“Odder still how possessed I am with the feeling that now, aged 50, I’m just poised to shoot forth quite free straight and undeflected my bolts whatever they are. Therefore all this flitter flutter of weekly newspapers interests me not at all. These are the soul’s changes. I don’t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism. And to alter now, cleanly and sanely, I want to shuffle off this loose living randomness: people; reviews; fame; all the glittering scales; and be withdrawn, and concentrated.”
from her diary, October 1932
This best describes what I have been doing the past few months, in the clearest of moments, anyway. But the flitter flutter flows in these days, doesn’t it? And it is difficult to know what is “randomness” and what is important. And so the concentrating isn’t as concentrated, nor the withdrawing as withdrawn, so I have gone on seeking it. And never quite finding it. Nothing astonishingly new, really…these seasons of a woman’s life?
So as the fruit trees blossom, and the first of the bats and butterflies embroider my skies, I am altering my aspect to the sun once again. Birthdays beckon such actions, and as mine tomorrow will bring me quite close to sixty and further and further from fifty, it is time to throw more of my bolts…open some doors more widely to what waits outside, whether what awaits is all that I might desire it to be or not. And I shall not fling them “straight and undeflected”, not often at least, but I am sure Virginia Woolf found many of hers stiff and in need of oil or extra nudges even as her spirit led her to her doorways…
I am still very much in a threshold time, but part of my aspect-altering will mean stepping out more often to greet and listen and share my heart with those who wander near. And then back again to withdraw and concentrate. How else can it ever be, really? Or so my soul whispers to me…