Tag Archives: transition

En un País Extraño: Cinco

The English version of this post—In a Strange Land: Five—was posted here on January 10, 2016. This spanish translation is my own and may contain errors. I invite native speakers of the language to comment on my errors and to suggest corrections. Aquí está una traducción en español de In a Strange Land: Five. Me gustaría que hispanohablantes quienes leen mis traducciones, por favor, me permitieran saber mis errores y sugirieran enmiendas.

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day.

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

[Carly Simon, “Anticipation”]

Yo no sabía lo que fue que yo estaba esperando. Era un sentimiento recurrente, sin embargo, de que algo iba a suceder y que yo debía prepararse para él. Este sentimiento vino a mí en esos momentos de reposo, cuando yo no era distraído por algúna inmediata incumbencia. Durante las actividades de mi vida diaria, yo podría sentir una pausa cuando yo pensaba sobre que hacer siguiente. Algo iba a suceder, o yo iba a haber hacer algo que no me sienta listo. Me sentía que yo deba estar preparando yo mismo.

Era el aparente necesario estar listo que me hizo ansioso e inquieto. El sentimiento me recordaba sobre el tiempo antes de mi exilio cuando yo vivía de fecha límite a fecha límite. Personas esperaban cosas de mí. Tuve que producir producto de trabajo, seguir horarios y mantener citas. Quizás la anticipación que ahora me sentí fue sólo un fantasma sentimiento que quedó desde el tiempo antes. Similar al fantasma sentimiento de un miembro amputado, las expectaciones de estar listo y responsible por el resultado se quedaron real a mí y sin embargo no tuvo sustancia.

No fue como antes cuando el resultado de mi trabajo fue bien definido, y logro podía estar medido contra nociones de alguien sobre goles y objectivos, incluso mis propios.

El resultado de exilio fue cómo una vida fue vivido. Ese resultado no podía ser definido por adelantado y no podía ser predecido. Yo podía elegir si poner goles y objetivos para la duración de mi exilio, pero eligí no. No hice ninguna sentencia que criticaba a quienes pudieran continuar incluso en exilio a medirse por definidos logros, pero parecio a mí que un gol logrado podía requerir la creación de un nuevo objetivo ad infinitum, hasta muerte nos separaría. Por mi manera de pensamiento, creando objetivos para lograr en esta etapa de mi vida perdía el propósito de alguna manera.

El resultado de mi exilio fue, para mí, incognoscible. No fue una cosa que ser anticipada. Mi repetiendo sentimiento de anticipación—la idea que yo debía preparando para algo que sucedería—podía estar explicado como una reflección en la peculiaridad de el paisaje donde encontré mi mismo. No hubo más preparación para hacerse. Hubo sólo estando listo para el presente.

And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet, I don’t know nature’s way
So I’ll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, ’cause these are the good old days.

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Some other stuff for later,

  • 79
    The English version of this post—In a Strange Land: One—was posted here on October 4, 2016. This Spanish translation is my own and may contain errors. I invite native speakers of the language to comment on my errors and to suggest corrections. Aquí está una traducción en español de In…
  • 73
    The English version of this post—In a Strange Land: Four—was posted here on December 5, 2016. This Spanish translation is my own and may contain errors. I invite native speakers of the language to comment on my errors and to suggest corrections. Aquí está una traducción en español de In…
  • 72
    The English version of this post—In a Strange Land: Two—was posted here on October 19, 2016. This Spanish translation is my own and may contain errors. I invite native speakers of the language to comment on my errors and to suggest corrections. Aquí está una traducción en español de In…

An Expression of Spirituality

I have been wondering about spirituality and whether having a spiritual life—the way one might have a social life or a love life—would be helpful in learning to live optimally.

There are, according to a pair of experts, more a thousand “spiritual practices,” any one of which might put me on the path to realization of my own spirituality and accomplishment of a spiritual life, but what is spirituality?

The George Washington Institute for Spirituality & Health describes spirituality as: “the dimension of a person that seeks to find meaning in his or her life.”

The Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota describes spirituality as “a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves.” Spirituality “involves a search for meaning in life.”

Although spirituality may be broadly defined as a search for meaning, its expression—what it means to be spiritual—is both personal and transitory. “Like your sense of purpose, your personal definition of spirituality may change throughout your life, adapting to your own experiences and relationships.”

Your personal expression of spirituality may emerge through the embrace of a religious community or through a meditative sense of connection with a higher power. You may perceive spiritual meaning in art or nature. These categories of experience are not mutually exclusive.

In an essay, A Problem with Spirituality, Tim Boyd, president of the Theosophical Society in America, tells us that the “basis of spirituality” is unity: “all move­ment in the direction of a deeper experience of one­ness can be called spiritual.” Boyd defines spirituality as “not merely a balm for the individual soul or a feeling of peace and harmony.” Spirituality “exceeds the individual.” Our role, he says, is to nurture and provide the conditions for the seeds of compassion, kindness and responsibility to grow and “ultimately yield the fruits of the spiritual life.”

Maybe this simply means that compassion, kindness and responsibility are expressions of spirituality. Nurturing these qualities in our daily life may “yield the fruits” of spirituality: connection to “something bigger,” unity and meaning.

Boyd observed that it has become common for people to say “I am spiritual, but not religious,” but the problem is that the meaning of the word “spiritual” is often unclear.  The Center for Spirituality & Healing notes, however, that spirituality is a broader concept than religion: “Religion and spirituality are not the same thing, nor are they entirely distinct from one another.”

Psychology Today reported a study by British researchers finding “that people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious are more likely to have a mental disorder compared to conventionally religious people and to those who are neither religious nor spiritual.”

I am not “conventionally religious,” whatever that means, and, if the British study is to be believed, I should avoid having a spiritual life at all for the sake of my mental well-being. Fortunately though, I am not British.

It seems quite possible to me to have a non-religious spirituality. Religion, I think, is a form of expression. Many people find religion to be nurturing and comforting, but the tribalism of religion makes me uncomfortable and I am not drawn to it. If an expression of spirituality is vital to an optimal life, then I must find my own form, an expression that feels genuine and gives me sustenance and at the same time, an expression that connects me to something larger than myself.

I have not found that expression. Maybe I never will, and maybe, for me, that is the point. Like optimal living, spirituality for me is a fluid process, not an accomplishment. It is a spirituality not freighted with solemnity. It is the motivation behind appreciation, generosity and finding humor in life. My expression of spirituality must in some way acknowledge my pursuit of awesomeness, my capacity for enjoyment and my thirst for wonder and adventure.

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Some other stuff for later,

  • 58
    One of the most overused words in the English language today is “awesome.” It seems that any old mundane thing can be awesome. We tend to say “that’s awesome” to express our gratitude or delight when “thank you” feels too intimate or “that’s great” seems too insincere. But putting awesomeness…
  • 52
    When you have to check the paperwork, as I recently did, to confirm how long you have been retired, then you know that you have passed a milestone without being aware of it. Though it is hard for me to believe, I am four months into the third year of…
  • 51
    The concept of “successful aging” haunts me of late. Maybe it is just that I have time to think about aging now that I have achieved retiree status. Maybe while I continue getting older and older I wonder whether I am getting as much out of life as I should.…