Sunday, January 2, 2022

         ‘You must organize your life!’ is something I have often said – or shouted – to myself, but this morning I’m realizing, once again, that 1) life is not ‘mine’, and 2) the life – the substance – of the entire universe, including what is called ‘me’, is always seamlessly organized. This moment, right now as I sit at my desk typing on this keyboard, is seamlessly assembled, with absolutely no assistance from me. My fingers are moving in perfectly-ordered elderly ways, my breath is businesslike in its gray-haired coming and going, and thoughts are arriving and leaving with systematic octogenarian orderliness. And I am very serious in mentioning age. I am 80-years-old, and I’ve discovered that there’s a configuration, an arrangement, in old age that’s as lovely as the display of petals in youthful roses.  Everything in my elderly life is as systematically structured as the rays of light in a sunrise – and with no help from me. Moment by orderly moment, life lays out a plan for me, and then leads me through it. All I have do is stay alert and follow. Trouble is – and it can seem like big trouble – I often don’t follow, or even notice, the systematic arrangement of my life. While life is choreographing in beautiful ways, I’m sometimes off in dreamlike mental trips through seeming chaos. The good luck, however, is that the ever-flowing symphonic framework of life is always there for me, ready with a welcome when I return from my mixed-up cerebral journeys. 


Notice the way stars 
seem to rustle 
when you see them
from a field. 
Find the place 
where sunsets disappear,
and visit it 
when you're sad. 
Listen to the breezes 
when they organize themselves 
and sing together. 
And keep your eyes 
on other faces. 
Notice the kindness 
that often blossoms  
like crowds of flowers 
in these faces.

“AFTERNOON IN PARIS”, oil on panel by Nadja Mak

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