"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: Pope Francis

living large . . .


I’ve been noticing lately that the Universe’s messages to me have all been about not holding back and deciding to go full tilt in living my life everyday.

So what if Pope Francis is 78 years old with various age-related problems – his will and intentions during his U.S. visit have sent a strong message about values that all can benefit from and that are hard to ignore. “Be good to each other and do the right thing.”

Coming upon the New York Times review article about Sviastoslav Richter reminded readers of how probably unhappy as a person Richter was and reluctant to concertize in the U.S. in 1960. But just take a listen to his recordings (which I did last night) of Schumann’s Fantasy in C, Chopin’s “Revolutionary” Etude and Beethoven “Appassionata” sonata, third movement. He goes full tilt with a musical energy that can’t be ignored . . . and if you’re anything like me, it almost makes your hair stand on end!

I guess that’s what it’s all about: “appassionata” means passion – and just because we find ourselves older than we ever thought we would be, it doesn’t mean that we can avoid living our lives by being reticent nor making excuses for why we don’t do things more and better than we ever have before. Going for it as long as we can sounds pretty good to me.

In parallel, I have also rediscovered in the past weeks what has given me so much pleasure in my life, and am following these pursuits happily again. What else, really, is there to do? As Ruth Reichl said recently, “you should have as much fun as you can because you don’t know what’s coming down the road.”

Oh, and then there’s the “blood full moon eclipse” tonight too, not to be seen again until 2033, eighteen years from now. But right now, it’s more than enough to take just one day at a time, playing and listening to music, cherishing what we have and mostly, paying attention to it all, with many thanks.



“going for it ! . . . “


When asked about the Pope’s health and stamina, someone who knew him when he became Pope at the age of seventy-six two years ago said that he’s gained a little weight since then because he hasn’t had a chance to get much exercise. He also has one lung, suffers from diabetes and moves with a sore hip. You’d never know it from watching him during this visit.

The vigorous schedule he has met since he touched down in Washington, D.C. yesterday has been remarkable. Not only that, you can tell that this guy is truly in the moment all the time. That same person who saw him two years ago said he got the impression at the time that the new Pope, despite his health and his age, was “just going to go for it.”

And so he has done. The fifty minute speech he gave to the Joint Houses of the U.S. Congress today was spoken in English although his native language is Spanish (he’s from Argentina) and he is also fluent in Italian. He said that the U.S. is still held in the world as a land of hope – and that we should live up to that symbol of hope. This national identity has been lost in translation by political mud-slinging that has become a national pastime, it seems.

Somebody with moral courage had to speak up as he has. And I’m glad he did. He asked for us to pray for him. And so we will, even those of us who are not Catholic nor even particularly religious in a formal sense.

People here talk all the time about wanting to  “make a difference.” Pope Francis has illustrated how to talk the talk that’s long overdue while continuing to walk the walk all day long. For someone who is 78 years old,  Pope Francis is a pretty amazing example of what “just going to go for it!” looks like — and it’s still unfolding before our very eyes.