Thursday, October 25, 2007
At odd moments during the last week I have been knitting a pretty blue hat and listening to an Audio Book (which recreation I still think is the latest in Bee's Knees ). The book I have been absorbing, muttering over and sometimes agreeing with is Gordon Livingston's "And never stop Dancing".
At times I frowned at some of the Liberalism he expressed, as being careless of morality, and lacking in responsibility.
However, I found myself listening intently to the Chapters dealing with aging and was particularly struck by his quote from Kahlil Gibran when introducing the purpose of these "waiting years" that have been tacked on to the end of life with the reduced mortality that science and good living have brought us.
"We exist only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting"
Which leaves us with the question - where do we find the beauty in aging? In "the Golden years"(probably from 65 to 70) which are over in the twinkling of an eye? In the long, lonely wait of powerlessness, and increasing awareness that the old go largely unnoticed?
In my own life I have found that as my senses of hearing and seeing diminish, and I become less supple and mobile, I am more often overcome with the sheer loveliness that surrounds us.
As I let go of busyness, the need for importance, and that old devil "Ego" the room that is left is filled with a rush of exquisite awareness of small beauties that surround us. And large beauties too, of course.
I wait for the moon to rise tonight, knowing that it is closer to the earth than at any other time of the year and as a consequence will be brighter and more beautiful. This morning it was just setting as the small dog and I went for our pre-breakfast walk and it lit up the morning clouds, but yesterday morning darkness prevailed and the stars were amazingly brilliant. Thousands and thousands of them with various degrees of brightness. Venus, that lovely goddess who shone in the West the spring I met Husband, shines now in the East like a spotlight with a halo around it.
This afternoon, while putting the garden to bed, I noted the smallest and daintiest of flowers,- the delicacy of the grasses, the richness of the Scarlet Maples, and the small birds, feasting at the sunflower bar lining the fence.
I wonder if I even noticed these details in the busy years, when life was a constant rush. and the days and the hours and the minutes were crowded with duties and responsibilities (being a First Born I seemed destined to be an Ant, while the Grasshoppers of the World sang and played tunes on their legs...)
Gordon Livingston presented one other occupation for the ultra-mature years, - one that I feel would do much to banish the despair that overtakes so many of the aged.
Besides being conscious and appreciating the wonders around us, he suggested that communication is of utmost importance. He is of the opinion that time would be well spent reflecting on the past, putting it into perspective, recognizing the concepts that have guided our lives, and in the end communicating this life history so that the wisdom that has been garnered shines through.
In order to do this the dear man recognizes that the person who is reflecting on life must do so with satisfaction, and not regret. The wistful nostalgia that lies in wait for those who sift through old photos make the most resolute communicator turn aside in sorrow. One must be strong, - one must be brave, and one must be mindful of (and thankful for) those times that brought us such joy and satisfaction during our lifetime. Letting go is so important.
Well, I thought that was very good advice and there are others who have such wonderful stories to tell whom I wish I could impress with this suggestion.........
"Most people die with their music still inside them" Gordon Linvingston