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February 16, 2017


Thank you for this post, Beth. So much.

Beth, I love this photo. It says much the same things you're saying in this post. The fierce concentration and committment in your stance and your expression and the gentle receptivity of your hands, attuned to the nature surrounding you.

Hi Beth
A very thoughtful and reflective post. Carry on your great work. Your drawings, like your prose are always a delight!

The journey is home……

“This search for God, this longing for meaning and understanding, while often frustrating, has given me greater acquaintance with many gods along the way – all, especially the dark ones, worthy of and demanding respect – and many good and many bad people, but always an interesting life. In the end, having a more interesting life, a life that disturbs complacency, a life that pulls us out of the comfortable and thereby demands a larger spiritual engagement than we planned or that feels comfortable, is what matters most. To have been here, to have wrestled with such things, to have lived such questions, to have kept the mystery before us, to have joyfully accepted being ‘ defeated by ever larger things. ‘ to have kept one’s appointment with destiny, to have taken one’s journey through this dark, bitter, luminous, wondrous universe, to have risked being who we really are, is, finally, what matters most.”

James Hollis


Beautiful, thank you. The still-life with cup and horse is sheer genius.

Retirement. A time to relish one's weaknesses. To doze after lunch and to revel in the sensuality of dozing - occupying that territory where real sounds mingle with imaginary landscapes. Recognising that facetiousness is nugatory but continuing to practice it, knowing it can never be morally ambivalent, its worthlessness makes it untouchable. Paying people to do work that doesn't appeal to you, leaving them behind and ordering a bacon roll that you know is bad for you - at eighty-one! - and the exclamation mark is, for once, permissible. To put aside the awful implications of Donald Trump and see him, instead, as a comedian, a skilled comedian for goodness' sake, operating from a carefully written script. At home, to mis-sing a deceptively easy ascending sequence for the fiftieth time and to say to oneself - almost maliciously - aha, no one else heard it. To not decry the virtues but also to not envy them. To be willing to split infinitives.

I was at a lively neighbourhood restaurant the other evening with friends around my age, 68. One of the women said to me, "We are the oldest people in here!" Her tone conveyed she didn't like that. And I thought-and then said (thanks to a glass or two of wine)- "I'm glad. Glad to still be here and glad these young ones can see that with a little luck, a person can have a good time at their age, and also at ours."

I lost nearly all of my professional work products a short time ago, decades of work. I could have paid for expensive (and iffy) data retrieval but decided to let it go. I have a few papers in hard copy, and the rest is in the hands of clients. So be it; felt like the iceberg of my ego had calved.

These are the most enjoyable and fruitful years, the 60s, if you play them right. It gets tougher later on, as I'm discovering in my 70s.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.