21 October 2009

Read Blogs!

I saw a quote by Jay Rosen: "Blogs are little first amendment machines." I like that! The more blogs I read the more I realize the truth of that. People are sharing their world view directly with each other. We're showing up, paying attention and telling the truth. Put them all together and get the bigger ( and truer) picture of what's going on in our world of ordinary folks than the news can ever portray. So, do your part to preserve freedom of speech- read blogs!

11 October 2009


I'd like to introduce a new group I'm part of: elderbloggers. I'm excited to find peers who are sharing their journeys and to show just how many there are of us. Makes me feel less alone in this process and gives me good ideas of how others are negotiating the challenges of this life phase. Take a look and prepare to be amazed! Just click on the button to the side of this blog site that says: "Elderbloggers".

09 October 2009

Acorn Teachers

I was listening to an interview with Angeles Arrien today about her book: "The Second Half of Life". She talked about the importance of coming back into nature's rhythm of medium to slow in the second half of our life. Deepening and integrating, two of the tasks of this life phase, can only happen at this pace.
I passed an oak tree full of acorns at that point and saw the medium-to-slow analogy graphically. I picked a few to bring home and remind myself of this message. Italy is a good place to learn this.

07 October 2009

It's In Hand!

We have our Permesso di Soggiorno! Only 5 months from the time we applied. It is the official "permission" to stay in Italy, in our case as elective residents. It gives us what we need to apply for our residency through our town which is the final, final thing we need to be residents of Italy. Hooray! It gives us status, eligibility for the health care system and a sense that we now belong. All good things.
We got it with a lot of help from a lot of people (you know who you are but a special THANKS to Emily and Enzo, our mentors, guardian angels and all around good buddies!).
You have to rely more on friends when in a foreign country and thus operating out of your usual knowledge/comfort zone. It's humbling but I think it's important learning for me in this life phase.
I'm reading "The Second Half of Life" by Angeles Arrien, subtitled "Opening The Eight Gates of Wisdom". The first gate heralds the mystery of a new beginning or adventure and offers an opportunity to reexamine the wisdom we have gathered over time. I'm loving this book! In her questions for reflection after the first chapter, Angeles asks where we experience the spirit of fluency in our lives. She uses that word: fluency! Right away I thought about the fact that I'm learning a new language and feeling very unfluent. But I got excited that this process of learning Italian will teach me vital things about myself and the spirit of fluency in my life. I really needed this insight to motivate me just now to be a fluent Italian speaker.

03 October 2009

Comfort Zone

"Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone."
I'm there, at the edge of my comfort zone. And, of course, it's uncomfortable. Everything is okay until something goes a little haywire and I worry how I will explain it or how it will get resolved or if it will. I'm the outsider here in this different culture with it's different mores and different language that I'm just learning.
So far, things have gone well and everything has been settled as it needs to be. (Wow, it's powerful to see that in print.) Then why am I concerned? I think it's about this vague but very real lack of comfort that comes with being, well, at the edge of my comfort zone.
I don't know any way around this. Other than to stay in the present, remind myself of the truth of how things have gone and be grateful for what is. I espouse the values of the Damanhur community in Turin, Italy: sensitivity, optimism and friendship. I have the opportunity to live these out here in Italy on this new journey. These are important things to learn out here at the edge. Maybe this is the best place to learn them.

02 October 2009


As I was sitting in my favorite chair reading, drinking tea and feeling the sun on my back, I turned around and caught these photos of the beach glass. This simple thing brought me such joy.