discover your created self

Thrilling Guest Thursday: Sylvia Robertson

I am so excited to introduce you to Sylvia Robertson from Sylvr Pen today!

Behind the scenes, sacred synchronicity happens. I asked if Sylvia would like to share a poem, which I in turn would respond to with a mixed-media collage. After savoring her poem, I asked her to share a little of her experience behind the poem. And she did!

And now, here you go! Enjoy these words from Sylvia’s heart and pen.

When a Number Gets You Down (Your Age)—In Which I Reveal a Dirty Little Secret (Mine)

“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” –Psalm 90:10 NKJV

“October 1, 2015.” I wrote it at the top of my journal page, and looked at it. It seemed ominous. Psalm 90:10 resounded in my head. I felt like I was standing at the head of a street marked with a big “Dead End” sign.

For so much of my life, autumn had been a time of new beginnings. New crayons, new pencils, new notebooks, new clothes, new classes, new adventures! I had taught school. I had home schooled. Before all that I’d gone to school as a pupil myself, and the brilliant leaves that drifted down to a clatter on the sidewalk had always excited my young heart. Their fresh color and crackling crispness had always said “new,” to me, not “old,” with a newness to match the prospects  of a new year: school-wise, grade-wise, and age-wise, too—for my birthday almost always arrived right at the peak of fall color.

But now my approaching birthday, and the turning leaves, and the chilling air, all seemed to speak of endings. And oldness! After all, I would now be officially old, wouldn’t I? In fact, I would have used up all the allotted days that Psalm 90 talks about!

“And,” I wrote in my journal, “it isn’t an age that tends to make people think of hopeful futures or educational equipping for them, or new energetic adventures. Instead it’s more associated with a lot of crass jokes about what doesn’t work anymore (in the body or mind), with slowdown and greatly diminished activity, and with the themes of out-to-pasture and end-of-usefulness.”

Well! Whenever you start thinking along such lines, you head yourself right toward the pits—and you’d better get yourself another think, and head yourself in the opposite direction!

So I did.

And as a result (of that and a surprise family birthday party that I think was my best birthday ever), by the end of October I had penned the following poem expressing my new heart-view.

[In upcoming Thursday (“Themesday”) posts on my blog, I plan to share in more detail how my spirit got turned around so totally. But for now, let’s just say that to great extent it’s a matter of what you choose to notice. For instance, that scripture verse above was composed by Moses… who,  at the age of eighty, led the whole nation of Israel out of Egypt, and who continued leading them afterward till his death at the age of… 120! (Selah! i.e., So there!)]

Autumn, 2015

Since I reached that day
of life’s expected limit,
something changed.

Each day after
glistened brighter,
first thing off,
even in the still-dark hour of my awaking,
a precious gift acknowledged,
a surprise.

“Every day I think of death,”
she said.

I think that’s also true of me,
I mused.

But nothing morbid in it,
nothing sad.

Only joy at realizing
what gift, daily, the alternative—
what still-breathing, singing
tide of opportunity—
like the piquant untamed autumn air,
full of color flying,
there at each window-opening.


“Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, -Psalm 92:13-14 NKJV


my response to Sylvia’s poem



Sylvia shares her penned prose and poetry at The Sylvr Pen. Click here to read about the “what” of her blog.

Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved. Prose and Poem by Sylvia Robertson. Artwork by Kel Rohlf.



22 responses to “Thrilling Guest Thursday: Sylvia Robertson”

  1. […] the rest of this post here, at Soul Pantry, where Kel Rolf shares her mixed media response to […]

  2. I love the synchronicity of life. I just finished one of my yoga classes that is geared toward 60 years old and up. We ended with a short discussion about age and remarked on how people who are interested in taking care of their body through exercise, walking, yoga and taking care of their soul through art, poetry, journaling always seem so much younger than their number age. Doing yoga (movement) and art (writing, painting, etc) seem to be an amazing combination to combat the worries of aging.

    I am so amazed at the beautiful spirited women I have in this class ranging from 68 to 96.

    So with that said, coming back to the synchronicity, I love that I came home inspired from my yoga class and checked my emails, finding even more inspiration through this beautiful poem and Mixed Media Art combination from two lovely creative souls.

    Thank you both so much for you kind gift of wisdom and inspiration. I am making a copy of this post to bring back to that yoga class next week.

    Blessings, Janet


    1. I am so pleased to meet you, Janet—and thrilled to read your comment. I love that you have that group of wonderful women from ages 68 to 96 in your yoga class! I wish I could be there with them! And how delightful to hear of even more synchronicity in your day with its class discussion followed by reading this post. Thank you for graciously blessing and encouraging me so!

  3. “Sacred synchronicity”—I love that, Kel! We have really experienced it here, haven’t we? More than the readers even know. (And there’s more of the same, more than you even know: just what I was going to need at a difficult time, all orchestrated ahead of time…) Thank you so much for this opportunity of guest posting here on your inspiring blog. It has been, and continues to be, a wonderful mini-adventure!

