Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life is the Ultimate Art Form

The creative act is a courageous, ancient gesture, a dynamic exploration of the dark mystery that is human existence.
                          - Adriana Diaz

A few nights ago, I had a potent dream. In it I received a sacred bundle composed of an archaic compost with wonderful regenerative powers. That archaic substance was a kind of homeopathic medicine. Even in small amounts, it enriched and rejuvenated the earth wherever it was placed.

The numinous figures that gave me that bundle told me that the archaic compost was as old as time itself. They said that it came from the deepest recesses of the richness of the Earth and was filled with all the knowing experience that had accumulated from aeons past to the present.

The archaic earth was soft, dense and dark, fragrant and of course deeply mysterious.  I took a tiny pinch of it and cast it out over the landscape, which was enhanced, enriched, beautified. Just a small pinch rejuvenated a vast territory.

Whenever I took a small pinch of the earth for healing, the delicate membrane that covered the bundle repaired itself easily. I was astounded and full of joy to have been given this gift and this responsibility, which felt so buoyant and healing for myself, the Earth and all beings.

Since that night, I have been contemplating this dream. How does it translate into my everyday life, to my creativity and my deeper purpose? I have no answers yet, but the dream has lifted me up and provided me with a reminder of the powerful nature of the subconscious mind.

The past 7 months have been very difficult. In January my younger daughter and I traveled to rescue my older daughter,  whom I have seldom seen for decades. So began a rough and consuming ride on a rocky road as we did our best to support her in dropping her long-standing addictions.  It was heartbreaking. And piercingly sweet at times. Now she is gone again. She left a week ago, returning to the city where she had been living. 

That was a gigantic effort for me, one in which I discovered deep wellsprings of love and acceptance of my daughter's very difficult life. It has also been very hard to come right up against the truth that I cannot fix my daughter's life, no matter how hard I try or how much I do. It is up to each of us to live our lives, make our choices, construct a reality that we inhabit. She has her own journey, and I pray that it goes well. My heart feels very tender these days, even raw at times. I am in a time of self-healing.

Then there is the business of selling my flower cottage, which I put on the market at the end of March. It attracted a buyer quickly, but that first sale fell through. Again, buyers quickly appeared but at the very last moment, a second sale fell through. My realtor tells me she has never seen anything like it. Well, I am happy that not too many have to go through anything similar.

I was so confident about the second deal, I  got rid of almost all my furniture and moved into a room in a friend's place.  That was a month ago. Now I've lowered the price on the cottage and we are focusing on magnetizing the right buyer and completing the sale successfully. May it  be so, and soon.

Every time I go there to water the gardens, I feel what a delightfully welcoming place it is. Somebody is going to love living there as much as I did.

Attitudes about Aging --- OLD as a Word of Power

 As you no doubt are aware, many people are afraid of aging and being old. In our culture,  there are many noxious ageist stereotypes.  People seem surprised when someone over 60 is vital, vibrant, creative, happy and capable. That's because people buy into stereotypes. Older people buy into them, too. They start to collapse into and become those stereotypes.

Well, I'm too old to do that.
That's what happens when you get older.

It's bad enough that people who are not yet old have unreal, unkind and prejudicial attitudes about aging, but when older people themselves take on those limiting beliefs and perspectives, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I may be too old to do certain things now. That could be true. But why should I focus on that, rather than on what is good, rich and enjoyable? We are all subject to the ravages of time (a phrase I happen to enjoy). I have less energy than I did 10 years ago. I cannot easily drive at night. These are age-related limitations. Others I know are grappling with chronic illness, neurological conditions, things that bring even more significant limitations. No matter what, I notice that when a person brings positive self regard, acceptance and optimism into their life situation, it benefits them and everyone around them.

Lately I've been thinking about Elaine Stritch and Rabbi Zalman Schachter, two elders who passed recently. Such different lives, but so similar in the way they poured their creative joy into everything they did. That's attitude.

And I've been thinking of Olga Kotelko, a nonagenarian athlete from Canada who passed recently. She was outstanding and passionately engaged. We don't have to be famous to be engaged, passionate, creative and joyful. We can just be ourselves fully.

I think that is good news.

OLD is a word of power. It really is. It's time to reclaim the word OLD from the junk heap of language. Be old and proud of it. Set a good example. Leave a meaningful legacy, of whatever genre or type. Don't get caught up trying to maintain the superficial facade of youthfulness. It's demeaning and it doesn't really work either. We were already young. Let's plunge into the waters of oldness. There is a lot to learn and share in this time of life.

In the midst of this world so full of conflict and war, may we find peace within ourselves and may that peace radiate out to others. 


  1. It sounds like your dream is your subconscious trying to encourage you to see your value in a time where you have felt down for the losses and the one of your daughter and her choices has to be the hardest.

    I will be 71 in the fall and I feel the difference for being that age. I really resent those who try to imply there is nothing different about getting old. of course, there is. People who don't have a serious illness may not get to that point as soon but we all do get to where the wearing out body is something we cannot deny.

    On the other hand, for my writing, I have never had such a rich time. Marketing is another story lol but the writing is wonderful right now. I don't know if I told you that I write romances but what I like about writing them now is how I have lived through all the earlier ages I might use. I have experienced so many things and I think it helps me with the characters. I am not bound by stereotypes as I might've been when younger. Now I have been there and I think it adds a dimension to my writing that I feel is one of the big pluses of being this age. I know painters where they are the same for how they can use their skills now in deeper ways. There are pluses of being old. But to pretend there aren't minuses is naive or dishonest. I liked how you presented the whole picture here. It is what it's all about.

  2. Thanks for your comments here Rain.