Monday, June 27, 2011

Successful Aging

This is Ksenia, with lilacs a little while back.  Her mother, aunt, and grandparents are all painters.



Successful aging then means we let
our visionary Self drag our resisting,
comfortable, stubborn self that hates
change, far enough to see a new landscape
and join in the general rejoicing. I do
love to be here, work, write, rest, see to
the hens and the crops. After years the
wider world beckons, not this time
to explore and learn from, test myself
against, but to win the friends of
my books, my private visions and
secret knowledge set afloat in a place
"of sufficient depth." My words, too,
like Proust’s, will have to win their way
in that farther world that stretches way
beyond what even I can imagine. Yet
out there are souls hungry for food I’m
able to prepare, feasts few have tasted,
and no one enjoyed to the full. I
wanted fame after my death, not before,
but time has ripened both me and my words.
My vision self is ready to show herself
more widely, to take new risks. If any one
thing is getting lost in our time, it is
integrity, being an integer, a whole,
knowing leaf to stem to root what one
believes, who one is, and practicing
always careful attendance on the Deep Source
of our human wisdom. Each day is
full to overflowing. Yet I keep up.
Even postponed tasks eventually get
done. Aging tempts one to be lulled by
routine, and the memory, too, is dulled
by repetition, by having no new tasks.
We may acquire new brain cells and keep
all our cells and their telomeres happy
and thriving, if we can bear to consider
change, upset what is familiar, uproot
ourselves now and then for good reason,
be persuaded to try the new for the sake
of our oldest, truest, deepest knowledge
and conviction. It’s no good to see visions
if you can’t help others see them, too, or
have words pour freely out upon the page
if no one ever reads those given words.
You have become rich, and it is time now
to give your riches away. Don’t worry.
This won’t impoverish you. Rather,
the little pot will continue to boil up
porridge, the caldron fill and fill again
with the gleaming gold of true words,
sincerely spoken, memorable, necessary,
and lasting longer than you yourself
will last. Do it, be it, cease to worry.
Whatever comes, in whatever disguise,
will bless you now and forever.
[I don't think I've posted this poem before.  My son has been visiting, and I can't say I'm on top of my life yet, but soon.  JH]

No comments:

Post a Comment