There is still a surprised disbelief that I am here.
That these hands becoming spotted
this hair thinning and greyed
these knees-are they really mine?!–
showing signs of-
seen on my grandmother!-
Aging is a strange thing.
On the outside the body changes,
as it always is and does,
yet with so much more attention and shock
than any other age.
And yet, when I get over this self-of-me that wants to only see the changing body…
when I begin to turn my gaze onto what is still…
I can see so much MORE clearly…
At 50 there is a sense of reciprocity, of co-creating, co-dependence, community, collaboration and relation that is the truth
that is the sustenance of forward motion.
There is nourishing and re-enlivening like no other time in life…
Take 40 for example.
A definitive fundamentalism about life existed at this labyrinthian turn.
As well as an allowance.
Yet I have questioned and now come to believe this allowance married with the fundamentalism caused retracing that have become,
I can say without remorse or shame, the bettering of me.
These days turned and twisted behind me have made the me that is ready to be what is.
It is the first time. faith.
Faith that has surprised me.
Coming not from blind obedience,
and not of the form of belief in the face of no proof,
but faith grounded in self-discovery
and long glances backward
that have skillfully made me to see
that on which I stand
and go forward.
seems to be made of courage
Courage begotten of self acceptance.
no grand absence of doubt
no hopped-up absolutism
certainly not now nor ever
perfectly placed steps
-although I wouldn’t mind it looking this way from the outside for a time or two-
This courage is simply gentle self acceptance.
I too, just as I am, am given a part in the wondrous play of living~
I have been cast a position that I will not refuse to play,
perhaps can not refuse to play,
and to the best of all possible ability I want to play.
A schematic view of the labyrinthian course that comprises my life would tell the most ignorant observer that I’ve been held.
That I am true to course.
That I can stand strong where I am.
Not an allowance;
I get to.
What 50 brings me to is a realization that it matters not what I feel I am standing on, where this standing has me positioned, or where I will step as a result.
What matters I see
in my 50th birthday presence
and what I think all of us at whatever turning of age must ruminate on, is what, pray tell, I intend to make of this me-ness in this world~
Because this is what’s been spoken in the onrush of 50-
in the look-back-at years that have swept under the bridge and muddled together as one dear life-
this is what my river of days, that I can call an amazing life, have said to me-
‘What now, oh wise one, do you intend to do with these tremendously rich, gifted days you’ve lived, in order to
that which your DOing intended all along,
and quite frankly necessitates,
in the mere fact of
With hints at the great poetry of Mary Oliver,
and the not as well known last few line from Rilke’s great, I set out
as much as my confidence will allow,
into this one wild, next-
I get to.
I live my life in ever widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not ever complete the last one,
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, that primordial tower.
I have circled for thousands of years,
and I still don’t know: Am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?