30 Dec 2020
Away from classroom teaching and having my commitment to impart knowledge reduced to just twice a week at a tuition centre, I find myself growing quieter over the months.
Unless it’s life threatening, I’m learning to resist the compulsion to explain, to justify or to convince. After all, when it comes to issues that truly matter, words are just not enough.
That said, I did wonder if aging has made me anti-social, indifferent or worse still, turned me into a subaltern?
Apart from the increased silence, I’ve also started wearing the pearl trinkets I bought during my 30s. I had forgotten how pearls brighten up against black.
And each time someone smiles or says something nice at the sight of pearls around my neck, I’m reminded to heed the “Pearls of Wisdom.”
While growing silent and wearing faux pearls I also revisit my cache of oils, incense and perfumes.
Since my last trip to Nepal in 2019, I’ve been lighting palo santo wood to give thanks to the sun and to dedicate light to the living and the dead each morning.
Memories of my grandma dabbing scented oils on us surface regularly.
A few days ago I was rubbing Moroccan argan oil mixed with lavender & patchouli on a coconut shell necklace.
“It would be good to be a quiet old lady who also smells nice,” a voice in my head went.
Two days ago a former student and his wife took me out to lunch.
It was our first meet up in 2020. Unsure of how gathering rules might change in the coming new year, , they also took the opportunity to mark my birthday in 2021 in advance.
At that lunch I received a book gift from the husband, and a perfume gift from the wife.
The book was a copy of “Quiet” by Susan Cain.
Receiving “Quiet,” from my former student felt like I was given the permission to be quiet without the fear of withdrawing from life, or becoming forgotten.
From his wife, I received perfume from Korea that came in a bottle most exquisitely crafted.
Its hues, gold and crystal details immediately reminded me of Goddess Tara as envisioned by the artist who drew it for Street Dog Care in Nepal a few years back.
And I felt so honoured that the giver thought of me the moment she saw the lovely bottle that held the peony fragrance.
And thus my aspiration to grow into a quiet old lady who speaks words of wisdom when necessary while smelling good was facilitated at the lunch hosted by a young couple on 28th December, the eve of the full moon.
May we trust that our aspirations to be the best that we can be as age catches up will be graciously provided for through those who are born after us.