Books and I: friends forever

The end of a book’s wisdom appears to us as merely the start of our own. Proust

This phrase has certainly been true for me. From the start of my retirement journey, books seem to keep track of of my progress along my interior journey and to offer support when I was feeling overwhelmed by the depth of the changes that surrounded me. I found solace, recognition that I was not alone on this journey and suggestions as to new ways to think of myself as the ‘old order’ vanished and I was feeling intensely vulnerable.

So often I would go to the library; the next book I ‘needed’ to read was waiting for me to select it, call it my own for a time: ‘this book was written for me’ crossed my mind several times. Did I always agree with the author’s point of view? Not always…but then, authors did not always agree with each other. Aging, the new frontier, has many points of view on the elegance and challenges of growing old…always more to learn, invitations to expand our lives even as society has plans for downsizing. Not only for homes. Avidly, I read of others’ lives, saw some possibilities in my own and sought to share my journey with others…fellow warriors on the new/er path. I could do this, I thought.

As my life continues to change and I let go of’ things that no longer serve me’, it seems as though those books, podcasts, and articles have provided me an excellent foundation for composing my own further life. Who am I? What matters to me? What are my new beginnings? My daily journal entries seem to help me explore new and reflective landscapes. I do have something to say about my journey and the teaching/learning environment it provides. Plays and publishing work seem to be on the horizon. Increased awareness of patterns and routines allows me to breathe differently and to listen to my heart and soul…and my body: what are its desires? How do we live as one? The essential me is strong and yearning to live out loud. Song and dance continue to fill my heart with joy: bellydancing as life…I am learning the steps slowly. Songs, melodies, chants work their magic. Singing along and composing my own ditties: it is my thing! My aging body has its own messages of support and desire to be considered. So many possibilities to be explored…who knows what will be next? Anticipation.

I will end…with a book. Over the Rooftops, Under the moon by JonArno Lawson. In the picture book, he explores life: alone and together, change: inside and out and what we can come to understand. Near and far. I will make my own meaning from this text and beautiful illustrations. I am hearing the sound of GO!
Live your life as you choose!

Ancient vocabulary:

philautia…taking care of self

agape…love for everyone

Philia…loyalty to friends

MY credo.



Across my landscape, inside and out, spring  unfolds. Memories’ blossoms transport me to childhood and the experiences of living on my grandfather’s farm. These days, blooms in yards and parks remind me of the timeless beauty of Nature and her invitations to surround myself with floral colour and shape, perfume and possibility.

fragance overides my need for control.
blossoms invite more, much more…
When I was a child,
Simple living was the norm.
Woven through stories,
I recall lilac blossoms’ deep purple
wafting their scent-
Colouring my world.
I was at home within its branches.
The poet says:
“When I get old I shall wear purple.”
For me, adorning is not enough.
Each spring, I must surround myself;
Experience once again
The fragrance, the sight, the memory:
The lilac years.

Quest-ion #1

What are my stories?

Once upon a time…there was a little girl who lived on a farm for a while. That experience was magical as she lived in a house in a lilac tree, collected eggs with her grandfather, swung on a swing as high and as far as she could. Later on she would tend a huge garden,build a network of friends and learn some cool dance moves. A move from town to country changed her world forever; this change would become one of the stories she told herself as a before and after saga. She learned to guard her emotions and defer to others…who always had her best interests at heart. She had adventures and composed a life.It was always better far from home. Retirement changed everything again. Her interior journey began and she reacquainted herself with her creative urge, desire to connect with music: to sing and dance and came to have a better sense of self as she began to compose another life with elements of old and new. She came to understand that she was not alone in making this life journey. Her vision matters and she can move forward with renewed optimism surrounded by friends and supporters who remind her of her importance in life.The adventures of life continue as awareness of herself in the world intensifies. 

My stories:

. have been keeping me safe but have been filtering opportunity through a narrow lens.

. have created neural pathways which unconsciously informed my behavior

. have allowed for many leadership opportunities

. allowed for little self-compassion or understanding 

. calibrated my appreciation of: my gifts, my value in the world

. have revealed their importance as stillness and and living simply created safe space

The time has come. Which stories to tend? Which to let go? What role does transformation play?