We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias. –Maya Angelou
Aging and Becoming is not a work to rush through. It is contemplative reading, packed with thoughts to savor slowly, like a leisurely conversation over coffee with a beloved friend. It will activate your ego’s awareness of your soul’s natural condition: an appreciation for wonder, mystery, and curiosity, and a natural knowing of the rich meaning and potential of your life.
Okay. Time for a confession. Until recently I’ve been quite mature about aging. I’ve pumped myself with platitudes like, Why fight the inevitable? It’s just a number. Accept it with grace. Be kind to yourself. It’s a phase everyone goes through…if they’re lucky enough to live that long. Stay active. You can still be a useful member of society. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…. Then, about halfway into my 70th year, the s**t hit the fan.
Two questions interested me: “Why is it important to re-invent myself at this stage of life?” and “What qualities would enable the reinvention of my craft?” Since crossroads and transitions are common to all at crucial times in our lives, I decided to share my musings.
April’s my favorite month in Florida. Actually it’s my favorite month anywhere because it feels like my very own special month. I was born on April 23 in 1943, a year when the 23rd was on Good Friday. I always felt proud of being born on Good Friday as if it meant I was good and would be rewarded with a comfortable life. Now of course I recognize a universal, less auspicious significance to this day.
One highlight was stepping into the auditorium and being assailed with a wave of deja vu. There in front of me was a recurring image from my dreams! The same thing happened in the corridor outside the cafeteria. I hadn’t remembered what either place looked like, yet they inspired all the auditoriums and cafeterias that have shown up in my dreams since high school. How many of our issues originate in adolescent experiences we’ve completely forgotten? Quite a few, I suspect.