Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter: Time to Go Within

It's looking as if it might snow tonight up in the mountains. Last year at this time I was in Mexico near Puerto Vallarta. This year, I am happily ensconced in my sweet place in southern Oregon, contemplating the tropics from afar. White narcissus flowers on the dining table fill the room with their fragrance. I've just finished writing a very funny song on drugs and medications for A New Wrinkle, my play on aging. It is Baba Yaga's farewell song in the play. Now all I have to do is conjure up the play's finale, and I'm done with a good first draft of the script. Laura Rich has already scored three of the songs and today she is working on Scintillating Secrets of the Older Brain, which was inspired by the work of Dr. Gene Cohen and his book The Mature Mind.

I never knew how much I loved writing song lyrics until I started creating A New Wrinkle. I find the process of discovering great words, rhymes, near rhymes and rhythmic patterns really pixillating. It gets me going. The potential in ironic/pranic/sonic/harmonic or ecstasy/remedy/bimini or medicine/reticent, it does something to me. I start to feel a bit elfish or puckish. Regrettable, heretical or health-wise antithetical? No, it's not regrettable at all. I like it.

In terms of seasons, winter is likened to later life. A slower pace, more time for reflection. By the time you reach your sixties, you naturally become more reflective (unless you are one of those folks who takes "active aging" to aerobic extremes and never allow yourself to look within,which is sad, because reflection is a key element in aging.)

Winter is a great time for going within. Don't get me wrong. I love hiking around in the snow or getting out in the nippy air of winter. But I appreciate the opportunity to rest and reflect in the colder days and longer nights of winter.

I'm "living in the past" during some of my reflections. I reflect on my life experience, my relationships, the people who have crossed my path or filled my life with their presence, how things went,the patterns of my thought, emotions and behavior. Sometimes I am forgiving myself and others. During some of my reflections I am contemplating, meditating and praying, letting go of the solid reality of everyday life and welcoming the radiant essence. Sometimes I reflect upon the world, the Earth and its myriad beings, the future of the planet. Sometimes I reflect upon the cosmos, the constellations, the galaxies, vast and awe-inspiring.

Sometimes, right now for instance, my mind turns to what I'm about to cook for tonight's dinner, when my friend Betsy comes to visit. Now reflection must turn to action.

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