Sunday, August 19, 2012

"I Have Said Enough About Moonlight"

The quotation is from Ryo-Nen, a Zen nun.

The full quotation is as follows:

"Sixty-six times have these eyes beheld the changing scenes of Autumn.

I have said enough about moonlight,

Ask me no more,

Only listen to the voice of pines and cedars, when no wind stirs."

It was the last writing of a woman who had been both a great beauty and an accomplished poetess in her youth, but was now turning toward contemplation as she aged.

Having been neither "a great beauty" nor "an accomplished poetess," and having always been inclined toward contemplation, becoming an older woman has not been too difficult for me.

Still there are things one must let go of -- although I can't think of any that I truly care about at the moment.  Becoming an older woman has for the most part been like growing into the "little old lady" I have always felt myself to be.  Only now, other people accord me the same privileges I have always accorded myself -- or wanted to.

The other night, I was invited to have dinner at my son's house with his two college-age sons, his woman friend and her college-age daughter.  They were all busy preparing the food, setting the table, and seeing that everything was in order, while I was sitting on the sofa engaging one or more of them in conversation as they passed through with steaming vegetables or glasses of iced tea.

"The Princess" my son winked to his friend as they passed me on their way out to the grill to bring in the pork chops.   And they smiled knowingly at each other.  "I'm going to be just like that when I get your age," she said, lovingly, when she got back in the kitchen.  And she should.  But she won't.  She is much more "Martha" than "Mary."

Being "Mary" has always been my preference and now that I'm older,  I don't try to pretend otherwise.

(princess:   a woman having sovereign power)

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