K – Keys

These are very short extracts from Susan E Schwartz’s and my recently released book “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry”. Susan E. Schwartz is represented as SES, mine as SS – italicised. From chapter ‘Knowledge & Keys’.

SS: Growing older is a step into the unknown. We’ve witnessed women growing older and are sometimes in awe of their ongoing achievements and aliveness; but too often we see women who do not enjoy or appreciate life much due to illness, infirmity, loneliness, sadness, economic misfortune. Or we see women resigned in an unhealthy way towards their aging. Denial seems to be the name of the game. But the key to us is there when the knock is heard and now is the time to hear it. pg.77

SES: There are many types of knowledge, including those that lie on the underbelly of life. For instance, in some fairy tales the older woman is called Baba Yaga, a mysterious one, often a witch who resides on the edge of the forest. Her place there denotes that she can negotiate both conscious and unconscious realms. The young girl in the story has to consult her and get directions for her journey. It means following orders that seem obtuse or impossible. It means trusting in that which is unknown and makes no sense. The Baba Yaga figure, the elder, is the one who has knowledge, confidence and firmness in guiding the younger so she will accomplish what she must. pg. 77

We do not want our world to perish. But in our quest for knowledge, century by century, we have placed all our trust in a cold, impartial intellect which only brings us nearer to destruction.

Dora Russell

28 Comments on AtoZ Blog Challenge K Keys

  1. OK, maybe too much info here, but when I’ve washed my hair and leave it, it is wild and woolly and I feel like the old witch! Then, after it’s dry and I get over that little phase, I brush it out into my more sedate public persona. Kinda fun to switch back and forth!

  2. What is the key factor that separates aging women with ongoing achievements and zest for life from those resigned in an unhealthy way towards their aging? I suppose it’s a combination of health/mindset/self-motivation and other factors… 🙂

    • Key factors? I suppose there are many Michelle, the ones that you say, and deepening experience in the roller coaster of life, and opening to our authentic selves. Thank you so much for coming by – hope all well 🙂 Will be catching up tomorrow on your posts, and several others …

    • So many keys Hilary … some that won’t turn for whatever reason and those that do yet we step into the doorway with some trepidation. Or don’t make that step. Here’s to the keys opening doors for you Hilary, in every way, and your continuing to be open to all that is good and true. 🙂 Susan

  3. The key is so symbolic susan; aging accompanies knowledge, wisdom, confidence, the more open we are in our search, we are sure to find the keys to issues that comes with aging… wishing you a blessed easter, may the risen lord bless you and all your family members with love, joy, peace, health and harmony !!

    • That’s lovely Genevive thank you … being open in our search as we age – and being open to be delighted and surprised. May the risen Lord be with you and family and may joy, peace, love, health and harmony be yours. :):) thank you for those lovely wishes!

  4. I’ve come to personify my creative side (my “muse” so to speak) as an older woman–a hag, really, much like Baba Yaga. I hadn’t really considered why she’s older other than I find myself drawn to that archetype. But maybe she is also my guide, someone older than me, who has more wisdom (even is she is imaginary), who can help guide me through the crazy writing journey. I find that thought really comforting.

    • That’s lovely Sara that Baba Yaga is your muse! I want to research her more, as she fascinates me too. I will, thank you for giving me the impetus. The archetype of her, in all her hag-ness, is within us all.. Thank you for coming by and sharing this …

  5. Growing old sure is difficult and very particular. My mom, in her late 70s, talks about aches and pains, can no longer travel. Her sister, in her 90s is in better shape, still doing plenty around the house, and I was just reading about a woman in her late 80s running a marathon, something I wouldn’t want to undertake in my 40s. Aging is so complex.
    Great post once again, Susan. Thank you.

    • Thanks for coming by Silvia. You’re right it is particular to the individual. I also read about a woman who completed the NY marathon well into her 80’s – maybe the same woman – and that afternoon she died. What to make of that – a fitting end? I don’t know.

    • Well, sometimes I think she’s portrayed as the witch who will put you in the pot and if you’re lucky, your own legs while in, will get you out the pot. But, she is very definitely seen in in-depth psychological studies as the ‘one who knows’ and can guide the willing – and the unwilling. Thanks for coming by Robbie.

  6. I will say that I needed this today. I almost never feel defeated. After a series of more medical tests yesterday, I was completely exhausted. I’m literally fighting to take my life back. Until I read this, I was unaware of how negatively the fatigue and other symptoms were interfering with my normally happy attitude, since leaving that office. Thanks for reminding me that my fight for a quality life, is on the way because I refuse to give up.

    • Dear Marsha, I was not aware that you’ve been undergoing more tests, and I’m sorry that this has been necessary. It’s sadly true that worry and concern, and the sheer physical necessity of backwards and forwards undergoing them, can be dreadfully debilitating. Plus, I believe that the events in the world are distressing, the effects of them felt on some level by most of us. Do take time to rest; you’re a quality woman, may a quality life be yours. Love, Susan

  7. Aging definitely has a mind of its own. My son’s mother-in-law shares my birthday. We are only a couple of hours different in age. Yet because she has a different structural system than I she can do way more things than I can, especially with our grandkids. I can either choose to be unhappy and angry OR I can look for the fun positive things that I CAN do. The Key for me is looking for the positive and the sun light so I can appreciate what I can do. I think if I were to choose a negative mindset that I would age MUCH quicker. So again the KEY for me is my choices in life.

    Aging definitely is not going the way I anticipated, so I have to deal with what I have been dealt. I hope that some place along the way that I am wiser than I once was. Thanks for your reminders … to make me think about the aging process!

    • Always appreciate what you can do Gwynn. That is one of the most significant keys in keeping an attitude that serves you. You do have a positive attitude which I’ve benefited from as I’ve known you over the years. Somehow you always manage humour in spite of illness and/or looking after your husband who, I hope, is faring better?

  8. Giving up in life will lead to a lot of doors closing and locks being turned to make it more difficult to get back through if we’re ready to do so. The key to any success is to try with effort and then keep trying if first attempts fail.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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