Retirement: Month Two

We're not in Kansas anymore, Linus. Platitudes build up like vascular plaque, to be scraped into two columns: 1) so very true, and 2) you gotta be kidding!

Best laid plans--(1) This was a crying shame. After having drifted through life as a preacher's kid, vagabond, following wife, and PTSD-zonked recovering co-dependent, I bit the bullet and put together a plan for getting out from huge debt from alcoholic relationship and settling down in one place long enough to scrape up a pension, I was stoked. Out from crushing financial burdens (and I count zero as a blessing), car paid off, and non-penalized, maximized retirement and social security. I had a viable, kick-ass goal. The State of Texas went "Aha! Let's yank that right out from under her." Massive sabot tossed into the clockworks.

Adversity makes you stronger--(2) No it doesn't. Solving problems makes you stronger, and sometimes adversity stacks up so deep you're drowning in alligators. You gain strength from learning HOW to solve problems, not get beat-up.

My friend and fellow elderblogger Ronni Bennett send a congratulatory note when she learned that I'd retired and signed up for Social Security. She wrote of the day she decided to march down to Social Security and officially begin this new phase in life. Ronni stressed the importance of celebration, which I must admit was way down the list of what I mostly felt during that time: stark terror.

She reminded me that all of life's great passages are to be celebrated and enjoyed. And so I promised her I would begin to envision how I shall celebrate this step along my path. I'm beginning to see Winter Solstice as a fortuitous date. Remembrances of Paul Winter Consort concerts in the Cathedral in NYC, Howleluja Choruses, the urge to push, to grow out of the caves, the earth, the crypts.

This is the first Halloween I've identified with in a long time. Not as trick or treat, no little kids will be coming to my house on Oct. 31. More the feeling that the ground is being prepared for the winter, and readied for spring and growing.

The first 2 months of my retirement have been in turns hectic, despondent, excited, hermitizing, singing, way too introspective, seasoned with books and film. Realizing that other friends were correct in warning me of the physical crash. Your body telling you that you were unbelievably stressed out, and now you have to take care of it.

Like being underground. Cracking open a geode to find something unexpected. Dancing to new rhythms. Anticipating the light.


Kraxpelax said...



There's much in the world that you can't explain.
It's revealed for you to remember
by the whispering voice of a distant train
or a midnight rain in november.

Horizon within! You can always find
the keys to Enigma. Let's mention
one basic Truth: of spirited Mind
is Nature naught but extension.

Internal expanses! In dreams, ridden
by fear and longing you roam
that deep Southeast in your soul hidden
...on your random journey back home.


As a native Swede, I am particularly proud of my love poetry suite Sonnets for Katie.

My Poems


La présence; un coup de vie morte? non, ce n'est qu'être. Et puis pour l'errante fenêtre: étant vue la nuit, dans tous le coins des rues de la veille la même étoile.




Schwarzez birne!
Aufforderung zur Erotik.

Fremde Gedichte


En el archipielágo del mundo
los recursos son concentrados,

algunos barcos azulos
partieron para la isla más azula.

Uno grito bajo la mesa
vuelca uno cantaro;

visitantes paran
en preguntas silenciosas –

el anacrusa de una tromba
remolinea en la biblioteca.

My Spanish Poetry


My Laptop Wallpaper Art

CHALLENGE again. I say: generally, e=mc(n-1) for the n-dimensional room. I say this is close to self-evident.You think not? Then prove the contrary!

Windor Mirrow

And: reciprocity: for mutual benefit, you will do me a favor promoting your own blog on mine!

The best way to do it is lining up as a Follower, since then your icon will advertise you indefinitely, and I will follow you in return. Let's forge a mighty alliance of synergy and common interest.


- Peter Ingestad, Sweden

Ronni Bennett said...

Wow. What a visceral, exciting explanation of this transition. Well done and looking forward to more.

joared said...

Striking recap of your experience leading up to and following retirement. Perseverance seems always to get us through the rough times -- that and a predominantly positive outlook, even though we can't always see the glimmering light ahead.

kokopelliwoman said...

Kraxpelax, you are certainly involved with lots of interesting things. I enjoyed your blogs and poetry. I spent a month in Stockholm several years ago, and was quite taken with the charm and lifestyle of Sweden. Cloudberries and reindeer! Thanks for dropping by. Yes, let's celebrate synergy and common interest!

kokopelliwoman said...

Ronni, thanks for the encouragement. This was directly from the heart. Haven't had much of that lately! I'm looking forward to re-establishing contact with our cohorts in blogland.

kokopelliwoman said...

Joared, right on. The I Ching says "perseverance furthers." In lieu of a light at the end of the tunnel, I'm deliberately practicing gratitude, which helps put things in perspective, at least. Singing is definitely therapeutic!