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.
As I’ve aged, and gotten a lot more experience under my belt, my attitude about reactivity has changed, but I still find this facet of being human difficult.
Grief days seem to take away my certainty, they deliver me unwillingly to the realization of my transcience, to the very place where I merge with the river and become what I’ve always wanted to be — myself, and an essence of the Mystery behind it all.
I first ran across the word “humankindness” doing my doctoral research into community and have been captivated by it for over 20 years.
The Solstice season is upon us, a time when one traditionally celebrates the return of the light. This year, perhaps perversely, I find myself thinking about my gratitude for darkness.
Wisdom can appear anytime, in the most surprising ways, so you have to be ready and looking for it.
I’ve been captivated these last few weeks by grief and a growing sense that the quality of my life, perhaps of all life, depends in large part upon a relationship with death.
There is an actualization of self that can take place, in the later years, that brings happiness, fulfillment, and most importantly, the kind of unique perspective that can make hope a real thing. I call this phenomenon “arrival”, and if you keep reading you’ll see why.
I’ve been hearing about The Tipping Point for a long time. In all that time I have been interested.
The idea that I am being ripened, that I could be the seed pod for some, as yet undefined, new life form, intrigues me.
I would be (and have been) sorely disappointed if I let my fear of death keep me from being happy in this life.
Being in the way used to be a slur that was aimed at old people. I intend to turn it into a calling, a chance to be true to what matters, a personal responsibility.