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Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

So said Michelangelo, sixteenth-century Florentine artist and poet, of the method in which he worked: his sinewy hands surrendered to the fire of his imagination directing his hammers, chisels, and polishers. Unlike his peers who fashioned clay models to work from, Michelangelo sketched his, then inked significant marks upon marble blocks, cut from the quarry near Carrara. What emerged were works in progress, at times, with unintended forms, some left unfinished.

What was significant was their strange beauty.

In my perception, a parallel exists between this anecdote and growing old. Often, the expression, growing old, is voiced in pejorative tones and says much about the one expressing it.

But growing into old age is a critical process filled with discoveries of who we really are and are becoming. Acceptance of new limits, experienced like the Sculptor’s hammering, unsettle the familiar, reveal comic aspects of former behaviors, and shake free the shrouds of relationships. Such acceptance also floods the present with fresh grace to continue exploring unscaled vistas of imagination. Here, the Polisher takes over.

Fine-mesh pads evoke startling dreams from the psyche, smooth over owned mistakes of whatever magnitude, and release colors into what were drab scenarios of experience. The challenge is to remain beneath the Polisher’s tool until the sheen of being catches fire in the light.

Within this light, we see anew and clap hands as we wait for the strange beauty to emerge.  It will come…

 

This midnight dream astounded me, left me wondering:

It is night, the waning moon filling the cloudless sky. Throngs of men, women, and children fill an amphitheater built within a hillside teeming with tall grasses, trembled by ocean breezes. Laughter, excitement, and expectation mount with passing moments. I feel vibrantly alive among them.

Once awake, I sat up, then, returned to sleep, only to have the dream reoccur.

Earlier in the evening, I’d been horrified by Yahoo’s narration of Portland’s Wall of Moms, walking arm in arm between protesters and federal agents—And the follow-up story of the Fathers Against Fascism with their leaf blowers. Whatever or however these stories occurred remains to be seen, but something horrific did happened that incited fears of the continuing violence in our country.

To return to the compensatory dream—The night speaks to the lateness of the hour, to time running out, given my advanced years. I am alone, unnerved by the crowds, agog with enthusiasm; they were privy to something I’ve yet to learn—something about story. My Dreamer wished me to join them. I do.

Under their tutelage I’ve already stumbled upon parts of my story, but more will be revealed, now that I’m safely ensconced in old age. I feel as though I’ve just pulled apart most of the wrappings of my birthright, foibles and all—it is wondrous.

So rather that leech stories from Yahoo, better to explore the recesses of my birthright, see what’s there, and continue coming alive, from the inside out. The quest deepens…

 

 

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