Early last year I started a writing group here in town. I had thought that at least a dozen friends were interested but when the dust settled there were just three of us. We meet weekly at a nice little coffee shop in town where we write over steaming mugs of coffee or tea, amid the detritus of salads, sandwiches, brownies, cookies. We three bring our journaling books and our favorite pens. We use various sources for writing prompts. We share our writing with each other.
Sometimes one or more of us will bring in some samples of our personal writing from the week to share with the group. This week my friend Carol brought in a piece she called Being 75 and Not Knowing. I don't know if it will move you, but Peg and I gave her a well-deserved standing ovation, right there at the table.
Carol has given me permission to share her piece here with you.
I hope you love it.
Being 75 and Not Knowing
at 75, I have felt, an apex should have been in order
the climb to the mountaintop accomplished
after all, we think the elderly wise.
but I find that there are more questions and more doubts than ever
even the doubt of a personal existence
after all, we are newly born at the cellular level every 7 years
maintaining our assumed identity only by guidance of the DNA passing from cell to cell
and we are mostly water and space
relative football fields of space at the micro level
electrical pathways processing our actions and reactions
and my thoughts are not myself, flitting as they do
across the fields (and sometimes mine fields) of my mind
they come and they fly like whispered dreams
mooji says it is all nothing, nothing, nothing
no mind, so self, not a thinker but a witness to thought
then what is left?
I have yet to comprehend these quiet teachings
sleepy even while hearing his voice,
mind wandering to the next distraction.
At night I lie in bed with my tiny dog
who snuggles under the covers, twitching ever so slightly,
as her muscles slowly relax from her day of terrorizing squirrels
and I wonder if she is happy in this home?
or is it just the basic needs of food and warmth and petting
that she cares about
I ask her, are you happy? but happy is a word she does not know
I am happy with her
her unbounded joy upon my return home enlivens me
grateful for her unadulterated being,
she has no concern for mind, not mind, self, not-self
but I am 75 and I do not know
and perhaps that is enough
the question and the not knowing are enough.
Thank you, Dear Carol. 💗