called by Stella Duffy - I don't recall menopause being called as a session at a previous (annual) D&D, this felt like a new/good thing.

12 women in the session, one in her 30s, the others in our late 40s-late 50s
two men looked in (Chris Grady briefly, Andy Harmon towards the end stayed with us)
Mufrida is making an email group - let me (Stella) know if you'd like to be added to it (I think you can comment below)

we talked about our menopause experiences, how it is so rarely talked about publicly
how do we come out as having a hot flush during a show (in the show?!), in rehearsal, about the lack of sleep - sometimes for years, decades on end - and how that affects our working and life patterns.
we talked about our different experiences of periods and menopause - different for each of us, therefore individual and special, but also hard to take another woman as a role model for what might happen, because it is so very personal
we talked about HRT and yam cream and progesterone and estrogen (etc!)
we talked about making work on little sleep - and about the middle of the night
we talked about rage and fire and fury
we talked about the (strange to us) fear of blood, tampons, menstruation that we have seen some (mostly male) people exhibit
we talked about it being a 'women's thing' and therefore given less status anyway, as an event in a human being's life.
we talked about the necessity, therefore, for us to step up, shout out about it - for us to 'ride the fire'.
we talked (lightly, kindly) about what it means - as a signifier of aging, of the loss of our fertility and what else that then gives us (as well as the more usual terms like "stopping', 'failing', 'ending')
we listened a lot
we talked about - and some of us had - hot flushes
we asked what is the point of the anger and the heat?
we asked where are we building this into our work? (Kath is developing a show "Invisible Lines", Stella has elements of it in her improvised show "Learning to Swim in the Abyss')
we talked about the value of collectivity : "tend and befriend", rather than fight or flight (as noted by Jenn Lunn, not present - but present) - tend and befriend as a superpower
we talked about the assumption that fertile/young women are creative, have richness, and that menopausal women are 'dried up'/finished - and how it doesn't feel like that to us at all
we talked about being hungry for silence, solitude, more time alone
Amie (30s) said it was great to hear

here is a list of things we wrote down from the circular conversation on the floor and on chairs :
riding the fire of it
which is me and which is the hormones?
you have to wait 18 years to be sure
it felt like someone was pressing hot jam out of the top of my head
no sense of my routine any more
surrender - to not knowing
reflux, joint pain, restless leg syndrome, headaches, sensitivity to light
The Crone Circle
difficulty of performing while the body is changing - no certainty of reactions to physical environment (eg light)
lack of sleep
any time you think it might be menopause - IT IS!
what is the point of the anger and the heat?
- stepping into power
- I AM angry and hot!
anti-depressants as medication for menopause - I don't want to not feel my feelings
talk about fucking vulnerable
riding the rage
they don't like an angry woman - "I don't want to be the prick who is 'just another angry woman'!"
the push to quietly and discreetly get on with your menopause
adrenal glands (fight or flight) taking over when the ovaries stop
I feel like it's just a thing
RITUAL/process - things we can create to acknowledge, honour, note
it's not easy but it's juicy and it's rich
menopause cafe?
I don't want to be 30 again/I do
BOTH : I'm sort of over AND I'm really powerful and I don't give a fuck
rebranding menopause - it's for us to tell the new stories
shedding our skins
the tampon as a relic of another life/lifetime
one of my losses is the moon cycle
this is all about you now
window open/window closed

and finally - WE ARE HERE

resource :
New Menopausal years, The Wise Woman Way - Susun S Weed