Sometimes my ‘shield’is a vision of clear molded plexiglass, with varying thickness added as needed. Selected ‘incoming’ bounces off. I do not absorb the depth of the grief, pain, and craziness I witness. This shield actually binds like impermeable wrap preventing other people’s feelings from carving the same hollows in me. I can help them get through. That’s my strength and I like using it.
Life insists on both weary days of plodding along and also sublime days when a cheerful and generous universe seems to have your back. For me, the spectacle of human existence is never dull, but often baffling.
I remember a woman once a colleague. She presented a kind and deferential persona, cheerful but desperate. A close friend of hers told me: “When she gets in touch with her monumental anger, I do not want to be in range.”
I feel crazy and alone on occasion, depending on the season and the set of challenges delivered.
A woman i wanted to like tells me “I never get angry” – that made me angry. Two women whose talents I appreciated and encouraged close the door of our relationships in silence – that made me unbearably sad. Silence wounds the heart more deeply than a tirade.
White animals, except the arctic ones, are known to draw antagonism from other wild creatures. I trouble over the possibility that white-haired me similarly draws fire. This wildish part suits me. Thought I am often terrified, I won’t be cowed by other women’s fears. I’m ever seeking bonds with true sisters, and I treasure the ones I have.
When we sufficiently dismantle our color-based caste system, another re-evolution. This one moves us toward once again honoring elders. We boomers, some of us anyway, have lived adventurous lives. We’ve witnessed tsunamis of social re-adjustments spawned by WWII and the Korean War (through our parents). We joined and survived the upheavals of the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam (had we had good intelligence about the Vietnamese spirit, the US never would have defiled that patch of civilization), the Afghan and Middle East wars, the millennials’ ride up, and the proliferation of communications technology that oddly interferes with the soulful communities we long for.
We’ve survived, accumulating wisdom born of experience. Our contributions have not ceased and will not end – if our legacies carry forward what we value. Honesty. Compassion. Patience. A fierce sense of service to those who’ve been stranded on the margins of our vast wealth. And an equally motivated capacity to laugh. Deserves more thought.