Monday, March 21, 2011

snow AGAIN

snowing, snowing here in Maine -- goes with northern New England.
I haven't figured out how to upload photos as I do not have Windows on my computer but Linux which is foolproof as to viruses......I sent a help message out to the computer center at the college and haven't had any "takers' for a paid tutorial job as yet.
I'm learning how to do origami with an enthusiastic senior teacher. The best part of the class was seeing an older gentleman finding an activity that he really loves, and loves to show others how to do it - from children on up.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

aging poets

We gave a poetry reading Tuesday evening - six poets representing the decades of 60, 70 and 80! Lovely poems, some about aging, some about winter, one about joy, many reflective observations. We had a  grand time and had a respectable audience to cheer us on. We meet monthly to read our poems, share our responses, make suggestions, but lately, its been "send it!" That means send it to where it might be published. I have one published in our local daily on line newspaper now. Our meetings close with shared soup and bread; we've feasted in spirit and body.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Memory: where our vanished days secretly gather. I find that description by John O'Donohue endearing. Here is such validation of memory which as oldsters we have a lot of! Doing an oral history with your children or grandchildren, such fun and such a gift to the next generation or even the next!
We had gorgeous landscape here in western Maine for the past two days - snow then rain - the trees and shrubs were coated with ice -- every vertical plant encased in ice. It was magical. And it lasted for two days! Three of the poets in my poetry group wrote about these incredible days....."what if you woke/to a world of glass tree...." the poem begins.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

conscious aging

For the younger person, it almost a sin, certainly a danger to be too much occupied with him or herself. But for the aging person it is a duty and a necessity to give serious attention to him/herself.  After having lavished its light on the world the sun withdraws its sap in order to illumine itself
Solitude opens to us the wonder of the world without noise, a world without clutter, a world purged of the social whirl. At least, for awhile, at least long enough to immerse ourselves in the balm of simply being.
Conscious aging needs support....a presence, a witness, a listener.........

Monday, March 7, 2011

The everpresent question of happiness

I found these reflective comments that were made by Godfrey Reggio who has many identities, the most well known is that of film maker.
First of all, I don't believe we're here to be happy. It is the result of, the effect of. I believe we are here to live creative lives........A life of creativity is a life of risk. It is a life going beyond the ordinary, of embracing the odyssey, of leaving your familiar, of trying to make a commitment.
Reggio is, from what a read, a most committed man. His films, which I have not seen, confront in a poetic way injustice of the earth and thereby injustice of ourselves.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pleasures and Anxieties of Aging

I guess its aging, not retirement that I was thinking about and its taken me this amount of time to get clear on how to say it! I taught a short course at the senior college that is associated with our university system entitled, Living Later Life. In later life we are thrown back upon ourselves. I read books by James Hillman PhD who addresses the issues. He is an Elder in the field of psychology. One of his books deals with how the aging process reveals and develops character. Character, thats a thought! Our culture and education system does not give much thought to the development of character in our youngsters and sadly, it is showing. I'm going to share a quote from an interview with Hillman, one that I enjoyed and chuckled over.
Another thing that old people often report is enjoying the simple pleasures of the day, and the pleasure of the seasons, of seeing spring again, or the snow. I've also noticed how enjoyable memories are. reviewing our lives can be a pleasure; it isn't just contrition and guilt and remorse and regret and so on. There's as strange pleasure in going back over things. And it isn't just that you go back over tham, but they come back to you. you can't believe it. Where did this come from? They aren't just memories, but scenes you can re-enter and rediscover things you once lived.
Many pleasures are lost in the medicalization of old age - most of all, the pleasures of the senses. You take pleasure in eating, or a good sleep. You can sit in a chair and enjoy it. But medicine has turned old age into an exercise program, a diet program a passion for dosages and prescriptions. This is not life, but a substitute, full of anxiety.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Great Need

A Great Need

Of a great need
We are all holding hands
And climbing.
Not loving is letting go.
The terrain around here
Far too


Would it not be wonderful if we all held to this observation/lesson? A little humor here too! Hafiz is a 14th c. Persian poet where his presence is remains felt and loved. This is one of my absolute favorite poems.