We don’t think of ourselves as older women before we reach our late 50’s. At least I didn’t. Some part of me thought 40 would last forever & that was just fine.
I wasn’t haunted by the idea of aging. I was enchanted with the idea of embodied experience- still am, at least on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays.
Of course, I had a few very good role models. One in particular has made this transition easier than it might have been by just being her wise, wild & wonderful self.
Some people said she spoke her mind too often & was unnervingly eccentric. They didn’t know the half of it.
Here’s my favorite story about her:
I’d just turned 20, she’d just turned 91 and it was her birthday.
She gave me vodka in teacup that day and taught me how to hold it so her more “sensible” visitors wouldn’t notice.
I adored her. She adored libraries, Mozart and licorice.
I read out loud for her, took her to the park, and helped decipher her notes. They were everywhere. She said she was writing a novel in the Russian style and its characters needed space.
This note she read out loud and gave me to keep. I still have it. It says:
“Can the essence of who you are-
The sum of all your possibilities
And the total of none be enough?
Can you be content
To kindle what is tender in your soul
And temper what isn’t?
Can you keep your eyes open
And your longing safe
From the today’s you’re always loosing
And the tomorrows that might never come?”
“I’m not that wise” I said, “I don’t know.”
“You will be.” she nodded, “more tea?”
At that moment, I wondered what she was like as a girl, and I still think about her every April.
© Willow-Marie Power 2013
*first posted on WP last April, but I thought of her today.