But we love it here - the house, the neighborhood, our extended family on-site. We've had four mornings of rainbows, and gorgeous sunsets and sunrises.
What I will be doing (beyond home and family) is still unclear to me. I am pleased to be working with Jennifer Berezan on next November's big concert, Song for All Beings. Ever since my trip to Malta with Jennifer and Joan Marler I have wanted to do more work with Jennifer. Now that I'm in the east bay, it's become possible.
One of the things on my mind lately (and kind of a lot on an ongoing basis) is (no surprise here) aging. I'm working on this poem. It doesn't feel totally finished, but I wanted to share it while it's fresh. The title is the title of this blog post.
In the heart of midlife
I began observing my elders
I wanted to learn how to inhabit
the final stage of life.
What I saw:
Aging is a process of
distilling down, of
drying, like fruit, into
And so I found both hope
and a warning.
Without work and awareness
an elder ripens into
the essence of her flaws.
If fear or anger or denial dominates,
she risks dying as she has lived.
By turning away from oneself and
towards the world, the children, and
those in her sphere of influence,
an elder assumes the power
Soon – too soon – the time will come
when my elders are all gone,
(should all pass in order.)
I will no longer be able
to look ahead for guidance
except to the otherworld.
I will be one of the ones
on the leading edge.
Making our way to that cliff
is not optional.
How we traverse it is.
I want to be one of the one who blesses.
I want to be regarded
as a guide of hope.
So I must take my fundamental fears
and hold them up to a forgiving heart
and a generous universe.
I hope to learn how to set myself aside
and become a gift of aging.