Thursday, February 19, 2015




Mount Washington at 6,260 feet is part of the Olympic Mountains formed millions of years ago by moving underwater plates. Unlike the Cascade Mountain Range dividing our state east from west, there was no volcanic action involved in forming the Olympics. Under the Pacific Ocean slabs of rock were pushed and tumbled forming gigantic masses pushing their way up from the ocean floor. A couple million years ago they were compiled and shaped by glaciers advancing and retreating many times.

Driving west we view the mountain range with fresh snow delineating peaks and valleys and I mull over age. Driving east we view the Cascades and I wonder again about their origin and age. In the summer they are covered in blue haze and can only be viewed in full definition when first snow delineates the dimensions.

Our Adagio seniors with their hoary heads of thinning hair vary from their 80s to 90s and age becomes relative as we assess their condition with visiting nurses. At some point age doesn’t matter; health does. If they are able, we review the experiences that formed their systems, now aging into meditation and naps.

Each of us will become these seniors unless illness or accident removes us first. Aging in place produces frailty and in 80%, dementia. Such is the human system – without exception, as surely as seasonal rains and ice wear down Mt. Washington.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Aging Systems Goal

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.