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Old Age is Boring Part 1: Another Country, A Different Game

Today is the first day of winter, with a pale sun barely seeping through the damp air. I’m sitting stubbornly on the back deck wrapped in my heaviest sweater, trying to write about what it is like to be … I don’t know how to say this. A woman growing old? A woman aging? Or […]

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Old Age is Boring Part 2: Little Losses and Endings

By the time you get to 60 or so, you’ve begun to push away the small sorrows of the secret dreams you’re not going to get to in this lifetime. Things you’ve probably never mentioned to anybody but have been a lovely possibility, something the future could hold if things work out. To name a […]

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The Geese Are Flying South: Engaging My Fear of Aging

As I wake up this morning, it takes a little while to remember where I am. I sit up in bed, pulling the quilt around me against the damp, and wait. Here it comes: the hills above Half Moon Bay. Old growth redwoods drip through the front window, and in the distance, fog rises off […]

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Hidden Secrets of Growing Old Part 1: Pentimento

Sitting here on a May morning, curled up in my favorite spot on the chintz sofa in front of the picture window in our living room, I’m gazing at a single salmon colored rose just peeking out of its bud cover. It seems to glow with its own light. Slowly my view spreads out, easing […]

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Hidden Secrets of Growing Old Part 2: An Adventure so Exquisite

It’s a cool July morning with the Pacific fog sitting plump as a grey hen on the far hills. I love the way the mist hides us here in the flatlands for awhile, as if we were in a time out of time. When the sun breaks through around noon, I have a phone date […]

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Questions that Won’t Go Away Part 1: Growing Wise

In a story I told earlier, Meeting the Wise Elder, when a baker named Rose turned 50, she was awakened by a question that would not go away. In desperation, she journeyed to meet a Wise Elder but when Rose asked her question, the Elder smacked Rose hard and kicked her out of the house. […]

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Questions that Won’t Go Away Part 2: Diminishment

When you encounter a question that won’t go away, it keeps pestering you, tapping at your inner doors and waking you too early in the morning or keeping you from sleep at night. Sometimes, if you ignore it enough, your question will go underground. But eventually, unless you work very hard indeed, it will begin […]

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Meeting the Wise Elder

Here is a version of a story I first heard from Rabbi Jonathan Omer-man many years ago. I have changed a number of the details but never forgotten the essence of the story because it felt like a knife going into my heart. It has come back to me now as I contemplate what it […]

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With boundless gratitude to webmaster Alla Gringaus (email: alla.gringaus@gmail.com) who not only designed and built this site but has been the most inspiring of teachers in her meticulous and gracious guidance into the mysteries of the internet. And, also, a special thanks to Heather Preston, whose work on the cover of Ripening Time inspired the artistic theme of my site