Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Being Only, Being Old

When I was young and foolish, I was sure that I’d never want to live past 80. I didn’t want to be the only − the only one. I didn’t want to be left behind, missing people who were gone, missing those who were only part of the memories of my life.

Now I am older − still not wise − still so foolish, but I know . . . a few things. I know that I have always been the only Sometimes I have reveled in it. Sometimes I have been too aware of how it sounds and feels like lonely. Yet, I must have gained some thoughtful insights, for I look around me and see that I am less only now than I have ever been in my life.

If I could have, if life could promise, if on my birthday candle I could make and get one wish. I would wish that I could grow old, knowing certain people were still somewhere on the planet. They are people who have given and taught me, held and brought to places I could never have gone or gotten, left or forgotten on my own.

One is of those certain people is my friend, Shining Silver. How she makes everyone who’s near her better, taller, bright, more generous. How that shining glows inside her. It’s the gentle way her giving makes everyone better without making her less. It’s the unconditional love that drives her and the wisdom of the life that rides beside it.

Shining Silver polishes my world view, my understanding, and reveals something my cellular intuition knows, but I have not yet discovered with a simple silver observation.

I say I think I am a closet creative. “I think that’s how I got to be stuck with unemotional concepts living inside my head. Folks understand smart, but they fear creative playing. I've learned to hide the joy I feel for fear they'll hear me.”

She simply answered, “People aren’t afraid of someone who is freely creative and eccentric − much more creative than they are − but they really don’t like it when someone is smarter.”

It wasn't other people who had feared my creativity. It was me. Somehow they had read that in the way I dressed my ideas up in smart and thoughtful clothing, trying to look less like me and more like them, without really knowing.

In one lovely, light Shining Silver sentence, she had told me to get out of my head, to be real and to be me, in such a way that I could hear her − both her words and the love she wishes.

If the ones like Shining Silver would be on the planet with me, I never be only.

Old would only be a word.
−me strauss Letting me be


Anonymous said...

having trouble posting with my regular name...

I don't mind being old...its the senile and bad memory parts that scare me. I would say other things too but I can't remember them right now

still here...though always broken,

ME Strauss said...

Hi Janus,
I was having trouble posting yesterday too. Maybe blogger is getting old and losing its memory.

If you're around and still writing comments, then I won't feel so only. :)

Dawn said...

What a stunning tribute to your friend and also to you, Liz. Another self-realization that reveals more of the shine that is you. When the 2 of you are together, it must be so bright that no one can look. Sounds like maybe you are gifts to each other as well as to the rest of us.

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dawn,
Listen to you find the shine inside everyone! Isn't that lovely. I'm still out here trying to figure how the whole fits together and most of the time a try a piece that looks like works only to find out that it only looks so to me.

That's why I have friend like you and Janus and Silver.

dsnake1 said...

i did not worry or think much about growing old when i was younger. worked hard and played hard. But now that i am older (ha ha!), i do think a lot about old age. will i get senile and lost my way in the path of life? can i still provide for my loved ones? But i guess i'll take a step at a time, enjoy what i'm doing ( writing, and meeting smart folks like you all :) )

I envy you for having such a good friend ! :)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dsnake,
I've always been one to think too much about too many things too early, but then you know that. . . .

You also have me right here whenever you need me to remember things for you. Though I don't see you forgetting much in the near future, you have so many memories down on your blog and such a fine mind for thinking and working things out.

I'm glad knowing that you're on the planet and that there is always a chance I might get to meet you.

bradford said...

with my kids I always try to substitute "more experienced" where I would have used "older" - uniqueness is the value in "only". . I love how the next post contrasts with this one!

ME Strauss said...

Hi Bradford,
I love that contrast as well. It's more telling when you know that a child of 17 that Shiny Silver and I both have know since his mother was pregnant committed suicided on the day that I posted this post and the new baby was born.

Katrina said...

Again...you're words suffocate me and I'm not sure why? I'm fairly sure I'm level headed yet I embrace this part of me which (i think) is my first step (oh so very tiny a step it is) in letting go. My own relinquishing is terrifyingly, tragically, fearfully...Beautifully Open. And I'm scared and alone in this though at that very same moment I am told I'm not..but those words are letters..unbelieved by me. I'm terrified because I know all this to be true...ALL THIS... and my very rational / analytical mind cannot determine why? I wish sometimes I was oblivious to my Self. I'm running after an answer that I already have but cannot seem to believe. I'm certifiable!

Thank you for your words. I stumbled upon them by googling "help me find my soul."...lol!! I would love to sit down with you one day and learn...listen. I'm in Naperville if you're ever up for a jaunt with a not so sure but desperately searching girl.

ME Strauss said...

You are so close! Yes! I'd love to meet you! What are you doing this afternoon? My friend (she) and I were going for a ride to air our our souls . . . Is there a diner near where we might visit you?

Aren't we amazing? How we see things? The words that challenging you are terrifyingly , tragically, fearfully, Beaufifully open , yet those that say to have hope are just letters . . .

Your mind choses, my mind chooses such things also.

Why would we do things like that for ourselves?

Why would our God, the world, the universe want that for us?

To a logical mind it makes no sense, yet we cling tightly to ideas that hold us in place or pull us down, despite that when we think it through, we know it can't make anything work well or better.

It's us choosing to stay where we know, because the risk is that where we go might be just as sad.

People hurt us and left leave bits in us. We tuck away the hurts with those bits, and we tuck away our ability to ever feel safe about that kind of hurt ever again.

Each little bit we tuck away makes us smaller.

I don't want that anymore. I want to live with lots and lots and lots of MORE, lots and lots of love.

The only way I might there is to open up, let go, and give my love away.

Yet for people to trust me they had to see me first . . . and I had to start seeing them, not seeing who I thought they were.

Seeing Me