I have been thinking recently about the connection between ritual and responsability. A responsability that can be to the animals, family, ourselves, others, community, etc. I remember that one of my daily rituals in the winter when I was on the farm in Iowa. The beef cattle were in a field a few miles from the main farm. In the cold weather the pond would freeze over during the night and this was where the cattle drank. My responsability/ritual was to drive over there early in the morning and chop a large hole in the ice. Every morning the cattle would see me coming and gather patiently at the edge of the pond. After I succesfully chopped through the ice they seemed to look at me gratefully as they lowered their heads into the water. I rmember fondly how our icy cold breaths would mingle in the winter air. This early morning ritual made getting out of a warm bed meaningful. There was a time when writing in this blog was a daily ritual for me. It forced me to reflect, respond, and articulate the daily ebbs and flows of my life. I have not regularly practiced this "blogging" ritual since our family experienced a series of challenging and life altering occurrences. It is now time to again practice those rituals/responsabilities that connect me to friends and family. I believe that this is a significant part of the grief process and a neccesary step forward.
KEEP MOVING and other tips and truths about aging by Dick
reading this book. It is part memoir and part “how-to” on the art of aging. Van
Dyke’s writing is optimistic, positive, energetic, filled with humor, and
sprinkled with wise reflections on getting older. Van Dyke was 89 years old when
he started writing the book. He is in good health, sharp of mind, and happily
married to a woman over four decades younger than him.
what he shares in answer to the question, “So what do I think really matters.
1} Family and Friends
2} Questions (Always questioning about
the meaning of life. Questions like; What can I do to help? How can you be so sure? Am I
using my time productively? Am I ok with myself? If not, why? Is my heart open?
5) A Sense of Humor
Throughout the book the reader is treated to little examples
of the author’s creativity and humor. An example is this limerick titled “A Separate
There was a young man
Who overdosed on
His body was laid
To rest in the shade
With a separate plot
For his phallus.
The final chapter of the book is a recent conversation
between Van Dyke and his best friend, Carl Reiner, who is three years older
than the author. Very funny. Finally, this poem.