Posts Edge of Seventeen

Edge of Seventeen

by treenaorchard

Candles were among my first Covid-19 home delivery items, along with a pumice stone and colloidal silver, long known to stimulate the immune system. Selecting a fragrance without smelling it was weird and as my indecisiveness crept in, I realized that it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I was taking forever to decide, no one was waiting for me to make up my mind. It didn’t matter what the scent was either because they’ll all smell nice, and they will all disappear.

I recently bought my first tarot deck, which informed my decision to select The Fool for one scent. Despite the negative associations with fools and being foolish, in the land of tarot this individual is emblematic of our journey through life and the intuitive adventures that await us in the cards. We are all the fool, which is freeing to learn. The other fragrance I chose was Edge of Seventeen, which conjures flowing fabrics and the fierce, dead sexy genius of Stevie Nicks.

A Wikipedian sage shared all sorts of fascinating things about this song title, including its origins. Stevie was friends with Tom Petty, whose first wife Jane told her that she and Tom met at the “age of seventeen” which, in Jane’s thick Southern accent, sounded like “edge of seventeen.” Stevie loved the phrase and wrote the song during the week of December 8, 1980, which was when John Lennon was assassinated and a beloved uncle died. ‘Edge of Seventeen’ was later released in 1981 on her debut solo album, Bella Donna.

Belladonna  is a perennial  plant in the nightshade family Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. It was historically ingested by Italian women to enhance their pupils, hence the plant’s name, which means “beautiful woman.”  Studies confirm that dilated pupils occur during attraction, but they also enlarge when we are afraid. So, maybe it’s not just lust we are drawn to, but the overall sense of being in a heightened state. I think we are instinctively drawn to embodied expressions of vulnerability, including those associated with climax, sometimes called “la petite mort”.

Read here for other historical orgasm euphemisms:

To live, to die, to show our soft underbellies.

Some of us do it better than others. Stevie does it very well, which is why there are hundreds of Instagram fan pages devoted to her, decades past her career climax…Beautiful woman, indeed. I wasn’t so beautiful when I first started listening to her. Struggling with various traumas, I found myself inside dark places where, “The days go by, like a strand in the wind…nothing else mattered.”  A lot of things did matter, but I had much to learn about how to bring them and me into love’s bright center where everything belongs. I have since learned how to center and find myself, “in the web that is my own [where] I begin again.”

While thinking about this blog, I wondered about a list. Everyone loves “listickles”, right? I’ve never included one, but friends, that changes today. Below are 17 emotions that colour my Covid-19 days. They aren’t listed in any order and were quite easy to come up with, a reflection of my variegated emotional landscape in this time of global flux.

  1. Bored
  2. Frustrated
  3. Scared
  4. Vulnerable
  5. Calm
  6. Unsettled
  7. Anxious
  8. Connected
  9. Sad
  10. Libidinous
  11. Lonely
  12. Accomplished
  13. Irritated
  14. Aghast
  15. Hopeless
  16. Angry
  17. Tired

Is there a distinctive soundtrack to your life right now? If so, what songs/genres/artists top your listicle? What about emotions, which ones surface the most?

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Dr. Treena Orchard

London, Ontario

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