I was on the operating table, my children, my girlfriend, the beauty of the world, could I peacefully let it all go? Did I even have a choice? I let go when my parents died suddenly before I was 18. I let go of Pinon Management, the process of which was more gradual than my parents passing; both of these seminal events journalized in my memoir Oh Mercy! (The Coming of Age of a Nursing Home Pioneer).
Does not the breath let go of each inhale over 23,000 times per day? Does not the sun set every night descending the world into darkness? Do we not each incarnate as an innocent infant, commencing this life with one foot in this world and the other still part of the “other world”? Educational and philosophical genius Rudolph Steiner (founder of Waldorf education) believed this incarnation process takes years, up to the time the permanent teeth start replacing the baby ones. Do we not enter the realm of elderhood at a certain stage of age-ing and commence the process of excarnating out of the body? Potentially, with the realization of the finitude, one may contemplate and harvest our life experiences and lessons, put the perspective of its deeper resonance and grow into the practice of surrendering; of letting go, which may enable elders to pass on this wisdom.
My memoir chronicles parts of my life transparently, with lessons learned. My new book, Musings + Art from Elderhood, with the talented artist Sandy Ransom, attempts to articulate a sage-ing aspect to us having entered elderhood. It’s a more simple form of expression, striving to flicker a light to spiritual and universal wisdom.
To my joy, my eleven-year-old granddaughter Preslie texted me her excitement of one of its musings, Ode to a Red Doberman, and my seven-year-old granddaughter Alba kept staring at the book’s very first musing: Leading a Horse to Water. She kept looking at the sublime drawing and slowly read the accompanying words and exclaimed that she really liked it.
Elton John, in his song “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” belts out the words “Thank God my music’s still alive.” Every time I play that song his exclamatory singing of that line floors me!
I can relate.