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I’m finite.

There are surprises awaiting all along the path. I knew turning 60 was different.

Most years I gleefully practice saying that I am the age of my next birthday. Not this me in studioyear. 60.

I’ve kept in my file the words of poets who announce this age. May Sarton for one who writes in Gestalt at 60.

I am not ready to die,
But I am learning to trust death
As 1 have trusted life.
I am moving
Toward a new freedom
Born of detachment,
And a sweeter grace—
Learning to let go.

I am not ready to die,
But as I approach sixty
I turn my face toward the sea.
I shall go where tides replace time,
Where my world will open to a far horizon.

Over the floating, never-still flux and change.
I shall go with the changes,
I shall look far out over golden grasses
And blue waters….

There are no farewells.

Praise God for His mercies,
For His austere demands,
For His light
And for His darkness.

I am in my body.  I am aware of even minute changes as well as the strong shifts that can occur in a moment, earthquake-like.  I will never forget the first onset of menopause, that second when I felt a drop in my metabolism.  No one told me that you can feel that. I did and it never came back up.

I have joked that I am celebrating 60 like a crazy woman, beating this age over the head with events. I got so hung over with the happiness after my Art Studio opening that it took me days to recover.

This week my family is in town to celebrate my niece’s graduation from Cal. We will gather near the campanili, go out to eat afterwards overlooking the bay, and wonder at new adventures.  I’ve asked my family to go to the zoo and eat ice cream with me–such a childlike thing to want.

My finitude is RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW. My heart knows the preciousness of family.  My family members don’t feel it like I do right now and this annoys me. I sense time passing like a stampede of horses.  I will be gone soon and so will they.

This 60 aging spurt is full of life, the kind that is awkward and wild.  This day will disappear as I do. Finite.   More and more so.

That is why I want to bow.  Bow crazy like. Bow madly at all this beauty, all this sorrow. I want to make the prayers I need to make.  But this is always my default.  Make.

Bowing is more about unmaking, emptying, disappearing after the act. This too requires showing up, claiming, to acknowledge that I am here with spider web feet dancing on next to nothing.

May 30th I look forward to celebrating all out, bowing to life in those around me, my playmates, my family.  If you want to come let me know. I’ll make sure to save a spot for you at 1000 bows to beauty.

PS. My actutal birthday is May 28 and my friends Sahib Amar and Chinh Nguyen are in birthday mode then too. We’ll bow to them.

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