Long life fully lived could be compared to well seasoned soup. I feel that all I have lived through, and everyone I have ever met and learned from, have become ingredients in my soup and since many of you my old friends who may read this page will remember the soup I so very much liked sharing with them way back when we met at my home in New York. I would like to offer some of the following as sort of my new, very pungently tasty metaphoric “soup”.
I am an eighty-five ++ year old survivor of Holocaust and many other serious life’s challenges, and I am unconditionally and totally in love with my life just as it is. I like to compare my life to a well seasoned and rich soup. Like any good soup mine has ingredients which by themselves seem impossible to digest and yet without which my soup would lose its essence and its rich and unique taste. I think that everyone I have ever met, everything I experienced, all the teachers I had, and books I read are all a part of my soup. I also like to think of what I share, when given a chance, as simply a generous serving of a nourishing and healing love of life elixir.
I know that I look my age, no matter what anyone tells me. My back curvature, age spots and deep laugh lines bear witness to it each time I pass a mirror. Perhaps, since I do not act my age and carefully cover up the scars of past malignancies, I could get away with pretending that I am younger however, I cannot think of any reason why I should. I owe a debt of gratitude to a marvelous dental technician who several years ago, not only gave me a beautiful smile for the duration, but also prevented me from ever again wasting, what I treasure most, my time and energy while suffering in a dentist chair.
I have grown children and grandchildren whose lives I do not fully understand and consequently do not interfere with, and I have a rich and vibrantly creative life, which they do not fully understand and do not interfere with. And, I have a charming assemblage, soon to be sixteen in number, of the most darling and beautiful great- grandchildren ages minus a few months to seventeen, who I adore playing with, when time and country we reside or visit allow. The angelic creatures think that I am very special and simply love to visit with me whenever and wherever possible.
I have a high threshold of pain and an ability to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again which I have had for as long as I remember. I survive and do with style and, as the footsteps in the sand of my past bear witness, while doing it, I seem to never miss a step.
My life can be described on many levels and I will attempt in this Blog filled with adventures spanning almost a century, to do it justice. I will take you on a journey and ask you to be a witness to a few events that shook the world we live in and brought complete chaos into the childhood and adolescence of this survivor. My memory, at least of those long ago bits of my life is excellent and it doesn’t seem to lose any of its sensual qualities with age, which doesn’t make me readily remember where I have left my keys or cell phone.
I guess that may be enough about me for this introduction but now what about YOU the person I am writing this blog for. Like with every bit of art I have ever created I must in my imagination see you, the final recipient of my creative endeavor so that we can become friends and, so that we can together enjoy this journey I intend to take you on. I see you as someone for whom aging is becoming an issue. Someone, whose sense of humor, curiosity, imagination, and creativity needs a boost. Perhaps you are allowing the fear of aging and ailing to cloud over your love of life and consequently find yourself limited by less and less ability to experience the feeling of joy at simply being alive, and feeling the vibrant joy you remember so well and somehow have lost the hope of ever experiencing again.
I believe that to live fully means to be passionately involved with life. Other words, to find a life’s passion. I also believe that there is only Love and Fear and, that we all have the ability to turn our thoughts away from Fear and toward Love in order to create and experience a life worth falling in love with. In this Blog I will tell you how I do it and how when diagnosed with lymph node cancer of undisclosed origin at the age of 72 instead of chemotherapy I finally found my life’s passion and created a new and exciting fife for myself as a coach, which now at 89 I am enjoying so much that I want it to continue until 100. As a matter of fact reading this Blog closer to the date of May 25th 2029 will give you further details about time and place.
Right now my choice is the Congressional Hall of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw. I do hope to see you or at least hear from you before. In the meantime PLEASE BE ALL YOU CAN BE AND MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
Irenka Polkowska Rutenberg