They excel in stillness. Sitting and watching. Waiting and listening. On the corner, on a chair outside the front door, at the gate to the garden.
Once I asked a Native American for a clue to the future. Am on on the right path I asked her?
She was supposed to be a seer of sorts and looked harshly into my eyes. Tell me about your life she said. So I told her about teaching and leading, about the emancipation of women and the poor, about trying to pass on knowledge and skills. She remained impassive.
I longed for some kind of reaction and so she said, “Yes, you are on your right path.”
That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. No. I wanted her to guide me, coax me, to soothe me onto some new path. I wanted her to have another answer. Like that I wasn’t on the right path at all, like that I was on the complete waste of time path!! I wanted to be rescued, found, understood. Maybe I just needed a big cry and a hug!!
But now I know, that I only have to be still; that questions are the nub of the whole thing; that there is no one answer and that we are all in the same leaky old boat.
And when I saw them, each one in such stillness, they left me wondering even more about striving and waste of time ambition.
There are more photos of Greek elders here
When young, we believe we can change the world. After college, when we get out into the world, we struggle to figure out how exactly we are going to do so. We struggle to find our place. And then we struggle for peace from all the struggling. Hopefully all this struggling leads to many paths converging, to actually changing the world for the better. And hopefully, when we are older, we will be at peace with ourselves whatever comes.
Hopefully Indie! Somehow I am finding so far on my way to 60 that I am having to let go of a lot……then maybe the peace comes……
Cait O'Connor says
Stillness is a word I love and something I think we all need. Your photos are superb, they are of such high quality and you have captured the quality of stillness too.
Thank you Cait! Everytime I meet one of these amazing elders it something I notice about them, even if they are energetic or funny, they exude stillness too……
Each day I think about Doing and Being. I wonder which will win out. It has taken me a very long time (turning 64 on Labor Day!) to value being over doing. Oh sure, we want to create, we want to walk the dog, plant a garden, swim, have lunch with friends. There are things to be done for sure, but I see now that none of it matters if I'm not at Home, if nobody is peeking out of my eyeballs.
I love that Susie, "if nobody is peeking out of my eyeballs" what a wonderful phrase!! Yes Being and Doing and eternal balancing act. x
Diana Studer says
the big six oh throws up a lot of questions, and fewer answers.
Strange how many of the bloggers I read are around my age.
Yes the hidden world of the older woman is very much made visible on line, thanks Diana:~))
Donna@Gardens Eye View says
I seem to be edging closer to 60 and asking more questions but also slowing, letting go and enjoying more now that I am retired…here I find so much joy and abandon, free to live and be…and peaceful times.