There is no pleasure without a tincture of bitterness


 In the midst of the word rebirth, I want to add something about reverie, an inner place that deeply feels and looks and holds both inner and outer conversations with oneself. Like an inner coming to meeting, reverie is integral to the rebirth. It emerges out of death and loss. It also means holding another in one’s mind. It can refer to holding ourself from within. Reverie and rebirth are aspects of a creative process that builds on itself. After all, this time needs reflection. What is required and what is wanted.

And, it is interesting that the opus of many people is completed or even begun at this time of being older. It can take a long while to emerge into the real being and who one really is. It takes courage to have the resolve and resolution to go for it. This occurs not in a driven way, but in a way reflecting the recognition that rises from the authentic self.

 I also want to add to this the words ‘re-membering’ and ‘recall’ and ‘reconcile’ – with self and others. Age can be fructifying and bear the fruit of this later season. Through the process of recall we remember what we wanted and needed. We bring forward the dead branches for trimming to get to the essence – like pruning the roses in the winter even when they are blooming so fully – at least in the southwest of USA. This means that their beauty is cut down but the rose remembers and it will bloom again. Another rose will come forth and so on in the cycle of what it is to be a rose. This cycle is quite true for us as well. We bring back our old dreams and wants and needs and refresh our relationships, till their soil, make happen what we gave up and repressed. The renewal that comes from the old coming forth again is the fertilizer that nourishes.

And, these words – remembering … re-membering. It’s interesting that words takes on two different meanings when so put. Like response and response-ibility. Strangely they also are part of rebirth. The ‘re’ part is what is so intriguing – putting together aging and new growth. So often these are condemned – yes, such a strong word – but the feedback about desires that bloom in older age is often couched in words of too late, do not plant that garden or get another dog or begin that book as will you be able to take care of it? Will you get ill or are you strong enough to see it through? Why all this disparagement about life when it should be blooming all along the way. No matter, as long as life still is, the ‘re’ part needs attention. It cries out to be acknowledged. The birthing of each day, the setting of the moon and the rising of the sun are small rebirths that we can daily note. The daffodil coming forth, the new recipe and page we have written. All parts of the rebirth in aging.

 And, last of all the feelings of resistance and the power to paralyze.

Do you have that sense of re-birth and reverie as you age?

23 comments on “R – Rebirth”

  1. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a top notch article… but what
    can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  2. I watched my mother cocoon at the end of her life, exiting the stages of this one and preparing to enter the next. Coming to meet that reverie with her awakened me to know I was going through the same. Through my serving as her caregiver, my own life as I knew it was deeply pruned. I was preparing for my own rebirth … a rose by any other name would hopefully smell sweeter.

    Beautifully written.

  3. Great metaphor, leaves and branches. It’s time for rebirth here in the states. Flowers are blooming, green is filling the landscape, birds are tweeting like feathery talent show contestants. We have tons of cardinals this year, more than robins, which is rare. They must have migrated to St. Louis for baseball season.

  4. This is a very thought provoking post, Susan. When I look back on my life, I think I spent a great deal of my childhood in reverie. I was the quiet one with a million thoughts swirling in my head; the silent observer, the creative being, the dreamer. After surviving a nearly fatal car crash in college I switched to a state of reverence for life and a deep appreciation for the second chance I was given. In a way, it was like a rebirth for me. It sent me on a long journey to discover my purpose. Why am I here? Why did I live? I do have a strong desire to deserve that second chance. As I’ve aged, I’ve transitioned to a state of resoluteness. I still feel a reverence for life and like all creative beings, I spend time in reverie, but I no longer simply wish to get lost in pleasant dreams. I’m determined to make them a reality.

    • Thank you Melissa for commenting. Sometimes it does take a life threatening event to shake us out of our comfort zone or out of complacency; and to ask the sorts of questions you say in your comment. May your reverie continue to inspire and bring you ever closer to your desired reality.

  5. Hi,
    I don’t know whether I have a sense of rebirth and reverie, but I do have a sense of restoration. A sense that God has restored my life for a purpose.

    Thank you for this enlightening article. It was good to read and compare with my own belief about my being restored.


  6. I always enjoy dropping in to see what new and revisited truths you are dispensing, Susan.

    This expression resonates particularly “an inner coming to meeting, reverie is integral to the rebirth”.

    I’ve been lost in reverie for a while now, as I contemplate how short our human lives really are in the scheme of forever. My ‘R’ may interest you in this respect. It pretty much looks at the bit of your excellent post I quoted above.

    • Thank you Felicity. Kind words indeed. I imagine Susan Schwartz may comment back to you as well. Your ‘R’ is extremely lovely thank you for it.

  7. The opus of many lives begins later in life — so very true. One must live life in order to understand life. Rebirth takes place constantly, I think. A small part of me awakens then reawakens stronger. I would like more time to spend lost in reverie, but life intervenes with constant demands. 🙂 Soon, I hope. Thank you, Susan. It’s a pleasure visiting with you both.

  8. This is a wonderful and very thought-provoking post for me. I wonder about rebirth… I see it in nature every year… but what about me? Then I realize that slowly but surely I am awakening and becoming more of me. I’m becoming more defined and visible as I age so rebirth is taking place for me. Thank you.

  9. I will be 55 in July and I absolutely felt touched by and identified with your post. I am in-between as I chose to become a mom far later than my contemporaries (those I grew up with anyway). At 39 the re-birth and re-invention as a mother, this past year as the mother of a High school student, but of course the most important is as you explained the recapturing dreams and realizing that time is precious and it is NOW or maybe .. never ? Great post !

  10. A lovely, thought provoking post. I’ve felt sad in the past on hearing older ladies say they don’t intend to buy any more clothes, as “these will see me out”. The joy in today and tomorrow of being a woman has been abandoned by them. I’ve felt the reverie and rebirth you’ve talked about in the changes that have taken place in my life over the last couple of years. I’m writing much more now and in so many ways have, at last, become myself. I know I’ll change again as I age further and maybe later I won’t want to buy anything else but, for now thankfully, there’s still so much more to look forward to.

  11. Would that the bitterness be but a tincture, still, the pleasure is sweet…

    While walking with my ninety-two years old Dad yesterday on the breezy Easter Sunday, as he pushed his newfangled walker, (a bright royal purplish blue, with brakes, a seat and shopping basket), we reveled in the rebirth of the trees, the dandelions, daffodils and the blades of grass; even the terrapin with his head peeking out from the drainage pond…

    Visiting the folks is always a recipe for remembering. We reminisced and discussed their plans for the future and my reconvening work schedule for the up coming week.

    Reverie has always been welcomed with an open mind and heart for me; the rebirth seems to come naturally.

    Thank you again for raising such thoughtful questions here.



    • Thank you Robert for this wonderful reverie of walking with your Father. Much to revel in as Spring shows her beauty while reminiscing in remembrances and looking ahead to work schedule for the upcoming week. Reverie and renewal … what a recipe – for rebirth. Thank you again!

      in remembrances.

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