Contemplating, this, that and the other thing.....
That seems to be the way it goes these days, although I am trying to discipline myself to finish July's big task by the end of the month so I can devote August to spinning and weaving.
I have a book entitled 'Contemplative Aging - a way of being in Later Life. It is written by a man (more on that aspect later) - Edmund Sherman, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, State University of New York at Albany, where he was Professor of Social Welfare before his retirement.
Edmund is espousing the meditative approach to old age. He welcomes the 'interior' life, characterized by greater engagement in recollection and reverie, rather than in action; a 'turning away from competition and achievement toward the more elemental and sacred aspects of life'; to shift direction from the mode of doing to the mode of being.
I started to read this book a few months ago, but put it aside, being too involved in the anticipation of 'doing' and accomplishing many of the things that I seem to now have time for. And yet it touches a chord with me -
I do have periods of great memories; thinking of those early formative years of my childhood, and then of the wonderful years of our marriage, and family times. I try to cultivate a certain stillness, and a mindfulness in all I do, but am not yet ready to sink into a Buddha like contemplation of life's meaning.
My big task this month (inspired by the approach of my 90th birthday) has been to finish working on my 'Departure Papers' - my will, my wishes, a service, all the details a family has to cope with after a 'departure' - but my reason for doing this is quite a common sense one, - I want it done and finished so I can put it aside with a feeling that it will be there when needed, and then GET ON WITH LIFE!!!!
Has anybody else got ancient enough that this way of contemplative life has occurred to them? I think it is perhaps more prevelant in men (they don't have the care of a home to keep them busy no matter how old they are...) and probably in more scholarly men whose activity during their lifetime has been mostly in their mind and less in physical action.
But then, who knows what old men who sit on a bank and fish are thinking of during those long periods when they wait for a bite???
Anyway, I am looking forward to re-warping my loom and making some more silk rag rugs this fall, and planting some more tulip and daffodil bulbs, and getting back to fall activities - seeing friends, going out for lunch, - but perhaps in the morning, over coffee, I will contemplate the day to come. And in the evening, when I take my book to bed, I may drift off to thoughts of perspective and the eventual 'cosmic union with the spirit of the universe.
In the meantime my motto is Carpe Diem!!!! In moderation, and with a faint salute to Edmund Sherman and his 'way of being in later life'.