Age and Wisdom

I

should be

wiser

than I was.

Memory

composes a story

of shames and amazements.

The shames I closed

inside myself,

but the amazements,

at a sun streaked wall,

at the thrill

of an oriole,

a face,

an iris,

a volume of poems,

a person,

endure and return

in brightness.

Such moments lifted me

above my lameness.

-Czeselaw Milosz , Polish Nobel Laureate in Literature

 I don’t necessarily feel wiser as I age. However, I do remember coming upon similar challenges at earlier times and hoping that what I learned would help me.It is natural to assume that age will confer wisdom. It is really a hope that I will remember-and act on-what I’ve learned from life’s experiences.   Sometimes, I realize that asking “is this mine?”  is the question to ask myself. Often the quiet answer comes and it is “NO”.

Attaching

I feel like

I have

crossed

through

wild winds

into the calm

eye of the storm.

I must face

the wildness again

because the

calm will pass.

Clouds

are sometimes used

as a metaphor.

Watching the sky,

sometimes only

as wisp of white

dabbles

the blue

of the sky.

Clouds may move

with the breeze

or be blown

by the wind.

Today

there are many layers

some dense,

some moving quickly.

The clouds

show confusion,

some static,

occasionally

the sun peaks through.

The clouds

remind me to

practice

not attaching

to a

particular

state of mind,

pleasurable

or painful

or somewhere

in-between.

Each state

will change.

By being

engaged,

conscious of

what is happening,

I try

not to hold

onto

one

particular time.

Calm

We often

judge

others’ outsides

from our own inside.

or we judge

our own insides

by others’ outsides.

We look

at others

as calm,

in control,

on top of things.

For many people,

it takes a

lot of effort

to put

themselves together

and what you see

is the result

of that effort,

not the

challenge

of getting there.

I am startled

when someone

tells me

that I always

seem”so calm”

especially at moments

when I have

a lot of emotions

going on

inside.

As I grow older,

I am becoming

more willing

to reveal

some of those inner feelings,

that being vulnerable

is a painful experience.

Sometimes,

being open and honest

can be an opportunity

for closer

relationships.

livinglinesreflections.com

Interactions

Once upon a time,

When I ran into

friends and acquaintances

who asked

what
I was up to,

I would reel off

a litany of activities.

Lately,

I have begun to reply,

“I am practicing not multitasking.”

Saying these words

out loud

reaffirms

my intentions

and seems

to give

the questioners pause.

I also

pause

before asking

the reflexive

“what have you been up to”

question.

Instead of

exchanging lists,

a conversation

might

take place.

Be Prepared?

Heavy snow forecast,

stores not prepared

with enough

milk, bread, eggs

for each buyer

trying to

be prepared.

Few lingering items.

Schools closed tomorrow.

Warnings change

by the hours.

Course of storm

uncertain.

Shovel,boots, salt

prepared

as well as you can.

Same news hour

predicts

earthquake

in northern Pacific Coast

at least

a hundred years

overdue.

Tsunami would follow.

Buildings too low.

Higher floors

being built over school.

Drills for children and teachers

at first rumble

to climb as high

as stairs go.

No time

to rush out

for milk, bread, eggs.

Are you prepared?

For which possibility?

In life,

are we ever

really

prepared

for what

actually does happen?

Best

Do the best

you can

with what

you have.

Enjoy the ride!

A 90 year old

shares the secret.

If we aren’t

satisfied

doing

our best

with

what

we have,

we won’t enjoy

what

we did

accomplish.

livinglinesreflections.com

Rehearsal Skirt

At this time of the year

when

shorter days of light,

holidays

and holydays

combine,

many people,

maybe most,

wear

a mixed

rainbow of feelings.

Sadness

from past

and

present,

pleasure,

joy

sometimes

collide

with outer

appearances,

sparkling lights,

jingle bells,

and our own selves.

How to reconcile

the different streams?

A dear friend

in the theater

told me

about

preparing for a role.

“Put on a rehearsal skirt.”

This season

as I dress to go out,

I put on

my rehearsal skirt.

I am not

playing a role

other than myself.

I am tuning into the

joy

which lives

in my heart

next to the

sadder feelings.

Each time

I return home,

I realize

the rehearsal skirt

helped me

BE

in the happier self.

I am reminded that

dark

and light

are part of the

seasons

and living

as a human being

in a world

where

living

in each moment

is the gift

of Being.

The Cloud of Unknowing*

I

no longer

make a plan

for myself

but respond

to the people

and things

in my life

which are part

of a plan

or

pattern

I

cannot

see.

*The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism in the 14th century.

Limits

We all need

to learn to

set limits.

Do you live in an

unnaturally

high setting

for normal?

Are you

expecting

too much of

yourself and others?

When is life or

our response to it,

just too much

or just enough?

Can you build in some

flexibility?

What if our lives are

right on

the edge,

and we don’t see

the precipice?

livinglinesreflections.com      gift a book

Inside Out, Outside In

We may judge

others’

outsides

from our own

insides.

Do we look

at others

as calm,

in control,

on top of things?

For many people,

it takes

a lot of

effort

to put

themselves

together.

What you see

is the result

of that effort,

not

the challenge

of

getting there.

When I have been

more willing

to reveal

some of my

inner feelings,

the

result can be

closer

relationships.