Life Stages

unsplash photo of a bicycle wheel and a worn, wrinkled sofa

“I am not old” — Samantha Reynolds

I am not old, she said I am rare I am the standing ovation at the end of the play I am the retrospective of my life as art I am the hours connected like dots into good sense I am the fullness of existing you think I am waiting to die but I am waiting to be found I am a treasure I am a map these wrinkles are imprints of my journey ask me anything. image courtesy Yulia… Read more

Blue sports car at the curb

The Bulging Suit in the Jazzy Sports Car

It’s too much of a cliché really, the sun-glassed ageing dude in the cool sports car. Some smile at the sight, others cringe depending on how close to home the image strikes, but we all know what’s up. The mid-life crisis. Here’s my take on it. blue sports car image courtesy Zan Ilic at Unsplash The typical path to growing up is strewn with external prompts and cues. Everyone seems to know what we need to be doing. First orders… Read more

Cardboard mockup frame of a rocketship held up by a right hand in a window.

The Fifties – Snoring or Soaring?

Let’s talk about the forgotten 50s. There’s not much work out there that focuses on the developmental psychology of these years, but their significance for a generative later life is profound. Through your 20s you’re humming along, pretty fast-paced, hopefully having a variety of experiences and plenty of fun in the service of developing a personality. Don’t narrow your horizons too early. Your 30s are busy, busy, busy. You know exactly what’s needed of you because the demands are in… Read more

Adult male in a yellow windbreaker sitting on a rocky shore facing a rough sea.

Saturn and Our Experience of Self in the World

For those interested in Astrology, Saturn has a strong influence on our experience of self in the world. We are offered a karmic reckoning every 29.5 years, the time it takes for Saturn to return to the same place as at our birth. The age of 59 is therefore another ‘Saturn-return’. A simple Google search describes the host of effects it can have. “Saturn has been known as the Great Malefic, whose transits are met with dread. But Saturn is… Read more

Two young girls in white sleeveless shirts running on the beach toward the photographer.

Life After Birth?

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.” “Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?” The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with… Read more

The point at Finisterre as seen from the sea

Finisterre — David Whyte

The road in the end taking the path the sun had taken, into the western sea, and the moon rising behind you as you stood where ground turned to ocean: no way to your future now but the way your shadow could take, walking before you across water, going where shadows go, no way to make sense of a world that wouldn’t let you pass except to call an end to the way you had come, to take out each… Read more

Sunset at Aït Ben Haddou, Morocco

The Journey — David Whyte

Above the mountains the geese turn into the light again, painting their black silhouettes on an open sky. Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that first, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. Sometimes with the bones of the black sticks left when the fire has gone out someone has written something new in the… Read more

The author. The beach at Little Dip Conservation Park.

Time Left Alone — David Whyte

… tired of ourselves … But tired of land, we open ourselves to oceans, tired of time we give back all that we’ve taken, tired of ourselves we open ourselves to ourselves at last, sensing the waves and great abyss of the sea beyond, the ocean stretching on sand and the long view on the still sea that leads to another life. From Time Left Alone: in ‘River Flow: New and Selected Poems’ David Whyte

Land Rover on a barren gravel road in Northern Iceland 1972.

The 50s: Flourishing or Floundering?

When I was in my 20s I met the work of a Dutch psychiatrist and educator named Bernard Lievegoed. He was well known in Holland and abroad, having founded the Netherlands Pedagogical Institute and written numerous books. He won a national award — the Gouden Ganzenveer — for his cultural contribution through the written word. What registered most strongly for me was his work on stages of development — particularly in adulthood. Although his work seems quite outdated now due… Read more

Boy running through a field of flowers toward an urban background dotted with mosque spires

4 Parenting Tips to Live By

Every child is as different as every snowflake, so let’s get it straight from the start. Our job is to get our small self out of the way and let them grow. Children need to be raised to be who they are, in all their uniqueness. If you end up raising three children who are very different from one another, then hats off to you. The first trap is a hard one to avoid. With our first child, we tend… Read more