“Some of us don’t want
to be tough alpha leaders.
Some of us just want to write
and breathe in the sky
and nourish and nurture
and quietly create
and live our
lives as our art.
To know the earth
Rhythms and Roads
A few weeks ago, lunching with a friend, and then in conversation with another, I realized again how differences in our ages and life stages ebb and flow. Sometimes barely noticeable in how we find companionship journeying through life. Sometimes the gap more apparent, like a chasm requiring fancy footwork to bridge, or, as I discovered, simply noticing and letting be.
Finding myself more fully in that place beyond career and the professional aspirations that held my attention and directed my days, I realize, too, how that focus gave me many gratifying and validating dimensions of identity, regard and respect. How it helped me know that my gifts and talents, cultivated over decades, were being well used. I had always said, to quote Kahlil Gibran, that my work was my love made visible, and how wonderful it had been to have worked with people I cherished and who I knew cherished me.
Landing with the deep thud of truth in my body, I no longer have the energy, nor the desire to be – not that I ever was – “a tough alpha leader.” I am giving myself over to writing (having made eight poetry submissions in January), living into the slogan I created a few years ago: my life as poem and prayer. I am learning, repeatedly, how an aspect of an artist’s “stock in trade” is the often lonely leaning into rejection, and digging deep within for the valuing, regard and respect that had once so readily come from outside. Chuckling with my friend, I said somedays I hit pay dirt, other days it’s rock bottom.
I’m not complaining. It is what so many of the wise elders on whose words I’ve rested and relied have said about the second half of life: when some of us, brave and taking heart, deciphering the signs and listening to the truth in and of our bodies, find ourselves in that more nuanced landscape marked by light and shadow. Lonely perhaps. Messy even. Occasionally bereft of the familiar. But always of earth and its ways. And it is from this place and our relationship to it, that we make our way.
Much love and kindest regards, dear friends.
9 thoughts on “Some of Us”
Beautiful and profound words
Welcome, Gail and thank you.
Bravo. My poetic heart (that also generally chooses to live artistry) sings to hear your song. Thx Katharine. Yes, yes.
One of our kindred ways…
Beautifully written, as always, Katharine. This wisdom applies to so many facets of our later years lives. Right now I am cross-country skiing with long time friends. Having a wonderful time and truly humbled by my pace in relationship to theirs. Accepting the beauty of snow and tracks and melting rivulets and the privilege of simply being out on the skinny boards as I have for (yikes) over 60 years! Love, ann
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You inspire me, Ann. In countless ways. Enjoy. Much love and gratitude.
Good words and thoughts Katharine. I too, have never thought of myself as an alpha leader, although others may have at one time. I can see the same for you because of your thoughtful presence.
Yes. And I want the beauty of your words collected tangibly somewhere–a treasure chest to be found in long future times. Savored by the granddaughter of someone you never met.