Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Visit to My Bookmark Library

I have a large aging bookmark library and I thought it might be fun to share some of those bookmarks with you. I often bookmark articles I find interesting, like this one from Time Magazine on the powers of the aging brain.

That's a subject I find fascinating. There's plenty of reasons why every older person should know more about it, too. Current research sheds light on the positive integrative capacity of the mature mind. Why obsess about senior moments? Instead, engage in the deeper qualities of the mature mind.

I often refer to this link to poetry about aging from The Academy of American Poets. I love poetry and it's interesting to see whose work and what poems are included here. Not all the poems listed have hot links, but if you've the inclination, you can find them online elsewhere. Forgetfulness by Billy Collins and Touch Me by Stanley Kunitz are two that I am very fond of.

I have bookmarks for positive articles about older people, like this one from the Seattle Times about 91-year old  Eileen Allen, who wrote a book titled I Like Being Old: A Guide to Making the Most of Aging. I have not read the book yet. Have any of you?

Since life review is one of the tasks of aging, I have some links that relate to that. This one from Psychology Today is about the healthy qualities of nostalgia. Nostalgia often gets a bad rap. Not in my book. I take pleasure in returning to beautiful experiences I've had in my life. And this article points out why nostalgia can be a tool for wellness.

Here's a link to some of the photographs of Dr. Jeffrey Levine, a geriatrician whose interest in aging has led him to photograph older adults.

This link will connect you to a documentary Over 90 and Loving It.  

All of these links provide positive news, fresh perspectives and pro-aging support. There's a whole lot more in my bookmark library on aging, but that is enough for now, most likely.  Enjoy!

Here at Casa de las Flores, I've been recovering from a badly sprained ankle. Several weeks ago, I fell. It was a surprising fall and something that seemed as if it should not have happened. It occured when I stood up from sitting in a chair in my living room. One of my feet had fallen asleep very soundly and would not hold my weight. Down I went.

I crawled around, used crutches and rested for the first day. Since then, it has been a gradual process of healing, homeopathic treatment, gentle massage and rest. I have been a very healthy person all my life, and the several falls I've had in the past 5 years have occasioned a fair amount of contemplation about vulnerability and limitation. We don't like being vulnerable, but there is a great deal of instruction in it, as far as I am concerned.

I will write more about vulnerability and its uses at some other time. Since that fall, I have gotten into the habit of checking in with my feel before getting out of bed or out of a chair, to make sure we are having a connected conversation. The body is a strange and wonderful thing, isn't it?

I am in the process of developing some workshop and course formats for creative and conscious aging. I will present an introduction to one of these, titled "Playfulness, Pleasure and the Art of Aging" at the Sage-ing Guild conference to be held in North Carolina in October.

I really enjoy working with folks in the workshop and class setting. Right now, though, I have to develop the outline for what we will do together in these gatherings.

In the you never know what will happen next in life department, an old friend from The Gentle Brothers and Sisters, a ministry of healers I have been part of for a very long time, just invited me to be her guest on a Mayan cruise in December. What a surprise! And how moving to  be the recipient of her generosity in this way.

I have wanted to see the Mayan ruins for years! And what a beautiful gift she is giving me. I look forward to spending this very special time at the end of the Mayan calendar with her at the Mayan ruins.

We had a day of rain here yesterday, and it is still cloudy. My nearby neighbor is having a neighborhood potluck this evening. I hope the weather stays clear for that. My fantasy about getting older used to be removing myself from the world to a teepee in the woods and really getting into being a rather unconventional old woman. I am very attracted to living in nature that way. And perhaps I shall have the chance to do that, or to go on a journey in a gypsy wagon. Or perhaps not.

I am not living in a teepee, long hair wild or in dreadlocks. Now I have to laugh at this notion.  How would I cook? What kind of heating would I use? What about bathing and the toilet? I've lived in schoolbuses, yurts and cabins but now I am living in a charming somewhat rustic house on a beautiful block of old houses in a small Oregon town called Phoenix.  I am surrounded by really nice neighbors. I have a gorgeous garden full of roses, daisies, herbs, lilies and many other flowers in the front yard, and a fine collection of greens growing in the back yard gardens. I am content with this style of living for now, and with my engagement in the art of aging. Not self-satisfied, but content. And being content is a good thing. I can't claim to be content all the time. There are hours and days when I am filled with what Isadora Duncan called a "divine unrest." Which has its own delights.


  1. Very provocative post. Raises questions of how one will choose to live as they age. My answer would be just to live out each day as if it were your last. Your post tells me that others have notions that belong to their personal lifestyle. It seems that no one person needs to follow a prescribed path. Your own path, and yours alone, is what is important. Liked the MD photos! -- barbara

    1. Thanks for your comment Barbara. I still entertain the notion of living in the woods, but am rather attached to indoor plumbing and heating these days. Of course, you're right that there is no prescribed path for everyone,and some days it may even seem that there is no path at all, but all that exploration including the unknowing aspects are part of learning and growth. Hope all is going well with you and your beautiful work.

  2. When I was younger I had years of living in woodsy areas, rather isolated for a young person, and learned much that I value. Even after I wed my husband and I often talked of various such living arrangements., In fact, our first home was a modified move in that direction but life's path took us in a different direction. Now as I age, full well knowing what life without certain creature comforts would be like with my being far less agile and having decreased endurance would mean, I'm quite content where I am.

    Hope your body continues to heal well. How exciting your Mayan trip sounds. Stay on your feet!

    My books, everything I read actually, are filled with bookmarks. Nice that you're sharing some of yours here.

    I, too, am fascinated by the human brain and will always remember the awe I felt in our training program when I held one in my hands. We worked with sections of a human brain later, but the feelings and thoughts in that initial encounter remains with me. There are many good books out there and intriguing research being conducted.