In connecting with friends this year, I’m honoring the words of Georgia O’Keefe. “To see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”
I’m honoring that going through what I’ve accumulated in 70 years of living is a process of seeing, mindfulness, absorbing, reflecting, and choosing what I need now. In this I feel a deepening in my relationship with my friends, a deeper, clearer look at how we grow and what we share.
Last night I saw Gary Snyder and Jane Hirshfield speak at the Mill Valley library. 300 people had registered and were let in first. Then, about fifty of us waited to see if there was room for us. Those who had registered but arrived past the 6:45 cut-off time were demanding to be let in. There was intense energy at the front door as Angie Brennan, the head librarian, explained over and over again the rules of access. You would have thought we were trying to get into a rock concert. Finally room was made for us all though some of us stood.
Jane Hirshfield spoke first, and was wonderful as always, but Gary was a little more of a rambler since I last saw him. He began with remembering back to when he was 7 and came to the MV Library. He said it hadn’t changed. The beautiful structure, though reinforced, is intact.
He then rambled through the decades, sometimes off by one or two, but what’s the difference between the 1950’s and 60’s when you’re going to be 90 in May. His history is fantastic, and listening to him, I saw why the mandala is such a lovely image for the self, especially as we expand on decades. With maturity, we are spinning in a circle, never quite sure where the dial will land with what we want to share.
Be patient with we elders, I say to the young. Our wisdom is run through a blender, and we’re in the process of pureeing the chunks.