The Structure of My Being

How old am I?

I peer inside myself, deep deep down, but really, the first shallow answer to that question  is the same answer after I’ve dived into the well of my soul.

I am 482.

Perhaps older, but in our strange culture of age and the importance of youth, this number will suffice.

I am ancient. I feel it in my bones. Not my physically sore, stretched, aging bones, but in my metaphorical bones. The bones of me – the structure of my being.

I’ve been around a while.

When I meet people for the first time, I see them: their polish and their bluster; their fears and their kindness; their anger and their joy.

Can a teenager do this? No. In fact, can a soul who’s only arrived on this earthy level once, or even twice, note the lacy-webbed intricacies of an individual?

No.

Only those of us who have been around, and come around, over and over.dawn, Tiburon, California, railroad depot

Only then can we feel like we truly appreciate the sheer breathless beauty of a pink-hued dawn. Only then can we hold the tiny hand of a newborn and note how our pumping heart bleeds a bit in honor of what this young soul has in store for her.

Only then can we say goodbye to a dying friend with the ease of knowing we will see him again.

dogs, golden retrievers

And only then can we commune so easily with special animal companions – a cat or a dog or a chicken, a gerbil or bluebird or squirrel – knowing her being has intertwined somehow completely with ours.

So, do I feel old? YES, I’m blessed with being that age when wisdom and grace and gratefulness seem to help me stroll through this strange, holy space with anticipation and glory.

How old are YOU? baby, the thinker, baby pose

114 thoughts on “The Structure of My Being

  1. You post have moved me like a time machine. Its crazy how fast it really goes, if you’d like your time to fly even faster, than be sure to check out Eaten an Eskimo. Your thoughts would be incredible. If you share feedback, we will be more than happy to promote your blog through our site.

  2. I think I must be 137. That’s how long ago my great-grandmother came into the world and when I finally arrived in her life I was touched by her wisdom, grace and gratefulness. She was the only adult I knew who understood my doll was a real baby. When I left my doll sitting precariously close to the edge of the couch she gently admonished me to remove her from the possibility of falling to the floor. Mum died when I was six years old. I do hope to live long enough to greet my own great-granddaughter to likewise bless the start of her stroll through this life.

    • What a beautiful special memory of an extraordinary woman who understood the world you inhabited as a child. I’m sure parts of your great- grandmother ARE embedded in you, as you are in your granddaughter…and in your great-granddaughter to-be. ❤️

  3. It’s wonderful to read a post about the beauty of growing older and the wisdom and inner knowledge that comes with age. The photos in the post are beautiful, too.

  4. My favorite line: Only then can we say goodbye to a dying friend with the ease of knowing we will see him [her] again.

    I wonder how you arrived at the number 482. Maybe you gave a hint somewhere and I missed it. Hmmmm

  5. I began to feel that I was the age of all those who came before me when I started our family history. We knew very little but at the end of the day I was able to go back around 500 years. As I learned some of the stories of my great grandmothers and beyond it struck me that I carry a little of all of them inside me. The fact that I love music or dancing, telling stories or healing therapies. What really brought it home was the DNA test that I did 16 years ago that linked mine to a woman who died 20,000 years ago, riddled with arthritis but still at 40 one of the longest living women of the time. I believe in cellular memory and we all carry thousands of year’s worth. As you say the older we get the more we reveal within us and the more we see in others. Terrific post Pamela.. will put in the Blogger.. thanks Sally

  6. Lovely and moving post, Pam. Such beauty and grace in your words. I have no idea how old I am, but I do hope along the way, I’ve learned some lessons about what’s important. If you think about it, there is a part of each of us that extends back to the primordial soup. We are the successful descendants of the very first life, billions of years ago, and we carry that inside us. Happy journeying, my friend. 🙂

  7. Satchel Paige about had it right: “How old you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” Is the idea to be timeless in spirit soul mind heart inquisitiveness creativity -and- let the body age as it will. You got it mastered, err, mistressed, Pamela!

  8. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 10th March 2017 – Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Kevin Morris, Jessica Norrie, Pamela Wight and Nicholas Rossis | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  9. This is profoundly creative Pam! How old? I have never given a thought…in the competitive spirit of remaining young forever… 828 has always fascinated me as the wings it gives diminishes my thoughts of ageing bones.

  10. This post surprised me with tears. I do feel old. ❤
    Funny how a new baby will get us thinking about all that came before and what's ahead for the wee one. I don't have a number because timelessness doesn't have one. We are each part of each other, the chain that never ends (or I hope not).

  11. The concept and “weight” of time is much like the ocean for me. I feel inexplicably connected to parts I can’t see. My thoughts are always moving forward and backward in time, even as I practice living in the present. I look at a tree and wonder which trees were its parents and if they stand nearby. I see a stone and wonder if a dinosaur stepped on that one. As I drive or walk, I look around and see various “states” of the reality around me: how it may have looked in 1950, 1875, 1740, 1600, 1000. It shimmers and morphs, houses and roadways changing or disappearing, as period dress bedecks passersby, until it all becomes wilderness.

    I’ve always been drawn to vampire stories as well, not for the horror of their brutality, but their relationship to time.

    I had a dream a few years ago. I was standing in an airport between two conveyor belt “people movers,” each going in opposite directions. I’ve personally known and been involved with thousands of people over the years, mentored them, been in their wedding parties, held their babies — sang at their funerals. In my dream, this lifetime’s worth of people were on these conveyor belts, smiling and waving wildly and reaching over the rails as they passed to hug me … and then they’d each pass, one by one, glancing over their shoulders as long as possible, even as the next arrived on both sides. It often feels this way — that others’ lives are passing, moving, going by, as I remain just where I am. This is not to say I’m not undergoing change inside, only that I feel … somehow outside of the movement of time, even as I’m inside of it.

