A heightened sense of my own mortality is transforming me. There were triggers from profound experiences in nature—hiking isolated trails in a mountain woods, and paddling a kayak into a primordial mangrove tunnel. But, if I’m honest with myself, the true root of this change is the recognition that time moves more quickly now. My awareness of aging brings sharper focus and a new attitude. I’ve become impatient with the tepid, the half-baked, the insincere. Conformity bores me. I lean toward edgy and honest. I crave full-throttle, all-in reactions to daily life, tempered only by compassion.
At times, I am able to alternate this rebellious passion with a more Zen approach—relaxing into stillness, openness, and playful humor. Best of all, I’ve given myself permission to roam between these two mindsets. Each has its own rewards.
As I ponder the passing time, I also wonder about all of us. Global challenges and nationalist tendencies spark our collective fear and unrest. Our constant social media connections seem to make us lonelier. We humans are so alike, so needy, and yet so polarized. We travel varied paths in search of meaning and often come up short.
I am reminded of a lovely Italian phrase, passeggiata, to describe people walking around the town plaza late in the afternoon. I want to walk there, together with old and new friends, and with perfect strangers—all of us sharing the angled sunlight and shadows, finding peace as night approaches.
Circling the Truth (30″ x 24″, Oil, cold wax, pastels on wood panel)