“We look with uncertainty
beyond the old seeking of
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment
at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
awaiting that which comes…
daring to be human creatures,
vulnerable to the beauty of existence.”
— Anne Hillman
My cousin Myra sent me a video of their three dogs whom I haven’t seen for six months. Henry is no longer a cuddly little puppy; Oscar has matured and grown to love him, and elder Jack is much thinner. Friendly and frail, he lies still, observing Henry and Oscar play. They are a tableau of life — playing, nosing around, and inevitably, changing. Growing older, and finally, old.
When I tell people I turn 70 this month, the spontaneous reaction is usually a surprised, “Oh! I didn’t know you were that OLD!” It’s a funny mirror held up to my own sense of being young, thanks to the blessing of good health and energy. Then the question: “How does it feel?” The felt sense is exactly the same – moment by moment, life revealing itself in the form of this birdsong, this rug under my feet, this stillness, these fingers writing thoughts on this computer right now. Only THIS.
Where is 70? Where is young, or old? These are thoughts, concepts, and as the dogs and our mirrors vividly illustrate, they have a certain reality. But our LIVED experience, fresh and alive, is inconceivable, can’t be captured in concepts or words.
It is inconceivable to be any age, but especially this one.
What I mean is that THIS is 70. Sharing the wisdom teachings, swimming in the ocean, falling in love over and over. Life in the form of THIS moment, this body, this heart, this identity, this being.
I vow to create and play and meditate and swim in the ocean and love each day of the next decades with the same full heart and timeless spirit that I learned from the Dharma. My birthday wish: Practice with me, and open the gates to a heartful life!