara Younger blogs from her home in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Along with Friend for the Ride: Encouraging Words for the Menopause Roller Coaster (http://friendfortheride.com), she writes books for children and adults. She lives in an old house with her husband Cliff. and collections of everything from dolls to buttons to bookmarks. She's the mother of two grown daughters and the grandmother to one adorable baby boy!

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *