Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No List, No Loss

I have no computer
I have taken no photos
I have had no time
and less energy
But today
I walked alone
into the National Park
fresh after heavy overnight rain
and I thought
I mused:

I am a list maker
lists of jobs to do
books to read
recipes to try
poems to dig out
projects to attempt
Lists of words
of ideas
tasks to complete on the new home
Even lists of lists
I am an inveterate list writer

But I realised
after reading your New Year posts
on my iphone
in the quiet evenings
by the ocean
(no TV either)
that it is most unlike me
to not have
a New Year's list

And it was such a freeing realisation
I have no list of challenges
no aspirations
no research to accomplish
no demons to purge
no plans, no expectations
no demands of myself

and I wondered
is this another one
of the joys
of getting older
that I can yield,
relent from attempting to harness
and hold back time
by filling my life
my days, my hours

I have no dreams
for the new year
no ambitions
no goals
no desires for myself
other than just being,
drifting in the current
feeling the rhythms of the seasons
the ebbs and flows
of the days
appreciating my blessings
enjoying my family and friends

If this is a benefit of getting old
I just love it


The helmsman
I am no longer
The oarsman
has retired
The boat
I never was

But the ocean
and the wind
the sun and the stars
the joyous kookaburra
in the scented eucalyptus tree
those I am



  1. I do believe as we get older, our resolution list grows smaller. A lot of things I wished to resolve have been resolved.
    I guess there is always ways to improve being a better person, but I don't think that requires a list.
    Best Wishes for 2010.
    Sunny :)

  2. That's lovely, Happy New Year Delwyn,
    all the best in 2010.
    x lori

  3. Hi Delwyn, So peaceful to read your post. You are just right as you are. Enjoy your list-less New Year (though I hope you won't be listless.) Old isn't so bad - certainly better than the alternative.

  4. I'm that kind of listmaker too, and at my current stage of life, it's a necessity. But one that I enjoy, actually.

    However, I do look forward to the time of life in which you now find yourself. Reading this is a confirmation for me of what my heart already knew.

    I've been contemplating our need to always better ourselves, and how sometimes it's good to let that go a bit, stop trying to change everything all the time and just rest in who we are. Not blindly, not complacently, but truly REST in reality. Just as you have described here.

  5. I found myself not making resolutions or lists, either, with the turning of the year. I have, however, just for fun begun a "bucket" list because I have seen that the mere intention of an idea is a powerful thing. And I'm up for some fu and taking better care of this body that carries my spirit for fun!

  6. Wonderful! As Ram Dass said, Just Be Here Now.

    Your post calls to mind something the Tibetan Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard once said, (paraphrasing here and adding caps for emphasis)

    "Simplifying our lives does not mean sinking into idleness, but on the contrary, getting rid of the MOST SUBTLE ASPECT OF LAZINESS: the one which makes us take on thousands of less important activites.

    Wonderful, Delwyn!

  7. Wonderful post Delwyn. I have none either but for me it doesn't feel so much freeing as giving up. But that's just my mood today.

  8. It's a wonderful feeling isn't it Delwyn? One which will come to most, if only they will allow it.

  9. I have learned the almost pointlessness of making lists. I used to get the most satisfaction from making a list of things I had already done. That was slightly freeing.
    Mostly I feel a little as Ellen does - a giving up. I have come across lists from past years and realized I still have not read the books, visited the particular attraction or learned a special skill. Now, I just want to make it through another year and enjoy it for whatever it offers.

  10. hmm..i also dont make resolutions in new year~! :P well, i just dont like to..haha..anyway..its okay to have no resolutions like me..hehehe

    i love your post and the choose of words really fit to what you are trying to say perfectly.XD

    paste a smile on you face :3

  11. a wonderful and beautiful piece of writing delwyn. i especially admire and appreciate the poem at the end which speaks more to a future steven than a current steven who actually enjoys lists (as they guide him through a day and leave him much more time for what really matters!!) have a lovely day delwyn. steven

  12. A meaningful expression of how you live your beingness now.

  13. My good morning to you Delwyn...
    Your words touched me in many ways this morning, Aging is freeing of sorts...Twenty years ago...the beginning of uniting monthly with grade school friends, I guestioned myself often. They(professionals most) always needed to search their calendars for open dates for our next meeting, while I alone was free for any. I felt I was lacking. I never had goals or ambitions that I had filled(other than home and family). I had no regrets, but at the same time, I questioned...should I have regrets? Aging has freed me in a way.

    Your lines are perfect for me...

    "The oarsman has retired
    The boat I never was"

    I am Me and realize now I have always been a complete Me. I believe deep contentment comes with age, "if" we let it. We all have different lives and stories, Aging lets me love your life and story, as well as my own!

    Thank you for being part of my life Delwyn, Someone, I truly admire.

  14. How fortunate you are! Enjoy and stay safe,give my love to the sea,if you will!
    Love and peace,Aleksandra!

  15. Delwyn, I think you have achieved Nirvana. I love your post and can feel the light emptiness of your being. Carry on. Blessings!!

  16. Amen! I dream and hope this is the deep contentment I am beginning to glimpse more and more as I let things go a bit.

    Your words were so eloquent and come from some of that deep feeling of being at one with nature and yourself. Beautiful Delwyn! Very refreshing to read your words just now.

    I admire and appreciate your perspective and your gift of friendship across the miles!! Love to you Delwyn!! Happy New Year!

  17. Hello again. I was sorting through old emails this morning, and came across a quote someone sent me that is so fitting to this discussion I had to come back and share it:

    "Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself and, if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself. For it is the unaccepted self that stands in my way and will continue to do so as long as it is not accepted...We must first become like ourselves and stop living "beside ourselves."
    ~Thomas Merton

  18. Perfectly simple. Simply perfect.

  19. Even without photos you manage to paint a picture with words – love it! I’m a chronic list maker too. I’m all for New Year’s without resolutions. Just live every day as it comes with delight. Good luck getting through your long lists and settling in. Happy New Year!

  20. Hello there Sunny

    I suppose we hope that by this time we are Ok with who we are and can accept our foibles and failings whilst at the same time fostering those more gracious elements of our natures.

    Sarah, thankyou. Lists make good guidelines and motivators as long as they don't fill us with guilt or put too much pressure on us. I like them a visual person I find seeing the written word aids memory and clarifies my thinking.

    Hello merry meri my old friend - I just love that photo...

    Hi Polly
    I just love your thoughtful additions to my posts...this quote is going to be copied into my journal..thank you...
    I still do make lists, and find them invaluable but have not felt the urge to put myself at the beginning of 2010 on a path of things to do or achieve. But of course there have been many years when I have strived and accomplished and created and begun new projects, jobs and endeavours, and there will no doubt be things do achieve in the future. I think I have felt a shift in attitude towards 'becoming' - it is more of a passive thing rather than an active effort, and that is probably concomitant with age. It is all part of that grand cycle of energy and personal development and I am fortunate to feel that now I am at a place where I can just be...
    Thanks for being a thinking who inspires further musing...

    I was touched by your words and honoured to have you think of me as a friend and be the same to you.
    AS we age we seem to gain different perspectives and that I find is fascinating... I still have things to do and see and be but I am not busting my boiler over their fruition...que sera sera...

    Hello sweet Marion
    it is nice to catch up with you again. Do that let short tempered, quick to judge, overly critical people into Nirvana?

    Hi Aleks
    I want to post on the sea very soon - well when I get a new mac and get shooting photos again...

    Hi Wanda
    you are so sweet and kind - I give thanks for meeting you. I have been an achiever, put myself through the paces, mainly because of an insatiable appetite to learn and then to share, but I have also given time to raising my four kids and enjoyed the world around me...but this time of so's almost like we have been given a license to relax, no guilt, no pressures to perform, we have paid our dues, given to society and family and the community and now can imbibe nature and the gentle world around us...oh happy holy days....

    Hi Bonnie
    thanks for your friendship and camaraderie through our shared common interests and life paths...

    Hi Steven

    Oh I needed lists too, they kept me on the straight and narrow, kept me focused and helped me to plan and achieve my goals but they come with a price and once you have retired from paid work there is a delicious feeling of self indulgence and freedom that is a part of your dues, quite legitimately yours. I know that you will enjoy the time when it comes...

