‘Your whole life you are really writing one book, which is an attempt to grasp the consciousness of your time and place– a single book written from different stages of your ability’  

Nadine Gordimer

 Zero, a number that denotes what begins and ends. The zero is indeed a point, or a circle, or a dot on the page. But there is something of the infinite about it also.

In Jungian psychology the zero can be like the uroborous, the image of the alchemical snake that eats its tail. It represents the circle of life as we go round and round. We are old, young, in between and then we continually return. It is a concept of the infinite flowering, the seasons that repeat and the generations that evolve. It is our life in the circle game. We are all in this eternal return. The question is what we do with it.

And then there is zen, a concept that also encompasses all and a way of being that settles into what is and and acceptance of enough. In zen there is no need to strive beyond. Zen means meditation to achieve enlightenment. It is a practice set up to transcend reason, rational thought and daily life. It is one of the ways of centering and done while sitting. Slowing down and reflection come about as the sacred and mundane merge. Aging helps bring this about. Part is a waiting, part is awareness, feeling and not feeling the body and its sensations and reactions, being and not being in the mind.

And the zebra, what a lovely and unusual animal as no two have the same stripes. Like people, in packs, in couples, and some found on the edges of the group. How we end up realizing our similarities with the animals. The world they live in one of the magical and being with them, we experience life in other ways. This is similar to how we can move through the life stages and we wander through the wilds, negotiating the complexity of living our age consciously. Aging presents challenges and hits us on all levels, as we do not escape that we have lived, have changed, and are at a time of the endings. Our demons are more forward, our nature more defined, our losses more pronounced, and so are our loves and desires.

What else is there to do but feel to the depths the end and the beginning and everything in between as drawn in the colors of the rainbow.

53 Comments on Z – Zero

  1. Travel to Bhutan and you will experience this hot and spicy national dish, you never had experience before.
    Fortunately, the natural health industry has recognized the problem.
    Normally, red wine is served while having non-vegetarian, but white wine
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  2. It’s good to undertake a challenge with a clear beginning and ending as is the case with the A-Z challenge. You end with zero, zen, zebra. (May I add zephyr-ha!)

    And your choice of authors resonates with me as well – Nadine Gordimer and Jung of course. I always learn something interesting from your posts, Susan. Thank you!

    • Marian thanks so much! There is zilch computer reception where I am in the Cape mountains, so am using cell phone to respond back to you. So pleased that posts had resonance with you. We couldn’t habe asked for any more

  3. I know your comments are turned off on the reflections post, but I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your A-Z posts, I don’t think I got to them all but the ones I read were superb. Thanks for the mention and you are most welcome for my own shout out on the blog. Keep up the good work and good luck with the book.

    • Thank you Rosie, the comments are now turned ON! Please have a check as you are specifically mentioned! OM goodness .. again I had to ask son Mike to help re: restoring the draft & getting up the badges etc, and to my horror I saw the comments off… but as of 5 minutes ago, now on!
      Thank you for your very kind words .. so much appreciated!

  4. What a beautiful reflective ending to the month. I sure am glad I can revisit the month’s writings. It offers much to take in and digest. Thank you Susan for sharing.

  5. I like what you said about Zen, Susan. I wanted to know more about Zen. I’m generally a “middle” person, neither either nor or. I have a need for balance and strive to be centered, to see both (or all) sides, though I do not actively practice Zen nor do I formally meditate.

    This has been a wonderful journey, Susans. Thank you for your dedication and for imparting your deeply thought wisdom.

    No wonder you went to the mountains after Z, Susan Scott. This is a lot.

    • Thank you Samantha …no need to be either or – that would be way too fixed. Keep it open … Zen is in every moment, the now.
      On behalf of both Susans, thank you for your always wise and kind commentsl

  6. Good heavens above .. my apostrophe in writings …. why oh why do the fingers do such things?! It’s not the A-Z ending flurry either …Cheers H

  7. Hi Susan .. I’ve kept your posts open .. so I can read them all through and take them in. Nadine Gordimer’s quote stood out here … but your writing’s offer much – and I need to take some time and read through ..

