A Really Different Stage of Life   1 comment

This stage of life is really different than others I have known. I keep thinking of how I’d like to partake of a whole economy organized around needs associated with being in an end stage, rather than a beginning, or even middle stage. There are so many things I DO NOT want, that others want, that are widely considered to be desirable, things that have to do with long term improvement or durability. I do not want an education. I do not want a house, however quaint, to improve. Although I adore permaculture, I do not want land, to develop wisely, complexly, over time. I do not want a van, however cleverly fitted out, for camping. I don’t want to start a non-profit, however urgently needed. I don’t want to develop a craft involving paper or textiles, however delightful to make something out of nothing (where would I put it?) . I don’t see any point in learning yet another language even though I am utterly fascinated by the different ways different cultures have symbolized their lived experience. This list could go on and on, and now that I’ve thought of it, I’ll probably go on making it! (Please, if commenting, add your own items!). “If only….”, dreaming about what might lie just beyond the horizon, is where my gaze has most typically fallen, all my life. The possible, not the actual. But now, since it’s all I have, my focus is on the here and now, or, at most, what could be tomorrow, or next week, or, stretching it, in six months…. For me, that is. For others, for the world, I can take the long view. But the short view, the immediate, is what is most compelling. It’s spring; let me eat asparagus: Like that! Next Thanksgiving, Christmas, are impossibly far off, irrelevant. The way things might turn out in the Middle East. I prefer to think about the half century plus I have actually lived through: what it all means…. Well, I say this, but I am simultaneously wanting to dig deeper,deeper,deeper, way back into the origins of human societies, where the idea of “rights” comes from. Feeling into my relationship with other kinds of creatures, creatures I myself might become, shortly, this finger to a caterpillar, this head of hair to an old man’s beard fungus. I’m deeply engaged with the rights of non- humans, on how we all get to cut the pie. Because even if I do shuffle off this mortal coil, I’m still in the universe, right? Still part of the earth ecosystem as long as that is happening, right? So I want to get clear about what rights I might have if I turn up next time as some weeds, some Bermuda grass, let’s say, in my daughter’s back yard. Does she have a right to pull me out and throw me on the dung heap? What if I were a beautiful wildflower? If I were good for the local ecosystem as now constituted? Or bad….. These questions interest me. In my imaginary society organized for old codgers, there would be a lot of discussion groups to discuss important matters like this. These are very preliminary thoughts on What is Special about My Present Life Stage — but I notice that if I let my thoughts season, they tend to just disappear, like smoke….


Posted April 6, 2011 by judybloomgardener in Uncategorized

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  1. I am intrigued by your sense of nearing a world that we think of as other, the world of bermuda grass and snails and creeks and your growing identification with them. What rights do they have?, you ask, not as an outsider but as a prospective initiate, novice. That’s something most environmentalists don’t consider. But I just read something written by a third-world woman to a middle class white woman. It said, “If you are coming to save us, don’t bother. But if you realize that your future depends on mine, then I am overjoyed to work together with you.”. I think you are approaching this from the latter standpoint. Wonderful! Barbara

    barbara riverwoman

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