Getting on

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2 weeks 5 days ago #118268 by Kate Gowen
Getting on was created by Kate Gowen
I was reading one of James Ford’s regular columns n Patheos online magazine today, n which he referred to his slow-mo retirement. Then I started to noodle about the word, “retirement”— we retire from our jobs (if we’re lucky enough not to have to die in harness). We retire to bed. We retire objects no longer useful. Some retire from the world. In the Zen ox-herding pictures, the Bodhisattva retires from ascetic seclusion and returns as a smiling wanderer with no particular purpose or use…

Becoming old and useless may be a secret blessing— that almost no modern person wishes to receive.
It has some features of being a toddler again. Time and agenda and the boundaries of possibility are more elastic. Of what USE is a toddler? Yet it is possible to find their variance from our norms endlessly interesting.

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2 weeks 5 days ago #118269 by Kacchapa
Replied by Kacchapa on topic Getting on
Sounds lovely!

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2 weeks 4 days ago #118290 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Getting on

Becoming old and useless may be a secret blessing— that almost no modern person wishes to receive.
It has some features of being a toddler again. Time and agenda and the boundaries of possibility are more elastic. Of what USE is a toddler? Yet it is possible to find their variance from our norms endlessly interesting.

The only disagreement I have with this comment is the toddler comparison. I retired from my last job in mid-January and yes, there has been a struggle with what I'd call my pre-existing internal proclivity to think my self-worth is found in my job. The resulting re-orientation to life's meaning has been a revelation. 

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2 weeks 4 days ago #118292 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
Could you elaborate a bit on what the disagreement is? I’m interested to hear.

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2 weeks 4 days ago #118294 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Getting on
I think toddlers are very different than older people. Toddlers are not experienced or wise. Older people are not emotionally immature or full of energy.

:)

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2 weeks 4 days ago #118299 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
Ah, I see.
I was thinking of the overlap slice of the Venn diagram.

Like how toddlers can become so concentrated on overlooked parts of their environment that a walk around the block becomes a timeless adventure.
(Unless you’re the chafing parent with Much More Important Things to do, LOL)

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2 weeks 3 days ago - 2 weeks 3 days ago #118305 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Getting on
I'm with you. Kate.

We raised four children and the toddler stage is both wonderfully entertaining and brutally challenging.

The same can be said for the last few years of my mom's life. She had dementia and we watched her slowly regress through the teenager, child, toddler, and then infant stages. She became very much like a toddler for a while - unedited, funny without trying, curious about small details. I think that's why I reacted the way I did to your first comparison of older people and toddlers. Deeply held grief.

I recently watched and heard a piece of art that was meant to replicate the descent through the stage of dementia and it was very, very hard to stay with, but seemingly realistic. Be warned, this is heartbreaking:  



Sorry to hijack the conversation. Deeply held grief.
Last edit: 2 weeks 3 days ago by Chris Marti.

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2 weeks 3 days ago #118310 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
Oh, Chris!

Since I am such a monad, I lack your profound experience. I was writing from my own whimsy. Of course.
Thanks for the correction and the reminder— I am not necessarily standard issue, and should not take for granted the sheer random luck that has allowed me to skate on my good fortune.

I WILL watch the video, but had better get my day underway first.

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2 weeks 3 days ago #118314 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Getting on
No worries at all, Kate. My comments are aimed much more at me, not you. You’ve been a friend, helpful critic and online co-participant for many years. Heck, we had dinner together once! You’re golden as I see it, and I don’t think you ever mean to do harm.

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2 weeks 3 days ago #118315 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
Shoot, Chris— now you’re making me cry.

And realize that a lot of what I do is send out cryptic notes in bottles in blind recognition of the fact that I am out here in a vast ocean, and “my boat is so small and the sea is so wide.”

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2 weeks 3 days ago #118316 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Getting on
:)

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2 weeks 12 hours ago #118432 by microbuddha
Replied by microbuddha on topic Getting on
Kate,  
I think I heard you mention you are living in Philadelphia these days. ( what part? )  I drive up that way during the Christmas holidays to visit family.  Perhaps we could get together for a chat and tea.  

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2 weeks 11 hours ago #118433 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
That would be great! I’d love to meet you.

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2 weeks 8 hours ago #118436 by microbuddha
Replied by microbuddha on topic Getting on
Philly is a very big place!  I am from Lower Gwynedd Township/Springhouse area.  My sister lives in North Hills, parents are in Lansdale. 

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2 weeks 8 hours ago #118437 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
After sojourns in South Philly and Brewerytown, I have landed in, or adjacent to, University City.

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2 weeks 7 hours ago #118438 by microbuddha
Replied by microbuddha on topic Getting on
Nice.  Right near Penn. 

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2 weeks 7 hours ago #118439 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
Yes.
A strange flashback to my couple of decades in the ambit of UC Berkeley.
A lifetime full circle, but on opposite sides of the continent as well as my life cycle.

”I’ve looked at life from both sides now.”

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2 weeks 7 hours ago #118440 by Chris Marti
Replied by Chris Marti on topic Getting on
You two need to meet up! 

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2 weeks ago #118444 by Ona Kiser
Replied by Ona Kiser on topic Getting on
I'll try to visit in early November, when we are in the US again...

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1 week 6 days ago #118445 by Kate Gowen
Replied by Kate Gowen on topic Getting on
Wow, this promises more social life than I’ve had for most of a decade!

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