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…
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