I've scribbled the alphabet for meaning since I can remember.
I was sitting in front of a late summer fire when the woman next to me turned and said, “You know, it all changes when you are 70.”
I raise my eyebrows and nod for her to continue.
“No one talks about it. You know. No one talks about aging anymore or how to age — or that we even age.”
“No, they don’t.”
“But we do,” she looks off, smiling and contemplative. “We do. We do age. You know I started having dreams.”
“About regrets. Choices I made - or didn’t make — things that I am not pleased with; I have started waking in the middle of the night, seeing them. Do you think I am crazy?”
“No,” I answer honestly.
“And I had — still have — a good life. I did well for myself in Academia, and then advanced in the business realm to. I haven’t wanted for much - “
“That’s an accomplishment.”
“Yes, it is. And I have lead a full life with community — my family, cultivated friends, cultivated a spiritual life, but you know my regrets are connected to work — a lot of people’s regrets are connected to work.”
“How so?” I prompt, curious.
“Well you know you do things in the business world, you treat people in ways in the business world that you would never do in real life — you know. You don’t go by your own ethics; you have to do things in the work world, be a way, that you would never choose to be.”
I allow silence.
Eventually she offers, “You know they made me fire someone I didn’t want to fire and didn’t think should have been fired — I see his face in my dreams.” She looks at me, “You know you ruin someone, or at least a part of them, when you fire them like that. Never sat right with me.”
She brushes her forearm, lets her hand rest and says, “You know I believe these dreams are Spirit talking to me, telling me what I need to get right with to have a good death. Do you think I am crazy?”
“Yeah, well you are too young to understand anything I am saying anyway.”
I chuckle, “That may be true, but I am glad I am hearing it anyway —even if I can only understand a sliver. People my age, and younger, need to hear what other genrations have to say — how else will we learn? How else will we prepare? Cross-Generations need to talk again, too much isolation,” I tell her. "That's one of our biggest problems today -- we are all isolated, instead of helping each other out."
“I didn’t think about that,” she says and we both stare into the fire.
To be continued…
“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished?
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