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Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the sacred and divine in beings of all genders and manifestations.

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In Praise of Aging


At 53 I am still amazed and delighted to wake up embodied each morning.  Those first few minutes, as my cognitive mind comes back online, I marvel at my fingers, the line of my arm, the rotation of my wrist.  I throw back the covers and smile at the mounds of breast and belly, the bending of my knee, the wriggle of my toes.  Each stage and age of embodied life for me so far, has had its own beauty, delight, challenges, and gifts. In 2011 I began writing a series of poems about that, which I called "In Praise of Aging."  Over a two year period I wrote 15 poems and one song for the series.  It is my intention to create a journal that includes not only the poems, but writing prompts for others to reflect on their own aging process.  Below are three of the poems with a link at the end to the rest.  Blessings on all our aging embodiments!




I am infinitely awed by human bodies

and so

delighted to have such intimate access 

to this one that is me


I am awed by the way I was

(in the words of the Psalmist)

“Knit in my mother’s womb”

That miracle of cellular multiplication that differentiated 

eyes from lashes, toes from nails


I am awed by the growing of my childhood

the elongating of bones and stretching of skin


I am awed by the bubbling hormonal potion 

activating breasts and blood and feeling

in my adolescence


I am awed by the imprinting of life and lovers

friends and purpose

experiences that pass through my very permeable membranes 

and have taken up residence

in the deep interstitial connections of my being 


And now as I begin the Croning process

I am in awe of myself the more

The lovely wings taking shape under my arms

my avian nature finally free to emerge

The heat generating somewhere deep inside my cells

and radiating at the back of my neck with such intensity

that in that moment, hair in hands and clothes loosened,

I am completely present to the sensation of it.


I am infinitely awed by human bodies

and so

delighted to have such intimate access 

to this one that is me






I am a tiny little woman.


Who knew?


For years self identified by large breasts 

(and a tangle of wild hair).


For years expanded by layers of fat

carefully added to cradle and cushion

bits and pieces of wounded me. 


For years an introvert in an extroverted life

surrounding myself with a witch’s glimmer

to appear substantial

to call attention

to claim authority.


But now

at my Croning

glimmer shed

wounded pieces healed or released

breasts lowered and flattened by gravity


I am (astonishingly)

a tiny little woman

(with a tangle of wild hair).


Who knew?






By the time I was six

I was sure my Grandma Winnie had

the most perfect of noses.

It was a classic witch’s nose

long from nasal root to apex nasi

hooking elegantly above the top of her lip.


“Grandma,” I would beg

“touch your nose!

Please, please, pleeeeeeease!”


And then

crossing her eyes for extra effect

she would open her mouth

and touch the tip of her tongue to the tip of her nose.


It was



My nose


came from the other set of DNA

quite small with a bit of an upturn

and so

no matter how hard I tried

there would be no meeting of tongue and nose.


They say as we age our noses grow bigger.

Scientists who study just this sort of thing explain 

that as the smile muscles in our face 

stretch and lengthen over a lifetime

they let go their grip on the nose

allowing the tip to drop

making it appear much longer.


And so


I am hopeful


that with enough laughter

      enough joyful beaming

                   enough gracious welcoming

                   enough sheer delight

I too may one day

have the most perfect of noses.





I'm curious to hear from folk of all ages what you experience to be the gift, wisdom, and delight of your own current age/stage of life? Blessings on us all, wherever we are on this adventure of time, embodied in these sacred cells.


To read the whole series and see how you might suggest ideas for the writing prompts go to:

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Lizann Bassham was both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister in the United Church of Christ. She served as Campus Pastor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley working with a multi-faith student community. She was a columnist for SageWoman magazine, a novelist, playwright, and musician. Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A. Lizann died on May 27, 2018.


  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Tuesday, 17 September 2013

    These are lovely, Lizann. Thank you so much for sharing them.

  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Wednesday, 18 September 2013

    Thank you for your kind wordsTed, glad you enjoyed them!

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