Letting go — and embracing the ’60s

It’s happening. I’m ready to embark on the last stage of life — no, not death — but the life of a person growing old. I’m ready to leave major organizing and hard work to younger folks. Going gray, which if you’ve been reading my blog, you know has been a big decision. It’s time to write about the past — and let it be.

I’ve had an interesting life, from the ’60s when I didn’t drop acid like most of my contemporaries, to picking up and driving cross-country to  start a new life in Tucson eight years ago. I arrived at dusk on Sept. 25, 2002, my daughter Brook’s 25th birthday.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now,” I said to myself, “but I did it.”

Last weekend, I heard three authors at the Tucson Festival of Books say they were able to give up the ’60s, although Mark Rudd lit up talking about changing the U.S. government’s policy toward the Vietnam war with our massive demonstrations. I agree. I was there.

My old friend Martha Dudman said she was apolitical now. And Mark noted that the best thing in his life has been becoming a grandfather. Not something we young revolutionaries considered all those years ago.

When I turn 65 in June I can look back or plunge forward.

I want to dance more. Maybe take tango lessons? I recently bought my first art, and it’s brought me a lot of joy. But maybe I want to paint too.

Martha was telling me how she memorizes favorite poems while walking miles around the village of Northeast Harbor, Maine. A few years back, I memorized “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. How I loved to recite that poem. But I’ve forgotten it.

Looking to the second half of my 60s and beyond, when we’re supposed to engage in brain exercise as well as physical exercise. So here goes, I like the idea of re-memorizing “Wild Geese” and other lovely poems.

I didn’t drop acid 40 years ago because I didn’t want to jeopardize any brain power I had. I’ve regretted not participating in that part of the ’60s, but who knows, maybe it was the right thing to do. Anyway, power to the 60s!

 

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