Saturday, January 29, 2011

Have you hookahed?

The place filled quickly, smoke hanging in the air from the hookahs sitting on the floor next to nearly every table. Sweetness instead of stench, that's one thing I noticed about this smoke, the thing that made it tolerable to even be there. We ate stuffed grape leaves and meat pies while a belly dancer, no wait, an EXOTIC belly dancer according to the menu, shimmered and shimmied around us accompanied by strange, unusual, wonderful music. And something I had never done before.

That was the point, the first of my 12 adventures into the unknown in 2011. For new readers of this blog, I learned of this oral tradition out of the Pyrennes from a book I'm reading called The Second Half of Life by Angeles Arrien. The point is to reivigorate as we age instead of getting old, stagnating, dying to life before our lives even end.

Here's what I learned leading up to the evening at the hookah lounge: It IS hard to find new things to put on my calendar. But that requires mental effort, one of the very points of this exercise. And it demands that I get out of the house! I love my home, where I am enveloped in softness and music and flowers, so I tend to get stuck there, not wanting to leave it for much of anything. Getting OLD.

I also enjoyed anticipating something again, a feeling that has become foreign, remote, as I've aged. It's why time flies for us, whirling faster and faster as the years tick by for us. I remember what it was like waiting for Santa to come when I was a kid. Would the weeks NEVER pass, I thought as I stood in front of the calendar, tapping my foot impatiently, waiting and waiting for the days to disappear? This week I revisited a bit of that joyous anticipation. 

Next month....rock climbing?

The second half of life is the ultimate initiation.
Angeles Arrien

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