Living Loving (Drop the Maid)

Who would have thought that looking up one’s age as a number on the periodic table of elements would result in another amazing revelation? Yet here I am, just turned sixty, googling my element like a child on a scavenger hunt. Here’s what I discover:

Neodymium is the 60th element discovered by Carl F. Auer von Welsbach at 1885 in Austria. The origin of the element’s name is from the Greek words “neos didymos” meaning “new twin.”

The irony strikes me twice. Being born in June, my Western astrological sign is Gemini, or The Twins. The other synchronicity is that this year, my sixtieth, marks a once-in-a-lifetime Chinese Water Snake return to cosmic influences present when I was born. As this snake sheds her skin, the “new twin” emerges.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve doubtlessly realized I’m coming to grips with cutting away the dross; reframing relationships to others and thus, to the world at large. A different paradigm is in the offing; one that is a vast improvement over the sacrificing people pleaser I was raised to embody. While my basic nature remains intact, I am leaning further into balance, tuning into reciprocity. We women can tend to give to the degree that we end up casualties of our own lives. Just because we can multitask the pants off of men, for example, doesn’t mean that we should. Also our collective breasts seem under attack these days; cancer has taken too many sisters down. The do-it-all mentality is not healthy for me, any more than for those I come in contact with.

This theme brings to mind instructions given on every flight I’ve ever taken: should a mother and child be present during a cabin pressure failure, the mother is to take in oxygen first from the drop-down mask, then place the mask over the face of her child. That way, she is actually prepared to be of assistance. Or as Brewer and Shipley sang the year I graduated high school, We’ve got to fill the cup with love, and keep working on the well.

Better late than never.

For the entire Oliver Sacks article that prompted this post, click here.


Oh, and just in case it needs clarification, I realize some of you might miss the thrust of the title, “Living Loving (Drop the Maid).” This refers to an old Led Zeppelin song “Living Loving Maid.” Should you desire, you could google the lyrics.