A for Autumn … my husband wanted me to see this tree and the autumn colours on the golf course … and Z for Zero …
Thank you for coming along on the ride on this A to Z Blog Challenge through the month of April which has gone like a flash as Aprils always do … I’ve so appreciated your support and comments which always broadens my view and thinking and feeling.
The last page of Dr. Susan E. Schwartz’s and my book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’ ends with Susan’s words: Aging presents challenges that we do not escape at life endings. pg. 140
and with a Zen koan: The ten thousand things return to the one. Where does the one return?
Let us be patient with one another and even patient with ourselves.
We have a long way to go, so let us hasten along the road,
The road of human tenderness and generosity.
Groping, we may find one another’s hands in the dark.
These are very brief extracts from Dr. Susan E. Schwartz’s and my recently published book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan E. Schwartz is identified as SES, and Susan Scott (me) as SS and italicised. This is from the chapter Yes & Yoga.
SS: …. It’s a universal truth that when we say yes to the psyche, the universe responds. I know that there is a price and exacted from me is the hard work required, paying attention to my dreams, my projections, my shadow, my inner figures. I’d rather err on the side of consciousness with its attendant shadow and live life with the unconscious as an underground river running through it. pg 136
SES: We age into age. … This requires a listening and honoring the being of an older woman with all her changes and advances, the limits and the expansions to body, mind and soul. With each limit comes the challenge to find other ways. What would the world look like if we said yes to age? pg.137
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your wild and precious life?
(quote repeated, purposefully).
Below, if you have the time and/or inclination is the blog post I pout up this time last year. Took me back –
These are very brief excerpts from Dr. Susan E. Schwartz and my recently published book ‘Aging & Becoming~A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan E. Schwartz is identified as SES and Susan Scott as SS and italicised.This is from chapter X-Ray.
SS: … It also reminded me of the necessity of putting the x-ray onto my psyche, looking into it more seriously and deeply, paying more attention to my dreams which surely provide an x-ray of one’s inner life.pg 132
SES: Age makes us finally confront from within. pg 133 … Now, finally un-hounded by the anxiety or inner tensions, we are honoring the ground under the surface, the unconscious listened to, an x-ray into the soul. Again, aging puts on our doorstep the responsibility to round out what yet wants and needs to be heard and expressed with a wider and more inclusive perspective. This means hearing the soul, not merely the ego. pg 133-134
It’sthe last Friday of the monthand it’s the aim of ‘We are The World Blogfest’ to shine a little light on any darkness in the world or in ourselves by sharing uplifting stories. This is a once a month happening.
The story I’ve chosen to tell is one that happens often here in South Africa. While our country remains mired in corruption, very shady deals enacted by certain members in our government, thievery and thuggery, there are always people from all walks of life who make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop
Please join us if you would like, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or some other enlightening event. Let’s set about diluting/dissolving the negativity around the world and bringing in the light. This is the link.
These are very brief extracts from Susan Schwartz’s and my recently published book ‘Aging & Becoming ~A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan E. Schwartz is identified as SES and I’m not adding anything this time round. This is from the chapter Waiting.
It’s a public holiday here in South Africa – Freedom Day, the day on which 23 years ago, Mr. Nelson Mandela was the first democratically elected president. We waited so long for this – and we’re still waiting for democracy in its best form to manifest.
SES: Waiting as part of life brings to mind an entire day spent in the African bush… waiting for the wild dog pups to appear. …Did we ever see those pups even though we were there for hours? No. But the point seemed to be that we were there. We felt the rawness of existence; how the animal lives in the bush, waiting, lurking, looking. We might have missed all that unless we slowed down, been observant, patient, expectant. Gradually, just waiting subsumed the goal. The present moment was entirely full. How often do we take the time to wait? pg. 130
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
These are very short excerpts from Susan E. Schwartz’s and my recently published book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan E. Schwartz is identified as SES and Susan Scott (me) as SS and italicised. This is from the chapterVision & Value.
SES: It is possible to have a vision that regards each day as a small but significant unfolding, like the various plants growing in the garden. We plant them when small and now they are older and have taken another shape, maybe gnarly, maybe vibrant with bloom, sometimes needing pruning. We tend to them on a regular basis. Our system, like a garden, needs care to remain vibrant and full rather than sickly or unkempt. pg 123
SS: What has been my version of life up until now? What will help me come into a fuller expression of myself? Will I have to go into the void, or the cave or dungeon, or enter a dense forest? Is this the way to find the treasure? Do I need armor? What awaits? Do I have the capacity for being vulnerable towards myself and others? Can I permit the breaking down of my previous attitudes and attachments? Is it time to show up if I haven’t already? pg 124
The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.
These are very brief extracts from Susan Schwartz’s and my recently published book “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry”. Susan E. Schwartz is identified as SES and Susan Scott as SS and italicised.Chapter:Ultimatum & Unconsciousness.
SES: Aging is an ultimatum. Obviously. Time calls. The unconscious calls us to attend to the unfinished and the undone. If our focus insists on only moving forward, we might resist the slow and steady and undermine the world of the present that lies in front of us. We become lopsided, a one-sided emphasis that looks to speed rather than thoroughness and the slow building. pg 118
Joan D. Vinge
Throughout the ages, stories with basic themes have recurred over and over, in widely disparate cultures, emerging from the goddess Venus from the sea of of our unconscious.
These are very short excerpts from Susan Schwartz’s and my recently published book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan Schwartz is identified as SS, Susan Scott as SS and italicised. This is from the chapterTime & Trust.
