In her Sounds True audio, The Second Half of Life, Arrien Angeles tells this tale: A wise man named Zusa went to the mountain to ask how he could serve. He came down fearful. When asked why, he answered: I now know what the angels will ask when I die. Not ‘Did you lead the people? Did you free the slaves?’ Instead they will ask, ‘Zusa, why weren’t you Zusa? Why weren’t you Zusa?’
Though I don’t choose to act out of fear or wait until death, this story prompts me to ask myself, What does being Susa, right now on my 65th birthday, mean?
Being Susa feels like having perspective, a view of my past that is grateful and gentle, and a view of the unknown path ahead that is patient and accepting, a view filled once again with the anticipation of a child. Being Susa feels as if, after jettisoning unnecessary baggage, I’m embarked on a new journey. In my toolbox is an ultra light collection including Buddhist meditation practices, Alanon wisdom and resources, and an array of other rituals and routines, both physical and spiritual. In this time I call my Third Trimester of life, Being Susa feels like forgiving myself and others for old shortcomings and resentments, feels like a clean slate, a baptism back to original joy. (http://susasilvermarie.com/mysite/My_Poetry/Entries/2011/7/3_Forty_Years_Out.html)
In a week or so, I go on the road for two months. Being Susa means I bring all my Gone Befores with me on the road trip, especially Jeannie David and Ceilie Sartori, two women who showed me how to live joyfully. http://susasilvermarie.com/mysite/My_Poetry/Entries/2010/7/4_The_Gone_Befores.html Being Susa at age 65 feels like a rest-of-my-life road trip that is heading their way. And when I get to that commencement, and I am asked,” But were you Susa?” I will be able to grin and yell indecorously, YES!