    Hello Violet
    I have many of those lists too, but moving has provided a great opportunity for a huge cleanse...
    Like you I especially loved to tick off things I had accomplished - perhaps that's one of the reasons that we write lists in the first place - to feel that satisfaction, but if we don't then they can hang over us...

  21. Hello Martin, Von, SplendidLStars,
    Ayu, Lori
    thank you for calling by

    Hi Dan
    That is very good Dan. I have copied it think about more. There is a compulsion at times to fill in life, to cram it full of doingness, perhaps it harks back to that protestant work ethic where idle hands are to be avoided. I know I have often felt a need to feel busy and occupied and will make chores to fill in the holes... But now I can always walk in nature ...and put myself in the hole!

    Hi Ellen

    well the two are very similar and I do think that letting go and relenting does require a bit of giving up ... but I do understand your feeling, that sounds to be tempered with frustration and maybe the pressures of commitments.. I hope that city sojourn will be short and you can return to your country place soon.

    Hello new friend Kathleen
    What is a bucket list?
    I am very keen on exercising the body too, through walks and body balance classes as well as a couple of pump classes to aid with low bone density.
    I am enjoying the freedom to do these things as I please.
    Oh and yes I still have lots of ideas but I am letting them float around me rather than nailing them down...

    Hello Barb
    I do hope so, while I hope to be a kinder more considerate person.
    And yes OLD is just fine...

    I have enjoyed your company everyone, thank you
    Happy days

  22. Congratulations on your new home, Delwyn. Is it the one you were building in Hanalei?

    I like not having too much to do as I get older, but sometimes I miss the hustle and bustle. I could do a day or two of it, and then I would miss my peace and quiet.

  23. Good to hear you're getting settled into your new home. Wishing you all the best in the new year!

  24. Hi Nancy

    The new home is in Noosa where we live only a few minutes from the river. This time we are opposite the ocean on the doorstep of the National Park - very different to the peaceful river but still very beautiful. I will make a post soon.
    Happy days

  25. I made no New Years resolutions this year either Delwyn.

    However I think that's because I will be very satisfied if I just continue to do the things I have already put into play for a healthier 2010 and don't want to stress things out by pushing my luck.

  26. What a lovely way to express your freedom. And I agree, getting older brings a degree of freedom from the goals we feel compelled to set when we are paddling industriously through our youth.

  27. Gettin' older, eh? The best compliment I ever had came from my younger daughter. "Dad, you're the kind of guy who takes up hang-gliding on his hundredth birthday!" Hmmm . . . dare I rise to the challenge, even if I make it to 100? She has also challenged me to tackle the local Xscape climbing-wall on my 75th. Way to go! "Septuagenarian plunges to death. And not before time!"

    Happy new year, Delwyn. Make ONE resolution - not to get into a rut!
    You visited one of my blogs without leaving your siggie . . . please call again!

    Doc FTSE

  28. Delwyn

    Your words are so beautiful! I agree with Sarah--"live everyday with delight." :)

    I am not big on resolutions--the only one I ever make is not to have a hugh fine at the library, but it does not last!!!!

    Take-Care and have a nice week, Delwyn.

    Tracy :)

  29. Delwyn this is so beautiful!

    My meditation teacher used to say, "Meditate every day. I mean it, every day. Unless you're a list-keeper. You people should skip a day here or there."

    Wise words! Enjoy the ocean!! xx

  30. Hello Delwyn.

    Heartwarming post! Thank you so much. After reading this, I felt truly relaxed. Especially, the last part is so beautiful!
    Happy New Year!

  31. Hi Delwyn.A very liberating feeling! Hope the move went well, and that 2010 brings all that you hope for :)

  32. Happy New Year, Delwin.
    And yes, the older we get, the more we want to enjoy the moments of life/attimi di vita without pre-planning, pre-selecting how our minutes will unfold.

    I'm appreciative I can taste this fresh cup of coffee as I write this, that I don't need a walking cane yet, or a hearing aid.

  33. Wow, this was absolutely beautiful!


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