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.
X – X RAY
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
A Soul is far too large to hide.
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?
V – Vision
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 chapter Vision & 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 chapter Time & 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’.
S – Soul
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 the journey 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 crisis for 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;
Sadness is uncomfortable and creative,
which is why consumer society cannot tolerate it.
P – Path
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.
O – Obstacles
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 excerpts from Susan E. Schwartz and my book ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’. Susan Schwartz is identified by SES, and Susan Scott by SS and italicised.
SS: But what about when we are incapacitated by a fall, a twisted ankle, a broken wrist? Or when rheumatism or arthritis slays us with pain? Or those horrible illnesses that are life threatening? We find ourselves unable to perform simple tasks we took for granted all the days before. For many of us, it is only when our bodies seem to have failed us through no apparent cause of our own that we note its significance and feel perhaps an undefined sense of betrayal. We’re forced into connection with our bodies and it brings into sharp relief how much we take them for granted, in the same way we take breathing for granted. pg 14
SES: As we know so well, the approach to our body is fraught with both yes and no. Too rarely is there care, real soul care and tenderness bestowed upon our bodies. Unfortunately, too many of us learned to put ourselves down, wait for the right weight that never happens and generally, continue to be dissatisfied. This stage of life requires minute and sacred attending to health, strength, illness and injury. We regenerate, but more slowly; we recover, but in time. …Our bodies are the palettes on which we express. Our bodies keep us in this world, defining who we are. Daily the body calls. How we choose to answer remains the question. pg 21 Chapter 2: Body
‘Our own body is the best health system we have – If we knew how to listen to it’.