LIVE FREE MY LOVE

Love Lives Here

We are the original star-crossed lovers!  Fifty-eight years ago we got reacquainted, engaged, married and began our journey.  Now we are entering our eightieth year celebrations…your birthday on Valentine’s Day and mine in July.  What a trip it is and how grateful I am that you decided to call me on that day in May.

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Live Free My Love

My heart is wide open these days

When I look at you.

You feel so warm and close

So nearly dearly a part of me.

Even when we’re not touching

Your essence surrounds me.

Deep sounds of you rumble through my body

Vibrating the core of me.

My silence is shattered with a song

Elevating the day from silence to nonsense.

Songs speaking your mood, your thoughts

With lyrics revealing a being unclothed,

A public man of hidden passions

Wearing a cloak of laughter and control

Over pain lodged beneath a shield of

Casual concern masking the buried

Need for Yes to your dreams

And cheering your vision ever onward.

You are so elegantly human.

So overflowing with a child’s love.

Wanting to burst through reserve,

Wanting to dance and sail on the moon,

Wanting to float balloons at the center of the world,

Wanting love and joy and…

Dobish Torte.

Live free, My Love.

Ina Albert-Secher, February 2015

Valentine’s Day Birthday Message

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LONELINESS

Ina Albert, Author

Loneliness

It’s late on a Wednesday night, and Franklin Crawford, 52, is pushing a shopping cart around a 24-hour grocery store in Ithaca, New York. He’s found the bananas and cat food he needs, but as he roams the aisles he adds ice cream and other nonessentials to his basket. “This is the meeting place, the agora,” he explains. “It’s the abundance, the people, the bright light. It makes me feel good.”

Crawford visits a store like this almost every day. This one is his favorite because the café stays open until 10 p.m. and the security guard lets him hang out if he buys something. Paying for stuff is not the problem. Crawford is employed. He is also fit, well dressed, and well read. Other good-looking, well-dressed people are also here alone, slowly pushing carts of their own. Most of them don’t seem to be in a hurry, either, but Crawford says he usually doesn’t make eye contact or start conversations. “I don’t think we really want that from each other,” he says. “Sometimes I think maybe we despise each other, because we’re all here instead of home with someone else.”

Today more than 44 million adults over age 45 suffer from chronic loneliness.

Crawford is lonely — but he’s not alone. A groundbreaking AARP The Magazine survey reveals that millions of older Americans suffer from chronic loneliness, and their ranks are swelling: Of the 3,012 people ages 45 and up who participated in our study, 35 percent are chronically lonely (as rated on the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a standard measurement tool), compared with 20 percent in a similar survey a decade ago. Loneliness was equally prevalent regardless of race, gender, or education levels. Unexpectedly, though, age does make a difference: Those who said they are suffering most are not the oldest among us but rather adults in their 40s and 50s.

Chronic loneliness, experts tell us, is an ever-present, self-perpetuating condition that pushes people away from the relationships that sustain us and make us happy. But the chronically lonely are not merely unhappy — they are in danger. “Loneliness has surprisingly broad and profound health effects,” says John T. Cacioppo, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago and a leading authority on the topic. There is mounting evidence that loneliness significantly increases the chances of diabetes, sleep disorders, and other potentially life-threatening problems. Research has also shown a greater risk of high blood pressure among lonely people, as well as higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, weakened immune systems, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Authors are often lonely. Spending time in our heads doesn’t permit the open expression of our ideas and critiques of our premises.  What better reason to join a group, bring your secret characters to life through someone else’s eyes, express them in a different way and recheck your premises.