Tag Archives: Aging

Memory

Memory

Life is like a labyrinth. Things may be just fine,
yet we don’t know what awaits us farther down the line.

We can’t discern our futures, so we must enjoy today
so at least we’ll have a past to remember, come what may.

Changes of perspective are bound to come with time.
We may not have the passions that we had in our prime.

We are changeable creatures. So nature has intended.
If we hold onto earlier goals, our lives may get upended.

In times of adversity, we still possess rare treasures.
Our recollections are where we can hoard our former pleasures.

 

Prompt words for today are down the line, adversity, labyrinth, discern, change of perspective and creature.

Joke of the Day: 1969 vs. 2019

1969 vs. 2019 (A span of only 50 YEARS)
1969 : Long hair
2019 : Longing for hair
196 9 : KEG
2019 : EKG
196 9 : Acid rock
2019 : Acid reflux
1969 : Moving to California because it’s cool
2019 : Moving to Arizona because it’s warm
1969 : Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2019 : Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
1969 : Seeds and stems
20 19 : Roughage
1969 : Hoping for a BMW
2019 : Hoping for a BM
1969 : Going to a new, hip joint
2019 : Receiving a new hip joint
1969 : Rolling Stones
2019 : Kidney Stones
1969 : Passing the drivers’ test
2019 : Passing the vision test
Do you feel old yet?
Pass this on to the other old fogies on your list.
(Notice the larger type that’s for those of you who have trouble reading.)
So have a nice day!!!
It is good to have friends who know about these things and are still alive and kicking!!!
This was sent to me by friends who received it from Tim Sparks. I’m not sure if he wrote it and as I couldn’t find it on Google, I can’t attribute it. Had to pass it on, however..

Remembrance of Things Past Aug 17, 2020

Remembrance of Things Past

I think I’ve vanquished wanderlust. I do not pine for travel.
All my wandering hopes and dreams have started to unravel.
I have no need to ameliorate the life that I am living.
I find that simpler pleasures are ones that keep on giving
pleasure far after the fact. It seems that memory substitutes
to satisfy what once I gained via other attributes.
Events in memory flower again  after their first flowering.
A simple  perfect blossom on a plant once lush and towering.
I no longer need it all. What I have is sufficient.
I’ve learned so much this lifetime that with more I’d be omniscient.
Year by year and friend by friend, I’m losing more connections.
I only hope that I will not outlive my recollections!

The prompt words today are vanquish, wanderlust, longer, ameliorate and hope

(Click on photos below to increase size.)

 

I was looking for one photo to illustrate the poem and got sort of carried away..I could have added sixty more, so if you are from a period of my life not represented, sorry..I just took them as I could find them and suddenly realized I was getting excessive.  You are in my heart even if not on this page…

Fernweh

Family trip to Idaho, 1950

 

I’m putting the prompt words first today as they include two obscure words and giving definitions to save you the problem of looking them up if, like me, you don’t already know the meanings. Prompt words today are fernweh (a German word that means the opposite of homesickness–a craving for travel or longing for distant places you have not yet visited), facetious, blanket, vellicate (to pluck, twitch, nip, pinch or cause to twitch), and complex.

Fernweh

I miss it, that feeling of fernweh–a craving for travel or a longing for distant places not yet visited that is one of my very earliest memories. I remember standing by the highway that passed through our town just two blocks south of the house I grew up in and longing to be that child with her nose pressed against the window looking back at me as the car she was in whizzed past. Who were they, these people in the cars that passed in strings through our little town each summer? “They are tourists” my mother told me, and I imagined tourists to be perpetual travelers with no homes of their own. What did I want to be when I grew up? “A tourist,” I would reply. Everyone laughed at what they considered to be a facetious reply. They had no idea that I meant exactly that.

Although I had been on short trips before–at the age of three, to visit relatives in Idaho, at the age of 8, to accompany my parents when they drove my sister to college in Iowa, other one-day trips to drive my sisters to summer camp, when I was 12, my family finally took the long vacation I always begged them to take. They left it up to me to decide where we were going, and I declared that I wanted us to start out and then take turns deciding which way to go. When we came to the first crossroads, I said “Left!” At the next crossroads it was my sister’s turn, then my mother’s and finally my father’s for two glorious weeks. We all agreed that it was a wonderful vacation. Because he never knew where we were going, my father couldn’t press us more quickly toward our destination than we may have chosen to go and so we stopped numerous times along the way and spent as long in each spot as we wished to. We saw cousins we had heard about but never met and visited old neighbors in Minnesota, just “dropping in,” but always being urged to spend the night, and doing so.

We wound up on the shores of Lake Superior–which to me looked like one of the oceans I had always dreamed of visiting. I remember sneaking out at night to collect water and sand from the lake in an empty prescription container—the rush of the waves dashing against the rocks, the blanket of stars overhead, that smell of freedom I had been longing to experience my entire life. It would be eight years more before I actually saw an ocean and at that time I would spend four months on it, sailing around the world. My parents thought it would solve my fernweh, but little did they know. The minute I graduated from college, I was off again.. to Australia, and then to parts more wild for four long years before finally returning home.

