10 January 2012


As I ponder this phase of my life, the masks of tragedy and comedy come to mind.  At this point, it's actually the most convenient and halfhearted  attempt to describe my current predicament.  My retirement!

Briefly, the origin of the comedy tragedy masks is traced back to  the culture of  the Greek theater and has held its own over the centuries.  The concept of the duality of extreme emotions is just as relevant today as it was in ancient times.  Can the twin faces  of joy and sorrow co-exist or is it a continuum or both?  After all, this theater...stage if you will...called life with all its drama, pitfalls, high points and good times; runs the gamut. The cast can be supportive, antagonistic or merely  backdrops to the key actor(s) or actress(es).  So far, you have the well wishers, the hmm.. folks and the ones that I'm feeling a close affinity to at this point.  The one representative statement from the latter group that rings true to me and I quote..."so sad! so glad! so ambivalent!".

The actress on this stage is moi and frankly I'm puzzled by the duality of these extreme feelings about a perfectly common rite of passage for many of us.  One that I've made recommendations about on a professional basis and as a friend or family member.     

**There are types of retirement--early-forced-planned and miscellaneous stuff which means that it's none of our business.  I'm sure there are emotional tags that accompany them, yet, as one whom for the most part has a handle on these kind of things--it's been a daunting and revelatory experience. A process that I must endure or celebrate depending on my frame of mind at the time. I must reconcile all the facets and dynamics with the goal of a peaceful resolution to "life's third act".

I won't belabor this, however, in a future post, I'll revisit and let you know how well I've done with the dual masks of sorrow and joy which to me is an expression of ambivalence.  The latter is one that we aren't comfortable with for somehow it represents a lack of cohesiveness towards a person, thing or event or within ourselves.  It's a pull in opposite directions and the last thing we want interfering with our joy and happiness is sorrow or pain.  Therefore, one of my other tasks for the "third act" is to decide how I choose to respond to what is causing that ambivalence for another aspect of my  goal should be to transform those disparate pieces to a state of wholeness! 


Anna Renee said...

Sister Carolyn I chose you for the Liebster Blog Award! Come over to my house and check it out.

Ms Afropolitan said...

Emotive words... And a situation whose power I can only imagine. I think moments like this are in many ways blessings, tough love crossroads that are rarely easy, but that always always take us to a new level of understanding. I hope you find the new path quickly and smoothly.

Carolyn Moon said...

Again Anna Renee...my thanks for your kind and inspirational words re: my blog and philosophy about black folks & humanity in general.

@Ms.Afropolitan...I appreciate your best wishes and supportive comments for working through my newly acquired status of retirement as I embark on this "third act" of my life.

It's young women like you and KeKe Michel who continue to expand the dialogue and devise new strategies and theories for the challenges we're facing on a domestic and global scale. Younger Griottes like Anna Renee provide the updated templates, wisdom and ongoing dialogue to keep it real and the information closer to truth.

I truly appreciate all of you.

Niya said...

Mom, I appreciate your post. It helps me understand your feelings towards this time of your life. I believe this third act will be a time of renewal, growth and happiness for you. Love, love, love.

Carolyn Moon said...

Thank you Niya for your positive and hopeful take on my retirement. I love you more!

Anonymous said...

Wishing you the best as you enter into this new phase. My thoughts are that we go through Ms Kubler-Ross steps of grieving because it is a loss. But you no more about that than me.

I know you're adventurous Carolyn, and you are embarked on a new adventure, fear not,time to discover new horizons!:)))

Carolyn Moon said...

@Desertflower--Thank you for the support and given that you are a retired healthcare professional...I think you speak from experience as well. You've found outlets and talented means of making this third act a good one and anyone who visits your blog are shown that!

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