I came across the poem below the other day and it reminded me of the many different directions my life has taken, none of it planned, much of it trial and error, but somehow I needed everything I’ve experienced to be the crazy, creative crone I now am, still dedicated to growing old disgracefully.
I am an Elder and I believe we Elders need to stand up and share the wisdom we’ve learned in our lives in a society which focuses on youth and tries to ignore the fact that we age and eventually cross the Rainbow Bridge.
I took a long time getting here,
much of it wasted on wrong turns,
back roads riddled by ruts.
I had adventures
I never would have known
if I proceeded as the crow flies.
Super highways are so sure
of where they are going:
they arrive too soon. A straight line isn’t always
the shortest distance
between two people.
Sometimes I act as though
I’m heading somewhere else
I narrow the gap between you and me.
I’m not sure I’ll ever
know the right way, but I don’t mind
getting lost now and then.
Maps don’t know everything.
~ Ruth Feldman ~
(The Ambitions of Ghosts)
Here’s where life has taken me:
* University where I studied French and German interpreting & translation
* Secretarial work in London for a German paper company
* Worked on a kibbutz for 3 months
* Travelled to Australia and worked as a secretary for the first two years
* Worked as a union organiser for the Australian Union of Students
* Studied Indonesian at the WA Institute of Technology
* Secretary in a children’s theatre group. Had conflict with boss.
* Administrative Assistant in a mining company. Had conflict with one of the bosses (who really was as nutty as a fruitcake!). The other boss was livid when I quit because of him.
* Operated a bookshop (which closed due to increased rent)
* Secretary in a union office. Had conflict with boss. Invalided out of the workforce with repetitive strain injury.
* Started studying alternative health therapies including Reiki, Reflexology, Metamorphosis and Kinesiology.
* Member of and organiser for the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) until I quit due to being too eccentric, independent, idealistic, too freedom-loving (hated all the backroom wheeling and dealing), and because I was developing into a spiritual seeker which overrode everything else.
*Continued to be a bleeding heart liberal, leftie, liberal, progressive, committed to social justice, women’s liberation, opposed to racism, sexism, religious prejudice, homophobia and bigotry
* Realised I could not work under anyone else and developed my own line of work.
* Tarot reader
* Crystal worker
* Mandala artist
* Teacher of crystal healing, mandala art and living one’s dreams
* Kyboshed by fibromyalgia due to pushing myself too hard and burning out
* Disability pensioner
* Acrylic artist working with natural earth elements
* Teaching mandala art, Reiki, crystal healing, Tarot.
* Photographer of nature
* Digital Artist
(The conflict I’ve had with bosses over my various job incarnations was due, I realised when I undertook inner work, to my fractious relationship with my bullying, alcoholic father. I don’t take orders from others).
I realised that a dream I had recently, where I took a winding, unexplored road and ended up in a small cove on the Pacific Ocean and feeling enormously happy, was really a metaphor for the peace and happiness I’ve found since I’ve been living here in North Cyprus. I am happy to work at digital art as and when I’m able as I can release all the images buzzing around in my mind, heart and spirit. I still support social justice in whichever way I can given that I have mobility challenges now.
I am also content to rest when necessary and to enjoy sitting quietly with a dog’s head resting quietly on my lap, depending on which of our four dogs has muscled onto the sofa to sit with me. I love being near the sea. I love being near the Besparmak Mountains. I love being close to nature. I love being with my husband, partner, friend and lover of 38 years.
I have come to realise that life doesn’t need to be spent in the fast lane, that the lure of wealth can be a dead-end street, and most importantly, being kind, being a humanitarian, having love in my life and caring about others, the environment and being creative is what makes my world go round.