Kat Collins, of A Skeptical Optimist, has created a new writing challenge. In her words:
The Alter Ego
Research the origins (Latin, Greek, biblical, or otherwise) of your first name and develop an alter ego for yourself based upon those origins. If your name is Alex, for example, whose origin, Alexandros, originates from the Greek root “to defend,” your alter ego could be “The Defender.” Free-write for twenty minutes from the perspective of that alter ego, writing about anything that comes to mind—and see what kind of patterns, ideas, or thoughts emerge.
Happy writing, my friends!
My name has very dull origins; Judith means woman of Judea, and Atwood means at the woods. Still, I love a challenge, and this is one. My alter ego is Strong Woman in the Eucalyptus Grove. Now to free-write for twenty minutes. Let me put on some strong woman music. (After rereading this post, I realize that I have stepped out and done both names. But they are each of little interest, so I worked with what I had.)
I am the Strong Woman in the Eucalyptus Grove. I have no name; I prefer to be thought of as a representative of all women. Women are gracious and gentle, loving and kind. But I stand for the powerful side of every woman, the side that prefers to decide her own future. My alter ego, Judith, has been a weak woman for a long time. She is starting to awaken from that deep sleep, and feeling my presence within her. Finally.
I am determined, not so much to stop anyone from controlling women, but rather to teach women to recognize their power, to avoid ever being in a position of being controlled by anyone. I am not only talking about the women who put up with emotional and physical violence — they are part of this, but so is every woman who ever doubted her capability to create a fulfilling life for herself.
The power of women is one that supports their desire to make things better. I can’t say that this need is present in every woman. But for every woman who is lacking this need, I can find the circumstances in her past which squashed those feelings. Sadly, I cannot force anyone to accept their own power, or to use it in the interest of a more loving life. But I am the symbol of that interest, the Strong Woman.
And the Eucalyptus Grove? I represent the earth: our mother, our provider, the root of our testing, and the blessing which connects everyone to each other. Now is a time when a symbol is required, to illustrate the importance of our world around us, and to remind every person who doubts that we are nature. We cannot separate ourselves from that we call the ecology of the earth; we are nature now, and will be in the coming changes.
And I care not one bit about whether we humans caused this climate change, or whether we are present at a normal change of the world. But anyone who refuses to act in the best interests of nature, because they don’t believe we caused this, is only crippling the generations beyond ours, who will have to work harder to live within the new nature of things. If your house was burning, would you not fight the fire, regardless of why the fire exists? Ignoring the blaze is what so many people do now — I am a living symbol of the world we have, but could soon lose without efforts from every person.