"Are we the generation that will redefine aging?

Can aging be not just growing older but growing wiser?

Isn't there a little Zen in all of us?

Although 'growing old is not for sissies' this writer hopes that aging well is a real option."

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Poetic State of Mind: a Revolution in Consciousness from the "Me-Generation"



I forget the words she said that day as we were having coffee together. But they were similar to a George Eliot quote I was familiar with: "It is never too late to be who you might have been."

I've loved the idea of that quote all my life, but at seventy it has a hollow ring to it. Sure, we can go back to school or take up ballroom dancing. Hopefully many of us will blossom now. But...

...at this age I like Rilke's quote better: "And then the knowledge comes to me that I have space within me for a second timeless larger life." Yes!

This is not about a radical career change or a marriage or divorce. This is making space within me for that timeless larger life. This is making space for mindfulness.

Of all the ways our generation has redefined aging, it is most powerful in the way we have redefined consciousness. Our minds! We have rediscovered that through becoming aware of the clutter of thoughts in our psyche, we can clear it out, make space, make 'moments' in which we can slow down the endless chatter of the mind. We can make room for that second timeless life. We can acquire spaciousness...

Whew! I love that thought--it's not unlike the idea of being in a poetic state of mind where the flow of life comes into us in such a way that it is both slow and intense...a way in which we can process it and write about it. Or paint it...or sing it.

That's my hope for this on-line journal...that I will slow down long enough to notice how the sunlight shimmers on the blue and white vase on the windowsill in the morning when I wake up....that I will notice the luminosity of last night's snow as I look out the window, and will pause long enough to take in the sweet smell of brewing coffee. Mindfulness will allow me the space to not be repeating the grocery list I need to know later.

And then I can write. That is the hope. Just like in meditation we have the thought and then the space...groceries and the luminous light. Washing the mug and remembering the day I made the mug. Then and Now! I will take in this NOW and make it a special moment.

When I was young I remember how old people always talked about the past. My hope is that our generation--the ME generation--will remember the past, but talk about our lives now, bringing to consciousness the full beauty and the poignancy of each moment. ME-FULNESS can transform to MIND-FULNESS....and out of that, a larger kinder life can be born.