Contradictions in Place

17 May

Is it just me or is life full of contradictions?  The sweetest people I know have diabetes and can’t eat sweet things, those with the biggest, most generous hearts have heart disease, and the friendliest folks I’ve ever met, often are pretty lonely in everyday life.  Those with the biggest smiles have been forced to invest thousands in rotten teeth.  And some of funniest people in the world are depressed. 

I’m in a new phase.  I am the consummate observer these days, working like mad to detach myself from the prospect of falling into modern culture’s habit of discounting or discarding the elderly amongst us.  I’m in this phase as a matter of self-defense, being that I am one of the elderly amongst us these days. Populist judgment isn’t the only conceptual ideology I’m detaching from either; I’m dropping old wives tales, cultural mythology, political rancor, mainstream media and processed foods.  (Well, I’m giving that whole process food thingy my best shot anyway.)

I’ve been forced to reevaluate my life once again, (seems its a cyclical process), and as I enter that whole practice of introspection, I realize I’m in the autumn of my existence, but not to worry, fall has always been my favorite season, (followed by winter and spring.)  So I’m looking at it this way: I get  to spend, hopefully, years in my all-time favorite seasons!  Also, how apropos for a person like me who believes in an afterlife, that spring should follow winter’s death.

My mother is 86 years old.  She often tells me the Golden Years are hard and cold.  I hope not.  I’m personally expecting them to be the most introspective years of life.  I’m visualizing a quieter, slower time with a great deal of rocking in my favorite old black rocking chair, staring at the trees off my deck, and spending long hours in the peaceful solitude of quilting.  But the truth is, I don’t know what to expect, no one does. So, under these particular circumstances, the best thing I think I can do is to be aware and not waste precious time being frustrated.  I believe I can save myself a great deal of grief  by watching the signs along the way, because I know that everything is connected.  One thing leads to another, and that leads to fresh opportunities and change.  My observation that life is full of contradictions arose from my introspective space where I concluded a person can be so sweet or kind to others that he ends up giving pieces of himself away, never fulfilling his own need for sweetness, and out of a sense of exigency or self-preservation, his body responds; his pancreas slowing, or simply shutting down.  Maybe the same can be said of one who has dealt with a broken heart, or the person who continually helps others, but never asks for help himself. 

I know this is the truth: the earth is changing.  I see it in the woods where I live.  I see it in the animals here.  We are all part of this good earth, an extension of naturalness under assault.  I can live with as small of a carbon footprint as is personally possible, but I cannot change the velocity of world-speed, or the stealth-like consequences of progress. Still, I have power; I can observe and consider paths chosen and paths ignored, and I can add those observations to the well of learned wisdom I share with others.

My bones are tired; they are swollen and sore from a life full of activity.  Still, they press on.  The person with the greatest heart I have ever known is my husband, Richard.  He has persistent heart disease.  Rick and I met and married in 2003.  I thought our love would heal him.  What it did was make him stronger and more determined to do the right thing for himself. I can’t list everything marrying Richard has done for me; there’s not enough paper in the world, but his love saves me everyday.  

I recently shared my life philosophy with a blogger friend of mine, telling her I approach every day as if it is a vacation day.  No matter how busy I am, no matter how many tasks must be completed, I’m off the clock!  On vacation, you give yourself time to rest, time to heal and regroup before stepping back into the real world.  Vacation is my real world.  I have permission to sit out a day, or a week, or a month, whatever I need because  I give it to myself.  And I watch the signs, follow the trails and mysterious hints nature gives.

Today it is overcast outside, drizzling rain, cool, crisp breeze;  a day best spent tending to inside things … like sitting on the covered deck blowing bubbles.   

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8 Responses to “Contradictions in Place”

  1. losttaurus May 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Reminds me of the book “The Giving Tree”. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and enjoy your vacation!

  2. Claudia Anderson May 17, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    This is a wonderful, wonderful blog. It touches the highs and lows in every heart; every fear, every expectation. My husband of 32 years just found out he’s a diabetic…our whole eating style is changing. We help each other. Why does it take an eye opener to open our eyes? I walk each day as if it is a blessing, because it IS a blessing. Soft breezes, tinkling wind chimes, a kitty on my lap — these are but a few of the petals of love that fall our way.

    • ittymac May 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      Every day is a gift. When we’re lucky enough to get to share our days with someone we love, it’s even better!

  3. Archita May 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Wonderful article , so much full of life, wisdom and hope. 🙂

    • ittymac May 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Thank you so much! Your support is very important!

  4. K.M. OSullivan May 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    I’m right in the middle of being in the middle–young child, aging parent and the rest of life zooming by. I’ve been doing my best to take in each moment like I do when it’s just me in a hammock on beach: calm, centered, relaxed, and able to make choices based on true needs, including my own. Lovely post. It came, for me, at just the right moment.

    • ittymac May 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      I’m very happy you needed to hear something I so badly needed to say. 😊

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