Joseph Campbell said that aging is a process of refinement. Over time we settle on what is important, filter out the nonsense and the drama, and spend our last years with what matters most. What that is will be different for each of us, but all of us know what is important to us, and what is not. I'm for spending what time remains with what means the most to me. It was the pirate's life for Jack Sparrow, it's the hermit's life for me. Silence and solitude, reflection and wool-gathering, walk-a-bouts without leaving home. Reading and writing and working things out. I could do it eternally and be as eager for more at any point as I was when I started. What would do it for you? What has shown itself to be worth your time? Make room for it in your life, while life lasts.
There is the way things are, and there is the way we feel about the way things are. We can work to change the way things are, and we can work to change the way we feel about the way things are. The grounding, centering, freeing realization is "This is the way things are, and this is what can be done about it. And that's that-- and that's the way things are." Recognizing how things are is a step on the way to coming to terms with how things are, and that is a step on the way of accepting the fact that the way things are is the way things are, and how we feel about it isn't going to change it, and it is going to impact how we live in relation to it. How we live in relation to the way things are is the crucial matter in determining how well we live at all. In order to live as well as possible amid the way things are, we have to realize what can be changed and what cannot be changed about the way things are, and then work on changing the way we feel about the way things are. Recognition, realization, adjustment, acquiescence, accommodation puts us in accord with our circumstances with equanimity, balance and harmony-- and creates an atmosphere that supports the best life possible under the circumstances. And that is as much as anyone can ask/hope for in any circumstances.
Sit still, be quiet, watch, listen, wait, for what arises, emerges, occurs, calls, beckons, guides, directs... Notice what you are blocking, ignoring, rejecting. "The stone the builders rejected," you know... "Nothing good comes from Nazareth," you know... Insisting on the wrong thing got Adam and Eve a quick exit from the Garden. Refusing to have anything to do with the right thing kept them from returning. The way back to the Garden is like death. Where are you refusing to die? Again and again? Redemption and atonement are like death and resurrection, and are the price we pay for coming to life again and again. The toll on the road from bondage to freedom. What is the nature of your bondage? What is the cost of your freedom? Squaring up to the truth sets us free to do what needs to be done here and now, moment to moment, in each situation as it arises. Bondage to the truth is freedom. Bondage to denial, desire, fear is death. But it takes dying to be born again and again on the path from death to life. Dying is saying no to the right things, and saying yes to the right things-- in a world where right is wrong, and wrong is right, and where perspective keeps things as they are, and flips to turn things into all they might be. We are always one slight shift in perspective away from having it made. So we sit, still and quiet, waiting and watching for the perspective shift that is death and life and the transformation of all things. Epiphany. The Day of Atonement. The Return to Eden. The Rapture at the end of one time and the beginning of another-- all occasioned by the way we see what we look at. Death and life as an optical illusion, realized by turning the light around, and changing our mind about what is important, and what is not.