Turning 80 can mark exciting opportunities for fresh starts

Jennifer joined a community writing group and within a year has published her first book

Turning 80 can mark exciting opportunities for fresh starts

Turning 80 can mark exciting opportunities for fresh starts

When I turned 80, I felt that my life was almost over. Deciding I needed some social connection and a new challenge, I joined June’s local community writing group. A year later, I have published my first book.

Rather than stay at home and feel sorry for myself, I went in search of a new interest and new friendships. I was met with a warm welcome by members of June’s writing group. I soon began to enjoy the challenge of June’s regular writing tasks along with the camaraderie within the group. We all enjoyed writing and sharing the writing projects June set for us. On one occasion I had no time to complete our task. Upon contacting June to let her know that I was attending the group “empty-handed” June suggested I write a poem.

“A poem,” I thought, “I don’t like poems!” June’s suggestion was to write a poem about a colour. My first poem was called A Little Bit of Yellow. A Little Bit of Yellow was written in March 2023 and by October 2023, at 81, I had published my first book of poems and meditations.  A Little Bit of Yellow was a light-hearted happy poem. Several other poems in my book were more serious, penned with my thinking mind.

I have been a meditator for more than 30 years. Meditation has shaped my life. I discovered that wonderful things happen through silence. I found myself receiving messages in the middle of the night to write things down. The words flowed effortlessly from somewhere, where love is. There was no thought, the words flowed from my heart. I was compelled and propelled to write them. In this way, my book came together quickly.

I meditate every night; I feel that the words I write come directly from a source far greater than myself. The messages come in verse; however, I don’t think of my work as poems – they are more like meditations. The words are positive messages, predominantly about self-love.

Several poems in my book, which is titled Where Love Is, are about Christmas, war, and my age (octogenarian). These poems were written with thought. However, most of the content has come from a place of peace and tranquillity, far from my active, busy mind. The words flowed from my heart. I felt deeply moved by the night-time messages as I recorded them on my computer the following morning. I could feel the purity from where they had emerged. I felt strongly that I had to make them into a book to share with others.

Through stillness, I believe we can waken our literary, artistic, musical, or whatever gifts may be lying dormant within. I have included an affirmation page in my book for the reader to express his or her own creativity. I find meditating to be a natural process that simplifies my life, deepens my happiness and helps me to develop my potential.

I can’t change the world in which I live, but I can change my reaction to it.

When I live in the moment, I can change each moment to my liking. Most of us tend to live in the past or the future. Through meditation, I have learned to transform my challenging moments into more positive moments. I think of these moments as opportunities for growth.

Writing is freeing. As June says. “We all have a story to tell.” Writing a book was not on my bucket list, but I’m glad I have dared to share these lovely messages. I have June to thank for bringing my writing capability to the fore. Had I not joined June’s writing clan, Where Love Is may not have emerged. I believe that we all have a wonderful well of creativity within.

Where Love Is, introduces us to the love we have within. The prime message is, as we journey through the peaks and troughs of life, aim to embrace each moment, whatever the circumstances, and to recognise the strength and love we have within.

Now I am writing my memoir, The Sunshine Girl. This is a long way off completion but importantly I have made a start.

I share with you A Little Bit of Yellow, the first poem June inspired me to write. Along with a short meditative verse called Who Am I? Both are found in Where Love Is.

(A meditation)

I tune into the magnificence of who I am,

A soul, divine and sacred, part of a divine plan.

I marvel at the beauty of this body I live in,

Not so much the outward, but the beauty from within.

It’s easy to condemn myself, I will stop doing this,

It’s an insult to creation, which is filled with love and bliss.

This work of art is extraordinary, as is all upon this earth.

Gratitude for everything, particularly my birth. 

A Little Bit of Yellow
(A poem) 

A little bit of yellow fills my cup today, the sun is bright, the world feels right, blue shimmers on the bay.

My heart feels young and joyful as I walk the golden sand. I can’t help feeling grateful to live in this great land. 

The joys of life surround me, my senses feel them all. The tastes, the smells, the touch, the sounds, delights, all at my call.

Life’s a precious privilege, my mind says time today. My heart feels light, the world feels right. It’s time to laugh and play.

Jennifer Kurtze

About Jennifer Kurtze

All articles by Jennifer Kurtze

I joined a writing group led by June Alexander about 18 months ago. I have been learning about writing and myself ever since. When I joined June’s writing Clan, my aim was to make new friendships. I did! I also unlocked within me a creative flow I had forgotten existed. Now I have published Where Love Is, my first book of poems and inspirational messages, and have started to write my memoir.
I find writing to be healing and liberating. Sharing my writing with caring people brings fulfilment and balance into my life. I have gratitude for all who have been a part of this experience.
I live on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia.

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