Tuesday, November 3

this island of tranquility

squam, september 2015

Who knew that I would love middle age? Seriously. The hell?

How come I didn't know this was waiting for me?  I think it would have been nice if someone had told me that each of us has our best season and mine is gonna be in the second half of my life.

It's no secret that I am not one of those who loved the teenage years or my 20s (full disclosure: Sex In the City has exactly zero bearing on my life experience), my 30s? I believe I was in a coma - my 40s I began to wake up and voila - here I am!

And damn if my days don't have a comfort and ease that I have never known before.

Wisdom is not a sexy word. It's not something Taylor Swift is gonna sing about (at least not for another 30 years), but I can tell you wisdom is where it's at.

The slower I go, the more I see, feel and experience -- that's how I drop right into a sensation of abundance that just blows my mind.

And this is one of the reasons I have not been in this space in recent months. Who wants to hear from an old lady? Are we not the disenfranchised? Are we not boring, dull, past our last f**kable day and therefore best to have a sheet pulled over our heads?

No doubt. But here's the best part I don't fucking care.

That's the BEST part of getting old. I don't care at all. And it's not an angry or aggressive or defensive not caring - it's a big smile, rolls of dolphin laughter your opinion is lovely and it doesn't matter to me at all - not caring.

Dare I say wisdom = freedom?

And freedom is all I have ever wanted. Ever.



Below is an excerpt from The Stillmeadow Road and I have shared it a few times recently in classes and gatherings as it sums up precisely where I am at: an island of tranquility. Not because life has suddenly decided to get all calm and sweet and easy on my ass. No, life is her same wild crazy self as she has ever been but right in the heart of the storm is a quiet place. And that's where you'll find me.

     Everyone, I think, needs such a place to bring a sense of magic to life. And for many, it seems impossible. But Mama used the swing in the back yard for hers. She would slip out the kitchen door and sit, swaying gently, for a little while, her shining brown eyes looking at things nobody else could see. My grandmother had a rocking chair and she retreated to that when the household was in an uproar. It was a small rocker, upholstered with needlepoint cushion. Grandmother lived with my Uncle Walter and his family and his wife's mother and the house boiled with activity and, often, with tensions. Grandmother would slip to her room and sit in the rocking chair and sometimes I would tiptoe upstairs and go in.
     For she was an island of tranquility. She was very tiny and elegant. She would be wearing a grey silk dress with white lawn collar and cuffs, a cameo at the neckline. She spoke softly always, as did Mama and, like Mama, she never criticized anyone for anything. "You must do as you feel best," she always said.
     I was very young when she died and I remember very little about it except the sense of strangeness when I went past her room and the little rocker was empty. The room was just a room.


"As we learn to recognize divine forces in the world, when we invoke them, then we are able to interact with the natural world as well as with the powers within ourselves."
- Awakening Shakti, Sally Kempton

Although it is now the third day of November, my intention is to write each of the remaining days of the month as I did this once before and it was really fun.

Thanks to Jeanine and Andrea for the jumpstart!

bisous, Elizabeth




27 comments:

  1. Ohhh. Hello.
    Hello. Hello. I love where you have landed. I love how it feels for you.
    And I love you.

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    1. oh yes, Bella! I love knowing we are in this world together!! XOXO

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  2. Elizabeth, I too am a slow starter as I was married and raising our children from a very young age. We met at 15 and 16... and were married for almost fifty years until his death two years ago. So your words give me hope of finding that place of 'comfort and ease' you wrote of, at this point in my life. I have pulled my copy of The Stillmeadow Road off the bookshelf to dip into once again. Thank you for sharing these thoughts today.

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    1. hi Carol-- thank you for sharing this and love that you have Stillmeadow right there on your shelf! ha! that's great. bisous, e

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  3. I recognise and feel almost every word! x

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  4. Right on target, E. The last several months, I have felt similarly in that I just don't f*&kin' care what others think or do, I'm happy with who I have become (and believe me, no one knows the half of the road to get here). I never thought I would get here, but *boom*, here I am and it is freakin' beautiful. Awesomely beautiful. That glorious wisdom of which you speak begets freedom and illuminates the ultimate example of beauty. What's better than that?



