October 31, 2014


Photo Courtesy of White Flower Farm

Still working on the details of Act III of my life. I was reading Mary Oliver's poem about peonies and their “eagerness to be wild and perfect for a moment before they are nothing, forever.”

I am not looking for perfection in Act III, way too many kinks to iron out and I am not going to spend the last 3rd of my life ironing! I am, however, eager to be wild in my old age. Not the wild of my twenties, which, when I look back, was not wild at all but more a controlled rebellion of my parents rules and regulations, as well as, societies strict guidelines.

Speaking of guidelines, my wildness was strictly within the guidelines of all the other rebellious twenty-somethings and that doesn't smell of wildness to me.

I want my 60's and 70's and hopefully, my 80's to be filled with laughing that challenges my bladder, sights and music and moments that make the hair on my neck and arms dance.

Tuesday evening several friends and I sat in the audience, swaying to the music of Patty Griffin and John Fullbright and it was incredibly difficult not to jump to my feet and dance. Patty moves with a grace and sensuousness from her soul while she sings. She is truly alive up there on that stage.

That's what I want out of Act III. I want my movements to be sensuous, not in the sexual way, but meaning that all my senses are alive and aware of the moment. I want to smell and taste color, I want to hear the sky, I want to feel the visible and invisible. I want my eyes to see, really see what surrounds me.

Our book club read Cheryl Strayed's Wild this past week, it was a second read for me, but it reminded me of hiking in Lassen Park alone last week. Granted, it was not the Pacific Coast Trail (because, frankly, that sounds a little insane to me) but I was alone in the trees and the mountain air. I was alone in the silence that is not silence but an incredible symphony of nature's living instruments.

Act III is beginning to weave itself into reality. I've decided there should be no script to follow; plans, yes, but nothing carved in stone, flexible for changes of the wind, of spirit or calls of the soul.

I will feel the wildness in acts of daily living, feel the joy of water running over my hands when I do dishes, I will dance while I vacuum, I will feel the blessing of warmth with each log I throw into the woodstove.  I will travel, sometimes with and sometimes solo. I will sing with all my heart (except for the tiny bit of heart that has pity for anyone in hearing distance).

In Act III, I believe, I will be a Peony, for a little while.

Peonies by Mary Oliver

"....the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

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