Magical Memoir Moments

Joan Rough Takes on a Big Challenge of the Jubilación Years : Forgiveness

My current theme of Jubilación, defined as joyful vocation in the elder years, does not exclude challenges. Far from it! Most people are well aware that aging inevitably has negative consequences and that the pains of youth and middle age continue into the elder years. Fortunately, even trauma and suffering can be met with resilience,…

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This lake is literally 30 feet from the window under which I am writing these words.

Beginner’s Mind: A Writing Residency, A New Setting, A New Day

A new environment at the Collegeville Institute, designed by architect Marcel Breuer, inspires me at the beginning of my fall semester residency.

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This room held all the splendor of the Taj Mahal for me. The year was 1966.

A Golden Jubilee Move-In: How a 50-Year-Old Dorm Room Still Inspires My Future

It’s been 50 years since I set sail for college! Getting there had been a struggle. My parents helped load my earthly possessions into the trunk of our ’57 Dodge. I was breathless with excitement as we left the driveway of the family farm, stones crunching under the wheels. The trouble began as we approached…

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The sun's low rays strike the windows of Iona Abbey just before the evening worship begins.

The Pilgrim Soul in You: Traveling Toward Jubilación

I traveled to Iona, Scotland, and Lindisfarne, England, in hope of finding “thin places,” May 6-19, 2016. Three months later, I am finally ready to begin speaking about the impact of this trip. The first thing I did was organize my photos into an album in order to make a slide show. I didn’t want…

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The Shadow Side of Birthdays: The Side We Can’t See

I grew up listening to “Keep On the Sunny Side” as I helped to milk cows morning and night. It was the intro to the local radio station’s country and gospel music program. I never saw the Carter Family in person, but here is Mother Maybelle and her famous guitar and famous daughters. Look at…

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Two Volunteers Who Make This July Special

A volunteer sunflower and a volunteer interview fill me with joy in my favorite month of July. See post below to see both!

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The Things They Didn’t Carry: Grandparent Jubilación

After the grandchildren leave, the house heaves a sigh. Some of the objects left behind carry the stories and await the next visit.

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Coffee, a laptop, and a lap. Nik at work.

Everything that Rises Must Converge: Naming What Rises

Adult children visits, Celtic Pilgrimage, writing assignments, family vacations, and preparation for a fellowship in the fall. All these promising events are rising or are about to rise. How to help them converge? I made a decision.

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Lighting a candle between two wise women, July 27, 1992

Seeking Wisdom: A Lifelong Quest

If you rubbed a magic oil lamp and Aladdin offered you only one wish, what would it be? I’d ask for wisdom. The story of King Solomon, who famously chose wisdom, made a deep impression on my in my youth, and later I prayed often for wisdom as a mother, teacher, and college president. In…

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From the podcast website and David Whyte's websites in links below.

Stop! And Listen! — David Whyte, Krista Tippett, and Jubilación

Poet David Whyte believes that a beautiful question shapes a beautiful mind. Krista Tippett’s interview with Whyte inspired this assertion: I believe elders have invisible but beautiful new questions to live out in our time.

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