After Seventy: NaPoWriMo 2019, Apr 29

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After Seventy

Is it gain or loss to feel contentment—
no wild surges of emotion,
no bodily electricity,
no need for thrill or wild abandon?
Is this not the time for settling, for thrusting all
those wild venturings back to a safe place
on a back self of memory?

The universe is built on repetition 
and change. This last stage, a sinking back into.
Communion with birds and dogs. 
A return to the careful watching of childhood.

Of  discussions with self as though you were
two people—one listening
as that inner person does all the talking.
Wisdom melding into sleep in the afternoon
in hammocks or on sofas.

Trying to distill wisdom from the flight of birds
or the observed quizzical reasoning of a small dog.
Old age, with one stiff arm I hold you at a distance.
I am studying up for you by reading books and by observation.
By reading myself for long otherwise empty afternoons.

Pinned in a backyard hammock by a small dog and by lethargy,
one foot on the ground, I steer us side to side—
A pendulum sweeping my life away, into corners,
fueled by the hovering of hummingbirds,
the quick flutter of butterflies
from throat to throat of the tabachine.

That seesaw of mind between the inner and the outer
as though practicing for that time when the one will claim me
and I will spiral forward or backward
with that wise knowing, perhaps, at last,
that they are precisely the same thing.

The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that was a meditation.

11 thoughts on “After Seventy: NaPoWriMo 2019, Apr 29

  1. Anna

    The very idea of a nap tugs at me a couple times a week but I seldom lie down. My body needs to move. My sleep, like yours, is more eratic, less deep. However I feel I’ve had enough sleep when morning comes. Time in the garden, observing the changes from yesterday, deadheading those flowers that looked alive 24 hours before, picking the veggies that are now ready, and providing a drink for the thirsty ones may be my hammock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi Anna. Yes, we find our hammocks wherever–according to our personalities. All my life I have had to be doing every moment of the day. It is a schooling to force myself to do nothing in a hammock occasionally–usually while listening to an audible book, so guess it isn’t really doing nothing.


  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    We lost another friend today. He has been sick for quite a while, so it was not unexpected, but sad. We wanted to see him once more, but like my mother, he didn’t want people to see him “like that.” Tom was a TV anchor for years and an occasional actor and he couldn’t bear to be seen as he was.

    I don’t worry about age per se. I tend to worry more about how to keep levels of pain low enough to make life worth living. This is one of the times when I am very grateful to have a partner. It motivates me to find ways to keep going.

    Writing keeps my internal conversations at a lower volume. If I don’t write, I overthink everything. Still, the group of friends is now one less and there are others on that unwritten list of those who will not live much longer. At least I’m not on one of those lists! Whatever is bugging me, nothing is lethal. Painful, but unlikely to kill me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. slmret

    I find myself napping more often than I used to, sometimes out of boredom, and others with a real need. Sleep is still pretty good, though always interrupted in mid-night. As long as it helps keep me healthy, I’m willing to lie down once in a while!

    Liked by 1 person


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