Talking Feather Time: Wine & Candlelight

James Hillman in The Force of Character and the Lasting Life[1], observes that the second half of life is a time of dryness, of fire and flame as opposed to the moist, fecund time of youth. Green wood does not burn! As we age we dry up and become brittle. Recently, I broke my arm; I can attest to being brittle. My skin is dehydrated and wrinkled. I’m drying up, becoming tinder and kindling. 

The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the third century prayed to become all flame. Energy is not destroyed; it changes form. Fire releases energy stored in matter. So, while others line up for their Botox treatments to iron out offending wrinkles and some visit the plastic surgeon for implants in search for eternal youth, I’m reimagining my life as dry, vintage wine, or as a flaming torch and light bearer

It’s September and as Fall begins to spread across the hills and the trees get ready to blaze forth their glory, we strange humans will flock to see the amazing colors of Fall. We celebrate the flame red maples and the fiery gold of the ginkgo tree exclaiming on their beauty, but we will not extend that admiration, compassion and kindness to our own bodies and the ‘Fall’ of our own lives. Celebrate Fall!

Larch Grove, Alberta, Canada

[1] Random House Publishing. NY. 1999.

2 thoughts on “Talking Feather Time: Wine & Candlelight”

  1. Kathy and I were just talking about this blog post last night Zara – very encouraging image for us aging women.

    I wonder too if for many of us, another aspect of us becoming “brittle” is the physical and emotional armouring we can form over the years – which prevents flow and ease. I am learning to turn to this with empathy and compassion – I want to grow old wet and allowing my tears to fall seems to help that 🙂

    1. Yes, what a great comment! We / I have formed and forged a great deal of protective armor over the years. I don’t think the idea of ‘dryness’ precludes compassion and mercy. Keeping the idea I suspect we can burn away the exterior nonsense and be more available to others. Maybe our tears when they fall are like the leaves of Autumn that enrich the soil around us. Thanks for the thoughtfulness.

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