  4. Susan G. Nelson Avatar
    Susan G. Nelson

    Sylvia’s thoughts and poem are perfect for today! I was feeling a bit ” seasoned” as I shopped for something NEW to wear on this anniversary trip to Granada. But, oh the joy of KNOWING! HIS PURPOSE for me prevails whatever the SEASON. My window today would be wide open with colors of fall mixing past winter into spring,cups of fresh coffee & tea steaming just below the window as I feel we have just shared the intimacy of “sacred synchronicity” in these moments. GOD IS GOOD & I am so blessed with the riches you share,
    For HIS GLORY! Susan

    1. The more the merrier in this “sacred synchronicity,” Susan! I am amazed almost daily by God’s timing. And I like that term, “seasoned.” Will have to remember that. Hope you have an amazing time in Granada!

  5. We’re all getting older day by day but thank you, ladies, for lovely examples of how to age gracefully! Yoga class, check. Poetry blog, check. Gratitude list, check. So, when do I stop coloring my hair?!

    1. Only when you’re good and ready, if ever, Lynn! My next-door neighbor told me she intends to keep coloring hers till her natural hair color has become white, then she’ll stop, because she loves that look. You can see I don’t color mine, but there’s a story behind that, one I’ll have to tell sometime on my blog. I remain ambivalent… (heh)

  6. Kel, thank you for inviting Sylvia here! I’ve seen her poems on the dverse pub link ups on Tuesdays in the past (I haven’t linked up in a while).
    Syliva, your thoughts and poem capturing aging in the Lord so very perfectly. I will be 64 in August and frankly, I think everything gets better as we age, heart and soul-wise. (body wise not so much; I’m making good friends with arthritis year and fighting back for all I’m worth!)
    Kel, your blue window media piece is a perfect accompaniment to this poem.

    1. I think so, too, Jody: that everything gets better as we age, heart and soul-wise. I am actually loving being seventy although I can’t tell what the the diff is between that and a year or two or three ago, even physically (yet), and I still feel surprised when I write out that number.

  7. They shall bare fruit in their old age is a promise that is good for us to hold on to. Time does pass quickly and more so the older we get. I am thankful my memory is still pretty good, and I can walk and talk. God is good to us in our old age. Actually inside I am still around 30 for that is a good age to be mature and begin using your wisdom. (I am 84 at this day) God is still using me at the church I now attend. My last church told me not to share verbally any longer when they called for joys. I abided by their request by finding a church that welcomed me and invited me to take over the prayer group that prays each week for our city and nation. God has a sense of humor and He smiles at me today.

    1. I’m so glad to see you here, Hazel, adding to this discussion! I’m also glad you left that place of silly rejection for a greener pasture where you can continue using your obvious gifts. I agree that God has a sense of humor. I have enjoyed quite a few private jokes with Him myself! (smile)

  8. Love this collaborative post. I have been embracing getting older and wonder at which point I might change my attitude. Your words give me a glimmer of the joy we can experience in each day no matter how old we are because each one ltruly is a gift.

    1. This was so enjoyable for me, Kelly, and the comments are the most fun and encouraging part of it. Does our attitude have to change? I hope not, unless it’s just for the better! (I could always use a little improvement there, I’m sure.) It seems to me that each day individually seems more of a gift the older I get. Love your happy smile in your gravatar pic. Keep smiling’!

  9. What a wonderful dialogue, ladies! I am honored to have the conversation here and so thankful that Sylvia was willing to share her heart and words with us this week! Grace, grace, grace to one and all! Love-Kel

    1. This really was great fun, Kel. I have been honored, encouraged, and elated in this opportunity and this wonderful dialog. Thank you so much!

  10. Cecelia Lester Avatar
    Cecelia Lester

    This is a timely poem for me. The end of this week, I turn 70. Last Monday, a dear friend from a few years ago went to be with Jesus. Last month, she turned 80. Her children were not sad about her leaving them. I know I have to take care of myself in order to see that next important birthday after this one. I am not going to dwell on the morbid or the scary part of death when it comes. I plan on joining my friend and several others inside the pearly gates. Thank you, Kel, for letting Sylvia share her poem with us. And thank you for that interesting collage.

    1. Wow. Happy Birthday, Cecelia! I love God’s timing, and am especially pleased to have played this little part in it here, unbeknownst to me. We are now both “baby” septuagenarians! (And I kinda like the idea of being a baby something!) Hope we “see” more of each other in the future.

  11. […] Kel Rolf began her introduction to my guest post on her blog, about aging. We’d seen several examples of it as we (or, rather, God?) coordinated our […]

  12. Thank you, Kel, for sharing Sylvia’s poem. There is MUCH to celebrate as we get older and her musings add insight as well as JOY to the process. Those lines at the end–about gifts, tides of opportunity, color flying, windows [still!] open–offer heart-revving hope and excitement for the days ahead!

    1. Hi Nancy! I’m so glad this brought you (more) joy and hope. (I get the idea you already have a knack for enjoying both.) Every day is such a gift, isn’t it, and there’s so much still to do, live, and enjoy. Thanks for this encouraging comment.

Leave a Reply to Sylvia R Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


%d bloggers like this: