When you set out for Ithaka ask that your way be long, full of adventure, full of instruction. The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops, angry Poseidon – do not fear them: such as these you will never find as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare emotion touch your spirit and your body. The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops, angry Poseidon – you will not meet them unless you carry them in your soul, unless your soul raise them up before you.
Ask that your way be long. At many a Summer dawn to enter with what gratitude, what joy – ports seen for the first time; to stop at Phoenician trading centres, and to buy good merchandise, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, and sensuous perfumes of every kind, sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can; to visit many Egyptian cities, to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.
Have Ithaka always in your mind. Your arrival there is what you are destined for. But don’t in the least hurry the journey. Better it last for years, so that when you reach the island you are old, rich with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth. Ithaka gave you a splendid journey. Without her you would not have set out. She hasn’t anything else to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you. So wise you have become, of such experience, that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.
When the wind sweeps across Northern Minnesota, even the ice fisherman, snowmobile people, and cross-country skiers go indoors. From Ely to St. Paul, doors are closed tight, wood burns, and traffic is sparse. One man swore he saw a giant otter driving a van. The sad fact is that no one became alarmed.
Most hockey players at my college came from Canada, Massachusetts, or Minnesota. We all became acquainted with places like Thief River Falls, Duluth, and Mankato. The National Hockey League’s Hall of Fame is even in Minnesota.
Hugh Pates didn’t play ice hockey but scored the basket that won the State Championship for his high school fifty years ago. Even now, when he returns to St. Paul, people will approach him and talk about that game!
One might think that Hugh went on to play college ball after high school, but no, he didn’t. He became a monk! He studied, prayed, and contemplated; he became a Catholic priest in 1963. However, his desire to serve others clashed with his wish to have more intimate and meaningful relationships, and, decisively, Hugh left the priesthood after ten years.
In short order, Hugh departed from the land of ice, snow, and mosquitoes for graduate school in California. Hugh had classes at the United States International University with Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Viktor Frankl, and Fritz Perls.
In the Spring running water, skimming over rocks, through the trees, in the spring, when melting snow, leaves no trace, like it was never there, but for the rushing water, the crumbling trails, under a new sun, a new time, in the descending forest.
Dave Barry is a best-selling author, syndicated columnist, humorist, and Pulitzer Prize winner known for his witty, insightful, and sometimes sarcastic humor. After reading Dave Turns 40 and Dave Turns 50, I was curious about his book Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of An Old, Happy Dog. When Dave turned 70, he realized that his dog, Lucy, was handling old age much better than he was. Lucy “has more friends, fewer worries, and way more fun.” It’s a funny, easy-to-read, insightful, sensitive, and touching book about seven lessons that apply to people and pets. In his 70s, Dave has become more reflective, introspective, and philosophical, as theories of adult development inform us. The Palm Beach Post newspaper described the book as “An instruction manual on how to live happy, healthy, and heartily well into your seventies and beyond.” I’ve given the book to several people who laughed at least as much as I did and were equally inspired by its lessons. The lessons are:
Make new friends (and keep the ones you have).
Don’t stop having fun (and if you have stopped, start).
Pay attention to the people you love (not later, right now).
Let go of your anger unless it’s about something important, which it seldom is.
Try not to judge people by their looks, and don’t obsess over your own.
Don’t let your happiness depend on things; they don’t make you truly happy, and you’ll never have enough anyway.
Don’t lie unless you have an excellent reason, which you probably don’t.
My late friend, Kevin O’Grady from Beverly, Massachusetts made wonderful buttermilk pancakes. If you want your guests saying, “wow”, try his recipe!
2 eggs at room temperature 2 tbls of melted margarine or butter 2 cups of buttermilk at room temperature 2 cups of flour 2 tsps of baking powder 4 tbls of sugar 1/2 tsp of salt
Preheat your griddle to 400 degrees. Grease with a non-stick substance. Beat eggs, milk, and melted butter, add dry ingredients. Mix just enough to make a creamy batter with some lumps. It is important not to over mix. If the tops of the pancakes bubble but the bottoms don’t brown, the heat is too low. If they brown before they bubble, the heat is too high. Don’t let the batter stand. It will thicken.
They say crossword puzzles are food for the aging brain. Is that true? A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that people with mild memory problems who did web-based crossword puzzles showed improvement in cognition and experienced less brain shrinkage, compared to those who played web-based cognitive games. For commentary on this study see an article from Harvard Health Publishing entitled Have You Done Your Crossword Puzzle Today?
Whether crossword puzzles improve cognition or not, they are fun and engaging. I started doing them a few years ago, beginning with easy puzzles. Gradually I worked on puzzles that were harder as I learned the ins and outs of the puzzles.
The creators of crosswords have certain tricks one has to learn to do them. They like words that have double meanings depending on the context. One has to think beyond the obvious. It also helps to be up on pop culture as questions often focus on film and music stars.
Many daily puzzles like those from the Washington Post become more challenging through the week. I only want to spend so much time on crosswords, so I stay away from ones like the Sunday New York Times.
Some fun puzzles found on the internet are:
The Washington Post Dictionary The Atlantic USA Today
That woman was my mother: the occasion, her 37th birthday.
I was 12, and my life stretched before me, just loaded with possibilities. I couldn’t imagine my mom doing anything more exciting or impactful than dishes or another load of laundry.
Decades have passed, as has my mom. My life no longer stretches before me. Indeed, I’ve started counting backward. Let’s see…I’m 76 years old and probably have another 12 “good years” left. By “good,” I’m thinking years where I hope to be free of chronic pain, be mobile, and can still remember a lot of stuff.
Cess Guzzetta is a retired attorney living in Rochester, New York
like a leaf floating downriver. we follow the trail of time, through shadows in the night to the rising island sun, to the golden meadows: we laugh with the tides, we race with the moon, we sing with the fading light.
I was about 11 and on the way home from Hebrew School. I began thinking about being alive and having thoughts and feelings as a human being when it occurred to me that people only lived into their 70s. Back then, it was a problem. I could not reconcile the idea of having a living soul for a limited time. I likened it to going to a movie theater. The movie would end, and people would leave the theater except me. I would no longer exist, but the world outside of the theater would. I was incredulous!
My grandparents were alive in their 70s, but I saw them as separate from my life and very old. My self-centered thinking was becoming aware that others had thoughts in their minds as I did. Thousands, even millions, of people had inner lives as I did. I was bewildered.
This piece was written by a retired mental health worker in San Diego.