So, this last week was rough in terms of doing all that needs to be done for this project. A major event at my work gobbled up my hours and energy. I typically don’t accept excuses like that from myself but since time is ticking by, I need to get on with the show. This week, we actually only have one story. Well, from me there are these two sentences:
On the day that Ronald Wright retired, he went home, kissed his wife and then took the dog out for a walk. In the park, he let the dog off the leash though the old beagle did not go too far.
I meant to finish it up today but then it became midnight and Monday transformed into Tuesday. So I am going to keep the two sentences and use them later.
Luckily, we have the ever-persistent and ever-so-talented Debbie Felio with her story “Where’s the Gold?”. Enjoy!
Where’s the Gold?
Desirable. Valuable. The stuff dreams are made of. Gold.
The gold rush brought pioneers to the great West of the United States and wealth to a great many.
Five golden rings in the 12 days of Christmas
Streets of gold in the heavens of eternity.
First place Olympians.
Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – apparently still up for grabs.
Rumpelstiltskin and spinning straw into gold for a price.
Goldilocks – she was a bit of a criminal.
That goose that laid the golden eggs and look what happened to her.
King Midas whose own golden years turned on him.
Sometimes the Gold isn’t what we thought it would be. ‘The Golden Years’ was once a marketing strategy to lure active retirement-aged adults to a special new living arrangement for 55+ in a golden place called Sun City. Separating them from the rest of the population to enjoy the later years unbothered by responsibility or family. For a hunk of their gold. An artificially created goal – like that pot at the end of the rainbow.
Then on those special occasions when they were engaged with grandchildren a comment following the answer to ‘how old are you ?’ was ‘Gee, old… in years’. Golden Years became an unfinished bridge between the young and old because there were no connecting experiences or stories to link them together. Nothing to paint a picture of life that is lived reverently or respectfully or even at times recklessly – that points to the realities of brokenness along the way and the picking oneself up and perseverance to continue the journey.
The Japanese art form of Kintsugi honors the value that remains in broken things. When a bowl or teapot or precious piece of pottery is broken, rather than set it aside or discard it, it is repaired, not by trying to hide or disguise – like so much plastic surgery that attempts to deny the golden years – but with a liquid gold that brings the fragments together again and enhances the breaks, giving the piece of pottery a more refined appearance by the highlighting of the cracks. It acknowledges uniqueness and resilience, value and honor in imperfection and age. Just as each piece has its own beauty of cracks and lines highlighted in gold, how much more might we as a culture begin connecting with each other if we begin to recognize the beauty in the lines of our own bodies – those places that record our uniqueness, our experiences, our stories.
Because those broken experiences can begin at a very young age, rather than wait for those elusive ‘Golden Years’ why not let life experiences be the uniting bridge as we recognize in each other at any age the precious and honored gold in years.