Gathered Wisdom, July 14

A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From Spirituality in the Wisdom Years.

I Worried

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.”

― Mary Oliver

From: Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

This Week

First Half/Second Half

In the first half of life, says Fr. Richard Rohr, we are rightly concerned with establishing our identity in the world. Rohr calls it building a “container.” But in the second half of life, we finally must decide what the container was meant to hold if we are to complete the life to which we are called. The two halves of life are the subject of Rohr’s 2011 book Falling Upward. He re-visits the topic in his daily meditations for March 17-22, 2019. Access each day’s offering from the end-of-week summary.  Suggestion: read one a day for a week; take 15 minutes to think about it.

From: Center for Action and Contemplation

Living COVID Like a Monk

Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s 10 suggestions for getting through the aloneness of the COVID pandemic come from watching and knowing monks. His thoughts, he says, are the fruit of living in the give-and-take of a religious community for 50 years. Read Some Secrets Worth Knowing

From: Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s blog

Shut Out by the Pandemic

A 95-year-old woman in San Antonio is the longest-tenured election judge in the Bexar County Elections Department.  She couldn’t work the July primary runoff election thanks to the pandemic. Once an airplane mechanic, in her retirement she has always kept busy, these days sewing masks for anyone who needs one.  Read the story of this inspirational 95-year-old..

From: The Rivard Report

The Tragic Gap – a podcast

Can we stand in that place between the present hard realities and what we know is possible? Parker Palmer calls it The Tragic Gap – we see it, for instance, when we witness outrageous greed in our society but also see examples of extraordinary generosity for our neighbor. How can we as elders stand in that gap in our homes, in our communities, in our nation? Listen to the podcast.

From: The Center for Courage and Renewal

Eight Gates to Elderhood

“Becoming a Wise Elder” e-course is part of the Elder Spirituality Project from Spirituality & Practice. The course recognizes that the demands of elderhood are far different from those of earlier years and presents eight gates through which elders must pass. In the online course, participants work at their own speed and frequency. Learn more about the course here.

From: Spirituality and Practice

Gathered Wisdom is from Spirituality in the Wisdom Years, a ministry that invites older adults to deepening spirituality in the last third of their lives. If someone forwarded this to you, learn more about Spirituality in the Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s