Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Main Street"

This is a painting from the past. (click to make larger)
That is my daughter on the right.
She is now approaching her senior year in college.
Back at the time of this painting she had no idea she would end up studying art in college,
Or that she'd intern in NYC with a dynamic group of artists.
Now the trick is to make sure that she doesn't give up on life too early, as the woman on the left is in danger of doing.

The other day a man told me he felt the end of the productive part of his life was coming soon.
He is in his mid 50s.
My parents learned to down hill ski in their mid 50s, never having put on skis before in their lives.
A friend learned to play tennis in her 60s.
Another friend wrote two books after age 60 and another has had a successful painting career after 60.
My mom-in-law helped start the Monterey County Hospice at the age of 56, and worked in amazing leadership for over 25 years.

And then there is Bill the gardener. He lives unlike any of us: his bed is in a truck, his living room is in a shed, and his bathroom is in a gas station.
Years ago he had spent countless hours massaging Joseph Campbell down at Esalen in Big Sur.
They mused together.
Now probably in his 80s, Bill says he is surprised he has lived as long as he has.
A few years back he stopped massaging muscles and started massaging the stoney dry soil at Ripplewood (also in Big Sur).
Where there had been nothing but weeds and rocks for half a century, he takes a cutting and sticks it directly into the ground. He waters. Up blooms beauty. Blissful life cycles of beauty.

Yes, there is life after 50, daughter of mine.
No need to rush into your future.
Each stage will have gifts to keep your hands full.