Life is complex and I have found that I am rarely able to predict what will happen next. That lust for change that has driven me my whole life to leave friends behind to explore foreign countries, to leave houses and careers I’ve spent years building to take off for the great unknown—that need to be the stranger and to face situations I have been in no way prepared for—has taken me to all but one of the seven continents. It is as though those yearnings for strangeness and change were errant hairs that needed to be vellicated and travel was the only way in which to pluck them.

So how does a person like me deal with the forced isolation that the coronavirus has foisted upon us all? Strangely enough, it has alleviated a guilt that has been creeping up on me for the past few years—a strange feeling of contentment regarding where I am and what I am doing. I am taking an intense pleasure in my own back yard, instigating changes in my house and garden that I’ve been too busy to attend to in my past years of going here and there. I am sorting through pictures of past travel, reading disks from long-dead computers that chronicle the adventures of long ago. I am starting to dread trips away from home, to enjoy days where I see no one, go nowhere. In taking off for longer trips inwards, I am perhaps growing into myself, seeking satisfaction there, perhaps because it is a richer place to be because of a lifetime of venturing out.

Heading out into the Timor Sea on a WWII tank barge, 1973

Film Legend

Film Legend

Once I was unstoppable, but now my moves are tentative.
My tones once sweet and wheedling have now turned argumentative.
My salad days gone limp, “cute as a penny” turned to brass,
people take as vitriol what once they saw as sass.
My image has been shattered. When I look in the mirror,
I prefer to view me far away instead of standing nearer.
I once was an ingenue with all the roles I wanted.
I faced the cameras brazenly, unfiltered and undaunted.
But now I find the only lenses on my face
are trifocals. The cameras? Gone without a trace.

 

Prompt words today are brass, tentative, unstoppable, benefit and shattered. Photos from Unsplash and other free sites.

Fallen Star

Fallen Star

Is it love or obligation? I am driven to inquire.
It’s the sort of information that I’m not going to acquire
unless I ask you bluntly. He’s a noxious sort of fellow—
shriveled-up and cranky, and his fingernails are yellow!

He’s a worn-out western movie star, but  I swear his past
is not the sort of glamor that’s been shown to last.
Marry a guy for former fame? My dear, it isn’t groovy.
If you want to see him at his best, may I suggest a movie?

Prompts today are shrivel, acquire, obligation, noxious and western. Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash. Used with permission.

Mixed Bag


Mixed Bag

The gleam of ruby slippers, the taste of Jujy Fruit—
sensations of our youth that aging can’t refute.
Obliged to eat our green beans, jelly-roll came after.
Midnight loneliness gave way to breakfast table laughter.
Good and bad mixed up in each. The freedom of old age
compared to flexibility of youth? It’s hard to gauge.

Red wine or hot cocoa, a warm cat on your lap,
nodding off in hammocks versus a daily nap
prescribed by Mom no matter how unsleepy you might be.
Whether you sit under or climb the cherry tree.
All your life lived here in this same small town,
morphing from baptismal to your wedding gown.

Eight years old or eighty, good times follow strife.
All of them together making up a life.

Prompt words today are ruby, taste, aging, oblige and loneliness.

Unavoidable Photo Session

 

Unavoidable Photo Session

I refresh my makeup,
surrender to the camera,
and when I see the photographs,
force a quick acceptance.
I need to diet
and I am growing old.

 

Word prompts today are surrender, photograph, quick, refresh and acceptance.

The Groom Dances with Grandma

 

The Groom Dances with Grandma

She struggles to keep time as they circle ’round the floor,
her flushed face with its rosy hues signaling “no more!”
This dancing she once lived for has come to be a task,
whereas the problem once was whether any boy would ask.

Standing in the wallflower line, wishing for a fella,
whereas sixty years later, a chair and an umbrella
would serve to meet her wishes, for this dancing in the sun
at her grandson’s wedding has turned out to be no fun.

What she needs in her dotage is not cognate with the dreams
of those age fifteen fantasies that burst her at the seams,
spilling out her future hopes, sure they’d be the same—
that there would be no change of rules in this living game.

Memories of graceful maneuvers through the night
remembered at one’s leisure are a pure delight.
Yet all those youthful dreams of blithely swirling ’round the floor
have matured into her fantasies of sneaking out the door.

Word prompts for today are rosy hues, circle, dancing, cognate and umbrella. Image by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash, used with permission.

 

Childhood Games Revisited: NaPoWriMo Day 1

Childhood Games Revisited

Hide and seek, hide and seek.
I set them down and then I peek
here and there, in purse and pocket.
Find my keys and grandma’s locket
but I do not find my glasses
even after countless passes
over tables, desks and floors.
Opening cupboards, searching drawers.
My life is like that childhood game,
but it’s hardly just the same,
For unlike others seeking me,
what I’m seeking I cannot see.

 

The first NaPoWriMo prompt this year is to write a poem wherein our life is described in terms of a metaphor that is an action. I am comparing my life to playing hide and seek. More literal than figurative, I fear.

(If you’re not familiar, NaPoWriMo – the National Poetry Writing Month – happens every April, an offshoot of NaNoWriMo. Back in 2013 I joined the movement, and I’ve been writing poems daily ever since. If you’re curious, HERE is my first NaPoWriMo poem!)