When I passed forty I dropped pretense, `cause men like women who got some sense.
-Maya Angelou

From "Caught in the Act: Reflections on Being, Knowing, and Doing" by Toinette Lippe:

In the last few months I have had the sensation of floating. It is hard to tell whether this is because I am not facing any maxi or mini crisis at present. There are definitely times when I am content to sit and wait to see what turns up. I am no longer striving so hard. The spirit of inquiry perches on one of my branches, its head cocked on one side, alert and waiting. The other image that comes to mind is of the sea and its tides. The waves beat upon the shore and, day after day, odd fragments are cast up on the beach, each with its own history. Hardly anything arrives whole, and it is often a mystery as to what the original creatures and objects were and how they functioned. Yet the time they have spent in the ocean and the drubbing they have endured has stripped them of all that was superfluous, and often just the skeletons or shells remain.

When our gaze falls on such artifacts from our lives, vague memories stir within us, and if we are patient, the significance of each one may reveal itself. If not, there is always another tide twelve hours later that will discharge more flotsam and jetsam from the storehouse within.

My life appears to be 'thinning out.' Fewer and fewer demands are being put on me, and I am spending a great deal of time at home by myself. This is okay, as long as I accept being alone as much as being with others. I guess the crunch will come when there is 'nothing' to do. Will I be comfortable and content with nothing? The truth is that each time activity appears to have died down, something new arrives on my doorstep. The key is satisfaction - being willing to live with whatever happens but also with what doesn't happen.

One of the things that is being engendered in me is a fuller trust in the universe that whatever I need will arrive. I may not always appreciate it if it is wearing a grim mask, but it is clear that whatever comes my way should be welcomed.

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