Layers of Trust by Yessi Ketler (c)
As we age we may find that we are hiding what is happening with our bodies, minds, and on going energy availability simply to “fit in”, maintain our “independence”, not be “judged” or to “belong” in a culture that most often is afraid of aging, pushes it away, dismisses it….and of course avoids the ever present course towards everyone’s eventual transition into death and beyond.
Acceptance of some physical signs of aging is part of the journey. Our memories may short circuit from time to time, our skin and other parts sag and become lined with the life journey we have taken, our hair loses the color we had become very used to…..we may feel more vulnerable in our physical bodies.
Yet that does not mean we do not continually have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, indulge our curiosity and expand our artistry.
I realized just the other day through a friend that is experimenting with painting, layer over layer of images and color, that our lives are like that. Evolving another layer over another already laid down is a metaphor for aging.
A pentimento (plural pentimenti) is “the presence or emergence” in a painting, “of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over. Some pentimenti have always been visible on the final painting with careful inspection; others are revealed by the increasing transparency that some paint acquires after several centuries – in other words with aging wisdom.
In embodied life we wait for the paint – layer or identity – to dry transforming what was there when wet to something else. Then when life or inner guidance directs we lay down another fresh layer. How we choose what that layer will be and look like is completely up to us and the unique artistry that is coming through at any given time of our lives.
We have passed through our young years of curious exploration and experimentation in childhood and young adult; to a productive focus in midlife; and then are graced with a fresh new wild freedom of choice to drop into the essence of our wise elder expression – informed by shedding old layers boldly and passionately, shyly and quietly, or mindfully and slowly – painting another layer of our lives with embodied transparency.
Embodied transparency is learned through uncovering layers of self deception and carefully constructed identities that no longer serve us. When we are ready to create another layer, informed by all those below, we step over the threshold from a liminal creative in-between-space into surrender and trust.