April Fools

A Time Blip April 1 2011

April fool… indeed!
I sat last night listening
As a folk singer from my youth performed in concert.
I was her fan.
I loved her voice, her songs, her beauty.
Then I didn’t think about her age, though it was also mine.
We were young. The world was ours.
The moment was enough. The songs inspired. We grooved with her.

Last night was different.
I saw her as the woman in the drawing,
Now a crone and now a lovely diva.
 My vision shifted back and forth —
Unbeckoned, unwelcome, unsettling change of focus.

My sense of self keeps shifting to and fro like that as well;
One moment I feel youthful still
And then a second later I’m all cramped and bent and old.

Last night I wept a moment for our vanished youth
And felt how fragile we have all become,
The ones who then were young and now are old.
She was a mirror,
Revealing back to us the jester’s sleight of mind;
Surprise! Who draped us thus with age?

.
Reflection
It’s axiomatic that people continue to feel inside like young adults in their 30s no matter how old they become. We do age, of course, but it happens gradually for most of us, so we can relate to the person we see in the mirror, even though we’ve changed. It reminds me of having been on the faculty of the community college where I taught for 33 years from the time it opened. Teaching jobs had become scarce, so just about all who had gotten a job with the college as it opened spent our whole careers at the same college. After we had aged together, I became aware that people didn’t really look any different to me, even though I knew intellectually that we were all 30 plus years older. I’ve related to my aging self pretty much with the same level of denial. Attending that concert last evening, though, was like looking into a different mirror. Who was that woman on the stage? I had not seen her in decades, so in some ways she was as if I hadn’t seen her before. In watching her now while remembering her as she was, I had to acknowledge sharing with her the signs of age that I was seeing in her face and body. It was an odd and unsettling experience.

About Rev. Rosemary Hyde, Ph.D.

I am a grandmother, a classical homeopath, a mystical poet, and an interfaith minister. I also have a large, enduring place in my heart for Paris. I first spent time in Paris in 1961, as a Fulbright scholar. I remained in France for three years, living also in Toulouse and in Nancy. I have revisited France and Paris multiple times since then, and have come to know central Paris reasonably well. I grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where there were many Franco-Americans, and their language fascinated me. I was fortunate in 6th grade, when my family moved, to find myself in a Catholic French speaking girls' school, where I had the wonderful fortune of becoming bilingual. It still feeds my soul deeply, to visit Paris, speak French, and reconnect with the little French girl in me. I am serving presently as co-minister at Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill, NC. I give talks one or two Sundays a month -- please go to the website, www.unitychapelhill.org, and sign up for the weekly e-news to learn what's going on -- special events, seasonal interfaith ceremonies, and Sunday themes and talks. My vision for the Unity Chapel Hill ministry and for myself is to become a loving, uniting presence in the lives of all those who cross paths with us. That's all there is, really -- loving presence. And so it is. Amen. My goal as a minister is to add richness to life for those who resonate to more than one religious tradition or to none -- those with mixed religions as well as the unchurched, untempled, and unmosqued. All of us, whatever our cultural allegiances, hunger for and need support in finding the transcendent joy that's ours to find in this earthly life. All of us need and want to celebrate beautifully the great and small milemarker moments. All of us crave the beauty of prayer as an expression of our participation in universal love. All of us wish to learn a greater vision, to see our lives opening to the Divine. All of us desire deeply to find serenity and peace that lasts no matter what happens today and tomorrow. This is the meaning of Transcendessence. We find the essence of spirit and transcend the narrow constraints of our bodies and egos. Join us today by subscribing, so you won't miss a single poem, message, prayer, or meditation.
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