Friday, April 1, 2011



Old age can also be a time of clearance. All perception requires clearance. If things are too close to you, you cannot see them. Frequently, that is the reason we value so little the people who are really close to us. We are unable to step back and behold them with the sense of wonder, critique and appreciation they deserve. Nor do we behold ourselves either because we are too close to the rush of our lives. In old age, as your life calms, you will be able to make many clearances in order to see who you are, what life has done to you and what you have made of you life. Old age can be a time of releasing the many false burdens that you have dragged behind you through stony fields of years. Sometimes the greatest burdens humas carry are the burdens they make for themselves. People who put years into constructing a heavy burden for themselves often say, 'Sure it is my cross in life, God help me, I hope God will reward me for carrying it.' This is nonsense. God looks down and sees people carrying burdens they have invented and created themselves. God must think: 'How foolish they are to think that it has anything to do with my destiny for them. It has more to do with their own negative use of the freedom and possibility that I give them.' False burdens can fall away in old age. One possible way to begin would be to ask yourself: what are the lonely burdens that you have carried? Some of them would definitely belong to you, but more of them you have just picked up and made for yourself. To begin to let them go is to lighten the pressure and weight on your life. You will then experience a lightness and a great inner freedom. Freedom can be one of the wonderful fruits of old age. You can undo the damage that you did to yourself early on in your life. This whole complex of possibility is summed up magnificently by the wonderful Mexican poet Octavio in Eagle or Sun:

With great difficulty advancing by millimetres each

year, I carve a road out of the rock. For

milleniums my teeth have wasted and my nails

broken to get there, to the other side, to the light

and the open air. And now that my hands bleed

and my teeth tremble, unsure in a cavity cracked by

thirst and dust, I pause and contemplate my work.

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