    Even appearance contributes to this. My mother is 73, but looks like she’s in her 40s. I attended her 50th high school reunion with her — and had to walk outside to collect myself, because I saw in her schoolmates past how old she really is, heard it as they spent 15 minutes or so reading the names of “those we’ve lost.” It’s easy to forget, because of her health and youthful appearance. I myself am nearly 50 and am still carded or asked where I go to college. While I appreciate the good genes, I sometimes feel my “slidiness” about time would be less if I saw time passing at a normal rate when I looked in the mirror.

    As you can see, this one got me thinking. (I’m just not sure if I should be thanking you or shaking a fist in your direction for it.) 😉

    • Oh wow, Erik. Your comment got me thinking and thinking and thinking as if I’m on a conveyor belt with thoughts just flashing by. I really do enjoy the way your mind works. When I was in my young teens and first reading seriously, I loved most science fiction because of the idea of time travel. But really, we can travel in our mind anywhere and at any ‘time(s)’ that we want to. I know wherever you go, it will be a fascinating place.

  12. I so enjoyed this thought provoking post Pam. Although I can’t quite peg how old I really am, I always knew I lived other lives and that I indeed am an old soul. Many tines I can tell with children if they are old souls too. I’m not sure what it is, just a knowing. 🙂 ❤

  13. Lovely and thought-provoking post, Pam. How old am I? I do know that I feel as if i’ve lived several lives. I guess that goes with the territory of being married twice and moving around a lot, as well as living through several experiences that were particularly trying.
    So glad you mentioned animals! ❤

  14. Great post on age! I feel as if I’ve always been an old soul. How old am I you ask dear Pam?!?!? Hmmm. I’m as old as the day is long or short! Which simply translated means ….it depends, my dear! It depends. 💚☘

    • I’m reading a book that a British blogger recommended ages ago, called “Separate Beds.” Set in London, Contemporary fiction. I’m at the place in the book where a long-time wife visits her (never friendly) elderly mother-in-law at her nursing home. Suddenly, the wife looks at all the shriveled up old women while perusing the photos of them when they were young and attractive, raising kids and being active citizens (teachers, lawyers, nurses, etc) and the wife realizes – ‘these women are all still THEMSELVES – still vibrant and amazing inside the shells of these old bodies.’ As a reader, you feel the wife character suddenly “get” it – no matter our age, we’re still ourselves, our souls are always there. And maybe have been everywhere else before…. !!

  15. I feel so young inside, it’s my body and bones that are old. I do think that we are all connected somehow. What a thought provoking post Pam. Knowing that we see our loved ones again, I hope your right Pam.

    • I hope my instincts on this ‘soul’ thing are right, too, Gerlinde! I’m feeling pretty certain about it, though. But I’m completely certain about the connectivity of all humans.
      Now, if only I could acquire your cooking/baking expertise through that connectivity. :-0 🙂

  16. Yes, my dear, you are definitely an old soul. I love conversations with those who’ve been around the block a few times because they see beyond the sidewalk. (And because sometimes they twirl with abandon during a March snowstorm like a six year old, free and abandoned and in slow motion.) I don’t think our *truest self* has any permanent age at all. It exists in the ever-present moment and therefore out of time. Happy snowstorm, Friend!

    • Now that is just too fun – you enjoying conversations with those who have been ‘around the block’ because they see beyond the sidewalk. Never heard that one – maybe you just made it up, and it’s brilliant. Deep intense conversations with those who see beyond the sidewalk are such a delight – too rare, and that much more special when they happen.
      Wish you could have twirled with me in the blizzard today, Kathy – I think we would have been laughing out loud together. 🙂

  17. Nice! My doctor seems to believe that I have a young spirit, but I think he believes that because I see myself as the younger version of me in spite of what he is telling me about my body :0) However, I believe I have gained a bit of wisdom and appreciation for many things I used to take for granted, so maybe I am not as immature as he sees me. I do have to say, however, that I believe My doc meant that he liked my “can do” attitude, so I took my “youth” as a compliment in that particular context. Thought provoking post!

  18. Aww, she is more precious than a little bunny or baby lamb, Pam.
    I feel and sense people who have old souls, often being drawn to be part of their magnetic pull. I feel pets get to heaven quickly without any “entrance fees.” I love Shirley Maclaine, who has lived many lives and is still fresh and young in her voice and appearance. 🙂 You are definitely a lovely woman inside and out.

  19. Wow – nice way to think of it. Yes, I do think there is some type of “magnetic” pull (or energetic pull, or something??) to people with old souls. I know that people who “pull” me like that become good friends almost immediately. And yes, agreed on the pets. And just like you, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Shirley MacLaine books. I think we’d have a great time if we ever met for tea/coffee/wine/ice cream sundaes. 🙂

  20. Some days I feel ancient… my body reminds me that I am no longer a teenager. Then other days I feel like I should still be 20. What happened to those days? I mourn them sometimes. I have those woulda, coulda, shoulda moments that take me back to when I wish I had been smart enough to make better decisions. I DO have regrets… I have no idea how old I am *sigh*

  21. I just turned 60 but hey I feel 45 at most – that’s what counts right?
    Time flies when you look back in a glance but holds still when your kids are little and you think they will never ever grow up!
    P

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