As transitions take place during our later years, a fundamental and primal shift from ambition to meaning occurs.
--Angeles Arrien, The Second Half of Life
|Afternoon Transitions |
|A brain organoid|
Summer's almost gone and I'm writing at the beginning of the full moon in Pisces, when Neptune rules and hazy, foggy moments are abundant. So let's see what sense I can make of the images and themes of ambition and meaning that spoke to me this summer. First there's that little brain organoid. It was grown from autistic patient skin cells in a small Petri dish by scientists so they could study various and sundry brain functions. In a nutshell, what they found was a neuronal imbalance, too much of this, not enough of that. I expect in the future such methods of discovery for all kinds of disorders will become commonplace and we'll all know more and more about how our bodies work. But what I wonder is will we be able to use that knowledge? If we know more about how our brains work can we better our lives and the lives of others? There's actually a whole new burgeoning field of neurobiology and neurotherapy dealing with those ambitious questions. I expect our grandchildren will be the recipients and practitioners of such advanced learning.
|Abstract painting of butterfly wing|
|A place somewhere in time and space|
For such questions we find ourselves dusting off our tool box of 'stuff we used to do, still do, want to do more of.' You know what I mean, that snazzy set of skills and talents we always fell back on to put order into chaos, find meaning in the unfathomable or even to celebrate the ineffable. Writing happens to be mine. I used to find it thrillingly meaningful to write about things out there... the DJIA, IPOs, REOs and the SEC. Ditto budding entrepreneurs, zany inventors and right livelihood. Then there came the frantic chaos of turning fifty when the whole world as I knew it ended (I left my job as a business journalist) and I was staring at the prospect of starting all over from scratch. Now I write about things that have meaning in here, things that touch the heart, things I like and find beautiful and inspiring. Rounding up and integrating the pieces of the life I'd learned with so I could get on with the life I would henceforth be living has been a big job. But after much back and forth and a few false starts, I'm learning to engage the conscious aging process. It's sometimes daunting, often thrilling, definitely perplexing, truly intriguing. I wonder who else is up for this quest. Who's up for this kind of stuff anyway? Who needs or wants to teeter on the brink of a back and forth state of mind looking back and forward at the same time, all the while hearing that waking up, being present to the moment and living in the power of now is really all that matters anyway. Maybe you want this. If you do, maybe I have something to share with you.
What Matters Most
|Huichol yarn painting, Resurrection Bird|