Friday, February 19, 2016

My  81st birthday

81 is a more interesting number than I first imagined. Eighty-one is the square of 9 and the fourth power of 3. Like all powers of three, 81 is a perfect totient number. It is a heptagonal number and a centered octagonal number. It is also a tribonacci number, and an open meandric number. 81 is the ninth member of the Mian-Chowla sequence.  TMI (too much information), I know. But then this year of my life offers more than I can grasp or understand.  I had originally thought of my 81st birthday as a non event, a birthday to ignore, but then ...
         I realized that this was the last chapter of my life. And like any good story it needed a good ending. One that would take the plot line, the character development, the tension of the conflicting themes and resolve them into a satisfying, releasing ending (denouement?).
         And so not to be content to sit in front of the fire basking in half forgotten memories of remembered accomplishments, real or imagined, nor accept the slow descent into senility, I've got up off my couch and started to shape my last chapter.
        When I first read the lines from Tennyson's poem, Ulysses,  "Old age hath yet his honour and his toil /Some work of noble note, may yet be done, /Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods." I knew this was the challenge and now the time to answer the call.  The Noble Deed was what I was about.
       The task: pull forward all the elements of my life that this final chapter will be the fulfillment of a life well lived. I realized that the reoccurring theme of the last two decades has been the toning, developing, expanding my commitment to loving.  As my body and brain succumbs to the ravages of aging, I believe/hope/demand that the essence of who I am will continue to grow in love in that mature and cosmic way that for me is exemplified in that religious image of a Man with his heart exposed, pouring out love to all who he meets, indeed sending out love like a radiant golden light out into the world.
        My last chapter – becoming this man.


  1. Interesting piece. Here is a challenge for you. To me, loving means doing. What, specifically, do you plan to DO to express your love? "A radiant golden light" is just too vague for me.

    1. "To me, loving means doing. What, specifically, do you plan to DO to express your love? "A radiant golden light" is just too vague for me."
      Your response to my blog is something I struggle with. I wonder why if I profess to love why it doesn't manifest itself in doing.
      As best as I can answer this question is to say that love seems to be a state of being, rather than one of doing.
      Itzhak) Bentov claimed that "love is an energy and not the emotion we have reduced it to." He observes: “What we call ‘love’ is an energy or radiation that pervades the whole cosmos. It is possibly the basis of what we know as the phenomenon of gravitation. Does compassion become the basic energy of the universe? Surely this is what spiritual teachers East and West have continuously taught; that the purpose of living is to become an energy called love.

      This is an attempt to offer some possibilities for thought. I have thought a lot about what you ask and for me I don't have an answer. Although in my mind there is more to be said.

  2. In reading your aspiration, Austin, I reflect on this: we are loved/breathed into being, constantly. If we can "let the love in" that is juicing us, we learn how it is to "do" that "shining" you're talking about.

    And it matters not whether others can recognize it in us. Our internal feeling subjectivity -- letting love be in this moment, onwardly -- is enough.
    And that feeling of "pouring it out" you speak of... seems to me that's about as good as it gets! There's no credit for it, no collecting it, just the Big Pleasure of Doing it... for this kind of being IS a doing.

  3. So right, Kolin. Good to reminded of it.

  4. Thank you Austin...I can think of nothing more important, at your stage of life or any other stage. My partner Beverly is showing me that every day.