During the pandemic of Covid-19 I have had a lot of time to think and read. I have also had a lot of time to spend in my garden.
When I am tired of thinking and reading, I am happy to go out into my big landscape garden and pull weeds. Since it is newly planted it has a lot of weeds. I do this in the morning before it gets hot. This takes up any morning energy I might have for writing, so, as a result, I haven’t been blogging recently–which is just as well, because with all that is happening I feel like I have nothing to say, nothing at all to add.
I really felt I had nothing unique to say about that other pandemic of racism and police violence that has captured our national awareness in the last several weeks on top of, because of, along with Covid-19. Could this at last be a transformative moment? Can the biggest mass movement this nation has ever experienced be sustained? How will that happen?
It was just too much to contemplate. And then poison ivy showed up and became my teacher. Continue reading
With one of my literacy teachers (the tall one) and three of her students.
I recently realized that life in my 70s has a guiding question that could have come straight from Marie Kondo, the tidy-up guru, though I have never watched a single one of her TV shows or videos and my house still retains pockets of clutter.
In fact, I apply the question, “Does it bring you joy?”, more to my life as a whole than to my dwelling and possessions, though I make sporadic efforts to apply it there, too. I use it to tidy up my life, so to speak, to focus on the things I really want to do.
It has not been an easy question for me to answer. One reason that it guides me now is that my answers to it have evolved over the years and shown up in surprising ways that I would not have guessed in earlier times. Continue reading
Elder, senior, aging, older, old. I want to be honest about where I am in life. I am, unapologetically, 73 years old. But I don’t really identify with any of these words.
“Elder” implies entitlement to authority and status that I may or may not have. “Senior” is a euphemism for “old” and I don’t go for euphemisms. I’m certainly “aging”–but isn’t everybody? And “old” is how I feel sometimes but I’ve tried calling myself old and it makes me–and others–uncomfortable.
Language matters, as Laura Carstensen writes in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, “In Search of a Word that Won’t Offend ‘Old’ People.” Continue reading
With full awareness of all that is ugly in the world, I am obsessing about beauty. I don’t believe these thoughts represent escapism so much as astonishment. A lesson that has unfolded for me over the past year is that nothing in this world is to be taken for granted. And so I’m trying to keep my eyes and my heart open and when I do this the beauty of life nearly overwhelms me, as does the impulse to experience, create, and extend this beauty, which represents Love. Continue reading