I turned 56 today.
I’m never really clear on where the time goes or how it seems to slip by unnoticed. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was sipping Chambord and expensive champagne and learning how to cook the perfect octopus ?
This afternoon, after a lovely breakfast with family, I spread out my paperish things, filled up my flask of water and settled down to a documentary about a favorite author of mine, Joan Didion. I don’t happen to think that any one story of a life is ‘better’ than any other, but hers is quite interesting to me. She has written a couple memorable books about being plunged into the darkness that is grief. She is resilient and precise, exposed and eloquent. She is a survivor and what she shares is profound. It was called The Center Will Not Hold. For some reason that title chills me straight to the bone.
She writes” it’s easy to see the beginnings of things and harder to see the ends “. She shares that notion with the grace of someone who has been there. I cried when they showed her receiving a National Humanities Medal from Barack Obama. Happy tears for her and genuine sadness in missing the compassion and leadership of President Obama. My God, what happened to us ? What have we become ? I miss him so much.
It’s been quite a year for many things. Our changing social landscape; the coming together of many humans and the alienation of many more. My own personal evolution ( or is that revolution ? ) has led me to a place of greater independence, less fear and more curiosity. I resolve in this next year to follow that curiosity wherever it leads and to prop open the doors of both heart and mind.
Maximum exposure. It’s a loving way to let the world in.
Today, Kelly taught me about loving attentiveness. Mom and Dad, Laurie and Hope taught me about generosity. Gus taught me the value of sleep and comfort. Yoda taught me about being mindful and exercising body as well as spirit. All of my friends taught me, as they always do, about the value of connection by reaching out to me. ( Thank you ! )
And finally, Maezen taught me a little more about being mindful of the people and things that are right in front of me. This year I will see them. You never know how or where the teachers will present themselves. It’s important only that you keep your eyes open.
At 56, it’s still a thing I can manage without ( much ) effort.
( I hope you’ll stick with me as I continue to explore new ways of sharing. Like this blog. I will find my voice. And when I do, well as Paulo Coelho says ” Sometimes there’s just no way to hold back the river …” )