Shocking, unbelievable – tick, tock, tick, tock. Today it happened. It crept into my bones and joints a while ago creating extra attention to fingers and knees in the mornings but I denied the implications. Everyone who isn’t 70 says “oh, it’s just a number. You look great.”
Maybe so – but I really don’t care what they think. I care what I think and I think I hear a clock ticking and tocking.
There is very little in my life that I regret. I have made peace with most of my demons,
and I am immensely grateful that even in the most troubling times, I paid attention to the synchronicities and serendipitous moments. Those were the moments when exterior events resonated with my internal thoughts creating defining moments for change. Change I did.
I have written how an Owl swooped into my LA world in 1988 and rearranged every fiber in my being. Carl Jung said the principle of synchronicity is it’s a link connecting our psyche and the event in a meaningful coincidence. To appreciate the evolution of the Owl’s meaning I had to acknowledge the many internal processes that had begun to work within me. It started by recognizing that my cynicism was a longing for a deeper understanding of life’s meaning. As I began to see owls everywhere – on magazines, on rooftops, in dreams – I saw them not as mere happenstance but as messages of meaning. Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung both described archetypes as patterns of instinctual behavior. Archetypes are everywhere, in fairy tales, creation myths, animal totems and religious icons. They have universal appeal because they touch a common human chord.
I am happier, more contented, more at peace as I decided twenty years ago to do it consciously or as consciously as I was able in terms of self-insight and awareness regarding my past, family history and behavioral challenges. I have accepted life’s endless ambiguities. Nothing is absolute, forget black and white – there are only greys.
Yet, I need a new symbol, a new archetype who plays nice with the owl.
I have been struggling with how to process the climatic and political upheavals logically and symbolically. Both our logic and symbolic senses are in one cerebral hemisphere and my hemisphere is in a category 4 event. I rarely remember dreams but lately they have been cataclysmic though I don’t remember the details. Is it turning 70, is it Trump, is it climate disasters? Or is it all the above?
The biggest impediment to aging well is to think about how much better I looked ten or twenty or thirty years ago, to think about how much stronger I was and more physically capable. Thus, I have been making a fundamental shift into recognizing what my capacities are and are not. It is a time of simplifying and needing to let go into a stillness that allows me to fully see the world symbolically and metaphorically. Acknowledging now that that was a gift given to me at birth and my destiny that took fifty years to embrace. It is what saved me from myself.
One thought keeps playing again and again in my brain – “how women can save the world.” Time Magazine had a cover piece recently on the 100 most important women changing the world. I agreed with most, some were downright stupid but the message is getting through. Symbolically and synchronistically our “mother” is letting us know she will live on but we may not.
If women can save the world, we need to do it quickly and I am going to find out how before I leave it starting with archetypes and symbols!
(I loved this self-portrait painting I saw in the Reykjavik museum – it’s not a big museum and this artists paintings were prominently hanging in their own gallery hall)