There is nothing quite like waking up in the wee hours of the morning, looking in the mirror, and facing yourself. No distractions (unless I am quick to try and provide some), no noise, no pressure yet to attend to the relentless errand list….just me…..looking at the reflection of my face….and quietly staring into my eyes.
I look older, of course. But, I wonder, how did that seem to happen so quickly? I feel a bit stiff when I wake up…..I notice that I don’t jump quickly out of bed these days, but take a few moments to get the joints and body moving…. I look into those eyes and still wonder….Who Am I, really?
I had a career as a social worker, and am now retired. So that was a way that I tried to define who I was – but no longer…
I love to write and paint and take joy in having more time to do both these days….but does that define who I am? It doesn’t quite fit – I is what I do, but who am I?
I didn’t have children, so I am not a mother. I am divorced for many years now, so I am not a wife. I am not currently in a relationship with someone special, so I am not a partner. I don’t have family around, so I am not part of that group…..what does that leave?
I am an aging woman. Does that define me? Only partly.
I am a friend to some……is that part of a definition of me?
When we strip away all the roles and definitions and structure that society gives us (and some of those can be helpful, if not taken as the whole answer to the question of who we are), then what is left?
I am a part of this Universe, of nature, of the earth – what else?
I am a woman who tries to be kind and helpful as best as I can….sometimes more successfully than others. I am a flawed human being (I guess that those two words go hand in hand….flawed and human…). I am an expression of a greater Being/Universe….a tiny pinpoint of light (on my better days)….I am quietly here, quietly breathing, quietly living, quietly questioning this life as I move ever steadily toward whenever the end of it will be….
What is my purpose? What have I accomplished? What matters, if anything?
I go and visit my parents at the mausoleum and wonder as I look around at all the “residents” there….Who were you? Will anyone wonder who I was when I am among you? Does it even matter? What matters? Do I matter? Have I ever mattered?
These wee hours of the morning can be a tricky time….questions with no answers…..thoughts with no direction…..feelings with no place to land….
And so today….I will write a bit….I will paint a bit….I will walk on the earth a bit and feel my connection to it…..I will make eye contact with another human being and feel my connection to them….I will breathe, I will think. I will feel. I will be. I will live while I am still among the living. I will keep asking questions. And I will keep on going until it is time for me to stop. And I will try to be kind, including to myself…..as I wander on this road of life with my fellow beings and creatures….And I will love. And maybe…..that will be enough……? Maybe that will express what I am and can be? To connect, to love, to express that, to share, to hold hands in our fear and questions….to be the human beings that we are? To see how we are not all that different from each other as we each walk our path. To maybe see how false these divisions are that we create among us…..that we have much more that unites us than divides us, if we open to it. Maybe that can be one of the lessons of this very special sacred time……these quiet wee hours of the morning……