Aging and its good news

Written By: Charles - Dec• 12•22

Samain and the Holimonth Moon

Monday gratefuls: BJ and Sarah. Kep at 4:30 am. David Olson. Jon, a memory. Kate, always Kate. Gabe’s Hanukah wish list. Ruth in her dad’s sweater. The Ancient Brothers on the assets of aging. Morocco and Croatia. The World Cup. Ruby and her AWD failure notice. Clearing the way for some moving. Sleeping in. Hard reset on my hearing aid worked. Phonak. SpaceX to the Moon. Elon Musk. Sort of. The clear, clean days of Winter.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Moon as it changes


Yesterday after the Ancient Brothers identified the assets of aging I took a rest day. Saturday was too much driving. Although Kep seemed to like it. Read, watched TV.

In the early evening I talked with BJ and Sarah. What different lives we all have. Sarah and Jerry and their self-built gardens and buildings in rural North Carolina. BJ and Schecky who biked 5 miles to New York Cake and back from their home in the Hotel Beacon on Broadway. Me on Shadow Mountain with the Elk and the Mule Deer.


The assets of aging. Too often aging = kvetching. Aching bones. Tired from driving. (see above) This knee, that hip or shoulder. Maybe replaced. Friends and family members dying. The stock market. The bowels. Care taking. Cancer. Arthritis. And the list goes on, seeming to grow a bit with each added year. BTW: not diminishing the reality of any of these. Or the disruptions they create in daily life. But. It is easy to get lost in the obligations and ailments. Forget the wonderful gift still daily available. Life.

So Tom asked the question. What have we gained as older folks? What are our assets now? Knowledge accumulated through the days and months. Having seen things fail and things succeed. The ability from that to put life events, even dire ones, in perspective. Including death.

The bonds of friendship. As one of us pointed out, it does take forty years to have a forty year friendship. Or, with family it take decades to enjoy grown children and have them enjoy you.

We often have some money squirreled away and with it the ability to help in modest ways when necessary. A real joy.

Love. Its necessity and its travails. Its various focii. From partners to brothers and sisters to friends and pets to Mountains and Trees and moments in time, special places. That it can be lost and regained. Its mystery and its beauty. Long experience with how love can enter and transform lives can give us old folks a certain softness, a way of being with another more easily so love can seep into the cracks. This is a great and wonderful gift.

Loss. We’ve seen death up close. Know its horrors and its mystery. It is no longer far off. We also know the death of loved ones can be survived, even when everything within says they can’t. We also know the death of a pet is the loss of a companion, a friend of many years. Not to be diminished.

Though there are many other assets I’ll only mention one more. We have seen our culture change from the closed in, materialistic immediate post-war years to the thousand flowers blooming of a counter-culture and a reaction against it that has not yet run its course. Here Philip Slater’s little book, The Chrysalis Effect, suggests that the integrative, democratic culture of the anti-war, back to the land, civil rights era remains ascendant in the face of stubborn and even violent responses to it. Women have still gained power. African-Americans and Latinos have more power. First Nations people have begun to feel their influence grow. The LGBTI+ community has blossomed. Globalism has won the day as trade interleaves nations with other nations.

We remain to support the rise of integrative, democratic culture in whatever ways we can. Loving our GenZ grandchildren. Donating money. Acting politically. Giving our validation to these changes. Pressing back against what Slater calls the Controller Culture. Being imaginal cells for the changes birthing themselves as I write.

Assets indeed.

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