Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthday Eve

On the eve of my birthday I think about my family and remember the past, particularly my parents. I am older now than they were on the nights that comprise this memory and this image.

The City of Childhood: I

in the summer we lay at night
on blankets in my grandmother's yard
in the dark night filled
with stars stars and fireflies
night sounds of breezes and passing cars
long shadows on the lawn

we lay there
my mother my father and I
with my grandmother
and some of the men
who rented rooms

we lay there on the grass
on blankets and old quilts
resting there between the earth
and the night sky
the sky dark and solemn
bejeweled with stars

caught and held then as now
by the slow silent spin
of time and love

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Anybody Home?

I keep coming back to this picture, and I don't get any where with it. I've finally figured out that I don't know if I'm on the outside trying to get an answer or inside deciding whether or not to respond. Am I the resident or the guest, the owner or the interloper in my own life?

I feel like the gestalt drawing: looked at one way it's a beautiful young girl, looked at another way it's a wizened old crone.

Increasingly, I'm noticing where change is sneaking up on me.

In a week I turn 65, which brings in its wake a life review and a preview of the life I'm likely to have in the time I have left. I have to accept that the life I have is the life I have and that "I'll live single all the days of my life." The dream that someday I would be someone's beloved has been hard to let go of. Now mostly it's a dull mute ache, and I truly do value the genuine affection of the people I know and who cherish me. As I realize, somewhat to my surprise, that I have even deeper yearnings--to speak forth what I see and know and am shown--"It's not the same" is a whispered truth I have no will to deny.

I've become vegetarian. The decision not to eat beef, pork, or poultry was almost effortless once I learned something about the factory farming of aminals; I'm having more difficulty fine-tuning what's right for me in terms of fish, dairy, and eggs. My instinct is to give up fish and eggs because how they are made available to us in this society still depends on creature suffering. We'll see.

I'm watching two special friends deal with the effects of aging on their health and mobility. My favorite (and only living) aunt is in very poor health, and I realize how much I'll miss her when she goes. I realize how much I'll miss my friends as their mobility becomes more circumscribed--and know that it's also myself I'll miss as the yet-unknown effects of aging take their toll on my already difficult (not necessarily "bad," mind you, but difficult) circumstances.

"Knock-knock." "Who's there?" "Change." "Change who?" "That's up to you."

Whether it is or it isn't up to me, I'm home and I'm going to answer the door.