Magic dwells in the spirits of those, most generally elders, who are savvy enough to know, that they know enough, to know, they don’t know very much.
I have been on a long journey. I’ve been following an internal phenomenon I can’t name. I don’t know the how of such things, but the journey seems to be unfolding me.
Grief is opening me up to the real cost of life. The impermanence of everything, the fleeting moment, the embrace that always ends, these are the things I live for, cannot hold, and that make me grateful for my existence.
Growing older is nightmarish, but it also provides glimpses of how heaven is right here within reach. I think these glimpses, which reside in the failing sight of the old, and the disabled, are precious, and should be a regular part of our collective journey into mystery.
As I reflect upon the improbability of my ripening, I often turn with delight and inspiration to the life and death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela taught us that giving the self, once it has ripened, is elder wisdom, and the apotheosis of maturation.
Immunity is like freedom, it can be cultivated just for the benefit of the individual, but has a lot more value when it is developed for the well being of all.
A great way to start this piece would be to say, “I haven’t much to say about this topic,” and leave it at that. But, I’m not that humble. I am, in that regard very much an elder-in-training.
Admiring others, knowing them as they pass through, and bravely try to shape this existence, is such a gift, one that goes both ways, one that makes Life all that much more a miracle.
It is too easy to get caught up in going at the pace of cultural life, to be at the mercy of machine-time. I almost forgot that it has been slowing down, one of the conditions imposed upon me by my stroke, that has given me some ability to pause and reflect upon this constantly surprising, unfolding miracle we call life. Going slow has always been what it is all about.
Ashton Applewhite’s new book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism is a wake-up call, especially for those who have the urge to make a difference while here, alive, and with the heart for change.
If I hadn’t had a long time of lonely recovery after my stroke I might not have ever known how important I am to the equation of unfolding.
It seems that one of the tasks of we elders is to break through our culture’s collective mass blindness and to make ourselves visible. In doing so, we take care of ourselves, and we help awaken the human world to its own potential, which it cannot see right now.