    Great to have met you this month .. and I look forward to seeing you around .. I love zebras … and someone mentioned that the scientists think the stripes might be to distract and thus keep away biting flies … I’ve no idea – but the concept stuck ..

    Cheers for now – and I’m glad to be in touch with Jhb!! Hilary

    • Thanks so much Hilary! It’s been great meeting you too and your terrific posts on the UK and its interesting places. It’s a public holiday here in South Africa – Workers’ Day (hope I got the apostrophe in the right place) so it will be a catch up day for me re A-Z. Congratulations on finishing it!

  8. Thanks for the insightful posts, Susan. It’s been great meeting you.

    Congratulations on finishing the A to Z Challenge!

    PS…I love zebras.

    • Thank you Holli – it’s been great meeting you too. You’ve met 2 Susans on this journey – Susan Schwartz in Phoenix Az., and me, Susan Scott here in Johannesburg South Africa. This A-Z has been a collaborative effort.

      Congratulations to you on crossing the finishing line! New beginnings –

  9. indeed what else is there for us to do but feel the depths…
    thank you – valuable insights and contemplations…all the way.
    what a journey – I feel for my Self that I have mastered something anew ….
    and met a lot of awareness wisdom and kindness.
    Blessings Sandra

  10. What a wonderful ending! I’m glad I made my way to your site and I look forward to visiting often. Your post are always amazing.

    • Thank you Robert! Congratulations to you too – will be hopping about on A-Zers today to catch up. Look forward to checking yours!

  11. A beginning and end. We are at the end of our challenge, and we did a wonderful group of blogs. I am pleased how ours seemed to mesh. Hope to see you again next year!

    xoxo, Beth

  12. A post with depth and poetry. A great ending. Our live — so many aspects of it — is more forward as we age. I love is, Susan.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge. It’s been a joy coming in here are reading your meaningful posts on the inner and outer happening as we move through the years. Thank you.
    See you soon.

  13. A beautiful, magical post! Thank you, Susan, I loved it, and have really enjoyed visiting your blog throughout April. Thank you so much, my friend.

  14. Susan, it has been a delight reading all of your wise, interesting and informative posts. I enjoy learning from you. Aging is an education all into its self, provided we choose to learn from our experiences. Also, I think of our varying mindsets about life too, as a 96 year old gentleman friend passed away yesterday. I look at what he accomplished, yet I’m stunned at how little of life he really appreciated. To me, it is very sad.

    Well, we survived the challenge. Congratulations… you did an excellent job! I look forward to reading your book.

  15. Great finish, Susan. It is a joy to consider the fullness of life, the completeness on reflection of all life has to offer, beginning to end. We can fight aging or embrace each stripe. Slowing down to contemplate does “merge the sacred and mundane.” Well said. Enjoyed my A to Z visits. Congratulations on making it to the end and thank you for your visits as well. Maria, “http://delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/”

  16. Hi,
    Many thanks for your excellent blog posting over the entire month of April. It was a pleasure to read them. And now we have come down to zero.
    All the best.


  17. Wow! You really do have a lot of energy left at the end of the A to Z challenge. To take on more than one word and to do it so beautifully. I especially responded to your thoughts about zebras and how they relate to human individuality and your reflections on aging throughout your post.

  18. I love your thoughtful approach to the letter Z, especially what you wrote about zebras and their strips. Wonderful post and a great way to start the morning!

    • Whew! Maybe zest will return tomorrow now that we’re done! Thanks so much Robert for coming by on our posts – much much appreciated!

  19. Beautiful post. To experience and feel all that life is and brings. Not to shy from the depths and experience them as fully as the highs.

    • Thank you De tout Couer! I think I know that ‘Couer’ is gift – is this correct? The translation then of De tout Couer then would be ‘gift to you’ – please let us know if this is so. Thank you for your gifts in the A-Z ..

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