SES: Time can be hard. Is it because time slides into shorter and shorter quantities? Each day holds the same amount of minutes but they fly away. Where do they go? Have I done enough? Said enough? Felt enough? Been conscious enough? Kind enough? Do I treat my body as a temple or do I treat it as a car to be merely filled with gasoline and then go on? Do I trust in life? pg 114
SS: A time comes when remaining where we are, if stuck, is self-limiting and restricting. Maybe there is much to un-become as prerequisite for becoming, as we unlearn that which is detrimental to our wholeness.pg 115
My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue,
An everlasting vision of the ever changing view
Marian Beaman commented on a previous post on R and with her permission I’m adding her words:
‘When I read these words, I am reminded of the underside of a tapestry: full of knots and mere hints of a design. Our lives as we live them are rather like that, lacking sense until we can see the big picture, perhaps near the end of life or in eternity’.
These are very short extracts from Susan Schwartz’s and my recently co-authored published book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan Schwartz is identified as SES; I, Susan Scott, as SS and italicised. This is from the chapter Soul & Sorrow.
SS: I recognize that thejourney always has a dark side. There is a dreaded sense of the unknown. I feel my soul sometimes with me but many times absent; and I fear too that maybe the soil of my soul may be too dry, too thin, too arid,too wasted, lacking in essential nutrients. An ongoing existential crisisfor me – pg 110
SES: Aging is a separation from what was. Endings bring loss as well as satisfaction. Endings also imply beginnings.pg 111 …. The self …defines how we best express and most fully struggle to be known and to know others. The self holds the conscious and unconscious worlds together. pg 112
Sadness is the matrix from which wit and irony spring;
These are very short extracts from Dr. Susan E. Schwartz’s and my recently published book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan E. Schwartz is identified as SES and I am SS, in italics. From ‘Reflection & Renewal’.
SES: We refresh our relationships, till their soil, make happen what we formerly gave up and repressed. The regrets remind us. The old is the fertilzer that nourishes and rewards and brings renewal to fill in the present. pg. 106
SS: We may rue the choices we made in our lives …. all those steps we’ve taken, the threads, the barely discernible pattern, have brought us to where we are, now – an older time, one that has its own wisdom and beauty. And, the rewards are not inconsiderable. pg. 107
She wants to live for once. But doesn’t quite know what that means. Wonders if she has ever done it. If she ever will.
These are very short extracts from Susan E. Schwartz and my recently released book “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry”. Susan E. Schwartz is represented as SES, my words as SS – italicised.From chapter ‘Quest’.
SS:The quest in life is being aware of the questions – about who we are, our place in the mystery of life as we experience it. We can ask the questions, stir things up a bit as it will surely do. They can serve as a stepping stone; we can welcome whatever arises as we would a guest, coming newly into our home. Can I live the questions I ask myself? The only foolish question is the one not asked. pg 103
Quest is at the heart of what I do – the holy grail, and the terror that you’ll never find it, seemed a perfect metaphor for life.
These are very short extracts from Susan E. Schwartz and my recently released book “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry”. Susan E. Schwartz is represented as SES, my words as SS – italicised.From ‘Path & Pain’.
SS: We plan as best we can though the unplanned actually happens more often than we care for. Death of loved ones floors us. Receiving a diagnosis of a grave illness knocks the wind out of our sails. Or being in a terrible car accident, or losing one’s job or finding out that one’s partner cheated on us, or a still birth, even metaphorically. Unplanned, unwelcome. We become more aware and consciously anticipate the unexpected.pg 98
SES: This journey has twists and turns and each day and each moment we select this one and not that. We are held and expanded at the same time. One moment we are private, passive, personal and protected and then public and seen. One is often integral to the other. The path has and will alter as we prefer this to that. In fact, we are what we have chosen from the past as it emerges into the present. The path defines us as much as we do it. pg 100
The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.
These are very short extracts from Susan E. Schwartz and my recently released book “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry”. Susan E. Schwartz is represented as SES, my words as SS – italicised. From ‘Other & Obstacles’.
SS: And of course, the greatest obstacle to overcome is often the one we’ve put upon ourselves. We could ask in quiet times, what is preventing me from living a larger and more loving life? In what way am I not living in what remains of my life, as authentically as possible? In what way do I collude in oppressing my own self? Especially as we know that time is no longer infinite as we thought it was.
Is the obstacle sometimes the path? pg 95
SES: Have you heard of the word omphalos? It is often used in Jungian psychology and describes the arc of life. It symbolizes the center or hub of something, a rounded stone, and the navel of the earth from ancient Greek mythology. The definition implies drawing the circle of life around oneself, and being aware of what emerges from the center. It is an opening to the origins and indicates an obedience to who one really is, a true center and centering. pg 96
‘What are the obstacles the prevent me from living my larger life?’
These are very short extracts from Susan E. Schwartz and my recently released book “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry”. Susan E. Schwartz is represented as SES, my words as SS – italicised. From chapter ‘Now & Naming’.
SS:Weneed to name our hurt, anger, grief, failed relationships or failed purposes and not allow ourselves to be swallowed into some undifferentiated malaise, sadness or hopelessness. ... This is awful but the experience of it needs to be named even though the words be hard to articulate. Naming gives the realityshape and form and can free us from earlier constrictions. … Though … naming can too often be representational and objectifying. We sometimes name dream images tooquickly and restrict its expansion into something larger.pg 91
SES: Part of aging is naming the problems, finding the unknown strengths. Naming gives agency. We are no longer run by something too amorphous or frightening when we name and become conscious of it. What a relief to name and how it clarifies the needs of the psyche and soul. pg 92
Nothing feeds the centre so much as creative work, even humble kinds like cooking and sewing.