Whether a solo traveler or a traveler with partner -- given the Pandemic guidelines of physical distancing -- connection has been impacted. While those with a partner may be getting their quota of daily hugs; those of us who are solo travelers may be experiencing a scarcity of warm touch from others.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Nothing is so healing as the human touch.
As we enter the eighth month of the 'New Now,' did any of us ever imagine that masks would become the new fashion statement? Who ever dreamed that shaking hands, a gentle hug, a loving touch, a kiss on the cheek, could possibly be a life threatening occasion?
Monday, May 11, 2020
Quote appeared in 5/8/20 New York Times
Sunday, May 19, 2019
I am directionally challenged. Recently, I drove to Boone, NC, for darshan with Mother Meera using printed Mapquest directions. That’s right, no IPhone and no car GPS.
Mapquest easily got me to Boone proper. However, as I headed up the multiple winding mountain roads, I knew I was lost. As a car passed me in the other direction I honked and waved -- she stopped, backed up, had me turn around and lead me to where I was headed… I made it – though 20 minutes late.
As I left darshan, I knew my directional challenges would still be in play. I asked the man walking next to me if he was headed back to Boone if I could follow him – he was and I did.
Once back in civilization, B. pulled into a strip mall, parked and I parked next to him. We stopped for coffee in a cafe where B. and I shared our personal experiences of being caregivers for our loved ones as they died. I shared about a recent visit to Oak Park, IL, to visit my father’s gravesite after sixty years. He shared how he was now happily married for six years.
While I do love being greeted upon arrival home by Grace, my ten-year old Tortoiseshell cat, having the heartfelt connection B. and I experienced was well worth the delay -- all thanks to no GPS.
Friday, February 8, 2019
Finally, I have had the 21st Century experience of Videotelephony…
While L., residing in LA, and I frequently speak, this is the first time in 20-plus years that we see one another through Facetime on my IPod Touch. L. tells me: “You look good – you’re marriage material.” My response: “Yes, I look good for a 72 year old woman.” Fu_k that!!!
How is it as we age and receive such a compliment we qualify it because of age? Receiving such compliments at 40, 50 – even 60, my response “thank you” -- no qualifier.
Recently, I read two mysteries each referring to the "old woman witness." In one mystery she remained nameless. While in the other, she had a name but as the detective is struggling to remember what she looks like, the narrator states: “…no one pays much attention to old women.” (Both mysteries written by women...)
At 72, I am an old woman and identify with these descriptives. Despite having lots of energy, feeling I have more to contribute than ever, feeling I look good -- once out in the world I take on the negative imaging of the 'old woman' and my internalized ageism continues to fester.
I recently purchased red eyeglass frames that get noticed daily: “Love your glasses and how your lipstick matches.” While many may find this shallow – I once again love being noticed -- even if just for my glasses.
Back to the beginning, should I ever receive another compliment on my appearance – I hope to respond with “thank you” -- with no qualifier about age!
Sunday, January 27, 2019
I surprise myself and opt for the private lesson at an indoor shooting range. I journey 40 miles outside of Asheville to Mountain Range. S. is my teacher. He is white haired with a Santa Claus beard, soft soothing voice and lovely smile. He spends the first 15 minutes of my 30-minute lesson on gun safety before he guides me into the shooting range to begin the process of loading, aiming and firing at a target.
As S. prepares me for my first shot he instructs me to “…breathe in, breathe out -- we need to get the Zen thing going.” Of the 36 bullets I shoot, all but 7 hit the target area: My target – the voices of self-criticism, self-loathing, anger, grief, depression that have flooded me since the car break-in and theft (see blog 1/26/19). Each time I pull the trigger I internally shout: “Goodbye self-criticism, goodbye self-loathing, goodbye anger, goodbye grief, goodbye depression!!!
I leave Mountain Range Indoor Shooting Range with a sense of renewal. First of all, I did something outside of my liberal-progressive mindset and comfort zone – I crossed a divide and thoroughly enjoyed all those I met on the other side – staff and customers.
As I drive back to Asheville, I experience freedom and empowerment from the heaviness that has been smothering me. Ironically, I feel a return of inner peace. I believe, that the physical sensations of shooting released built-up tension in my body and, more importantly, S.'s kindness, patience and message of “we need to get the Zen thing going” all contributed to getting me back to center -- for now.
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Saturday, January 26, 2019
The Saturday before Christmas, I returned to my car, put my swim gear in the trunk and then saw the shattered glass from the broken driver’s window. My eyes glanced over to the passenger seat floor where I had foolishly left my new hand-made leather shoulder bag that was now gone. The purse contained the necessities of living in the 21st Century: cell phone, driver’s license, credit cards; extravagant little pleasures -- a beautiful red Visconti fountain pen, an elegant leather checkbook cover; and, most precious, my deceased partner's key ring and her Mona-Lisa mesh make-up bag.
The concrete stuff has mostly been taken care of -- banking stuff, credit cards, driver’s license, etc. Now there is the time and space for the emotional trauma to settle in – the intensity of which has surprised me.
Through their loving empathy and compassion, I am grateful to those friends who made me feel held and supported. But in essence the journey has been a solo one -- no partner by my side to soothe and comfort. And sadly, I, also, have been unable to soothe and comfort myself... The feelings are multiple: grief, anger, depression, loneliness, isolation.
It is five weeks since the break-in and theft. As I write this, I ponder whether to attend the Qigong mini-retreat starting in 30 minutes at a local yoga center to gain some inner peace or a private lesson at an indoor target range in the hopes to release some inner grief and anger -- both at the same reasonable price of $35. I'm undecided. Which might you choose?
(...to be continued 1/27/19)