By Terry Ballantyne

Unquenchable Light

Over and over I hear that no one feels old when  they report they are living a meaningful life.  And meaningful as defined by the goals and values they want to achieve. Whether they are staying physically active, donating time to community, mentoring grandkids,  working in the garden or learning a new cooking style, the older folks that have a goal and are tethered to meaningful people in their lives report “I am not old!”  Whether they are 50 or 90, these qualities of engagement defy the breakdown of spirit. By contrast, those are fearful, disconnected, spending too much time…

The Tragic Loss Of Time To Imagine

I am more and more resenting my computer and phone. Even as I opted to use the laptop here, ( my writing has gotten atrocious) I feel hostile to the 11 x 8 screen or whatever the dimensions. They own me.  My phone owns me.  I can’t put them down.  Too many links to too many things.  For instance, I want to get away from my screen so I decide “I will take a walk!” , which I love and needs very little prompting, but what if I see something interesting, I really  should take a picture and my camera…

A Few Words About Assisted Living

This is my personal experience, but one that I hear from others is sadly all too common. Choose assisted living, particularly memory care, very carefully.  If your parent is healthy and thriving and just needs help with housework or managing medications, assisted living may be appropriate.  ADLs  (activities of daily living , and IADLs, Instrumental acitivites…

A private cozy feeling

Rick Warren wrote about ” A purpose driven life”  long before social media tore the world to shreds.  Yet purpose is more important now than ever before. When a child’s world consisted of extended family, a modest home, a neighborhood of people   talked or even bar-b -qued together, the problems of the neighboring state was far…

Why we cling to our stuff!

You know who you are. You have a drawer, a closet, a garage, a storage locker full of stuff you ‘really need”.  Or stuff that has a memory attached.  Stuff you will never ever retrieve or use and the cost of that storage both  financially and psychologically is expensive.  How could that space be better…

Surrogate Goals

I worry that there is a pervasive and wicked sickness threading silently through our society.  I believe it may be born of having too many choices and not enough threat to our physical existence so that we are focused always on minutia.  “I don’t like this or that,”  “he/she was rude to me, ” “how…

Quality Counts

How does quality come to be?  I took a coffee cup out of the cupboard  this morning and noticed the glaze was white and bright, the weight was perfect, the handle easy to grip.  It was from Darwin’s birthplace in England, and I bought it as an homage to science.  I felt it needed my…

The Sound Of a Fan

It’s been 5 months now since my mom  passed.  Sometimes it feels like ages ago, and some days I forget that she is gone and I sense her spirit nearby.  Loss is such a strange thing.  It lives somewhere in a corridor between the head and the heart, it travels up and down like a…

From a friend

From a friend: I never thought I would have any trouble grieving a great loss because as a kid, I often felt betrayed by how readily tears came. Moments of feeling exposed and tender seemed like a major handicap in a world where appearing ‘better than’ was somehow a win. But then, when everything fell apart, I think the ability to live in denial for a time, though costly itself, also saved my life. Even as I became an abyss (relative to the radical contact with life that I I love the most), I also didn’t fall into one. Over…

Opinion Faces, Not Humans

It occurred to me recently that the great desire for more fellowship and humanity in our daily lives is because we have all surrendered our humanness to the idea that we ARE our opinions.  Or rather, YOU are your opinions.  I see you as a Liberal, a Catholic, a gay,  a vegan, a techie, etc, but…