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    1. Rita-- that's the piece I am never sure how to communicate, "non one knows the half of the road to get here" -- it's not like there was a magic wand waved over my head-- I worked really hard to find my way to this comfort and ease--- and yet, now that I am here-- it can certainly be misunderstood that happiness is a button we push . . anyway-- wisdom is the bomb-- that's all I know! XO

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    2. I think the people who are the most content -- truly beautifully contented -- at this age are ones that DID go through some $hit storm in their life. It is not without trials that we reach this point. A diamond doesn't just pop up one day; it has to go through a lot of pressure to become. Not to say that one can ONLY achieve the wisdom/tranquility/freedom level through trials, but that hard work, rough road, and stormy sky in the past certainly enhances the beauty of it and deepens our appreciation for it.

      When I heard you tell your story at the Squam opening ceremony, it verified what I already sensed. It hasn't been a push of a button, but damn it sure is good. (big hugs!)

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    3. How much do I wish the two of you were in my lounge room right now so we can laugh, cry and savour this topic long into the night! Well... until my bedtime anyway ;-) Love you both xxxxxxx

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  5. I was married at 21 and I had a plan rehearsed in my mind, marriage, work, home, travel, kids, (?work) family trips, work, grandkids, time with enlarged family all a circle of continuous family. It was not to be as planned. The core of my dreams did come to be but the branches of that core - tree - veered off in curved and long reaching ways. The family at hand is hubs, myself and our dog at present, dear Tessa; family of heart in other places finding their own branches curve and lengthen. Thus, I realized that I was finally free to do what I wanted whenever I wanted and with no accountability to anyone save - the dog perhaps! Sometimes the best years turn out to be the later years when we realize perhaps by default, it is time for ourselves and no doubt our children are still watching and learning..

    Good post and timely for many I am sure!

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    1. oooh I love that, "it is time for ourselves" how good does THAT feel?

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  6. Oh honey! So good to have you back. SO good. Here's to midlife and beyond. Jeanine xoxox

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    1. cousine! I have been thinking of life's funny twists and turns and remembering the BLUE ELF BOOTS you sent me all those years ago . .!! can you imagine if we had known the way our life would change? seriously-- no way to have seen where we are today, n'est-ce pas?

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  7. I'm so glad to see you here again—and daily all month, too (wooo!).

    I loved this post (naturally)—and you've inspired me to find my way to the wonderful place you're in sooner rather than later. Keeping my eye out for the signposts.

    Xx,
    J.

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    1. oh yay-- that means we are TOGETHER all month long-- hooray! XOXOOX

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  8. I am so happy to see you here! Welcome back! It has been a tough fall for me, you being here spreading all your wisdom around gives me hope that everything will be okay. It is the sign that things will turn around! You have made my day!
    xo,

    Megsie

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    1. YOU make my day, Megsie-- be gentle with yourself-- it really has been a rough couple of weeks there energetically. and you MADE it through!! XOOX

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  9. "And freedom is all I have ever wanted. Ever." THIS. This so resonates with me. This is something I often say. It just goes to show that sometimes the most important things you cannot buy, you cannot put a price on.

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    1. exactly-- and so important that we know for ourselves what it is we need most of all so we can find it and claim it XOXO

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  10. I f**kin' LOVE you woman! The day I get to hug you in person is the day I will share the best story with you about that "last f**kable day"! I'll be turning 40 three days into this coming new year and I was just saying to a friend last week that... "I spent my 20's running from myself, my 30's discovering myself, and I fully intend to spend my 40's LIVING, LOVING, ENJOYING and CELEBRATING myself :) Booyeah! Bring in on!!! I'll be damned if I'm "past my last f**kable day" xo

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    1. Damn straight! honey, you are gonna LOVE your 40s . . . . so so so much richness and ease and FUN is ahead of you cause you know yourself now -- so you know how to bring in exactly what feeds you and slough off all that is not working for you. XOXO

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  11. Hi dear Elizabeth, so happy to see you here writing for the month. Yes to the wisdom of the 50's and the feeling of total freedom, embraced with open arms. I met two wonderful 86 year olds last week and they were taking a jewelry class for first time in their lives, they were truly inspirational and give hope for adventures in future decades x

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    1. love this--- so true it can feel so really good if we take ownership of our life and our happiness XO

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  12. Oh I want to hear from an old lady. I hit 45 this week and man it's soooo good. I don't care either. genuinely and in the best possible way. Who knew? xxxx

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thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e