My future is amorphous. It has no shape or plan. Up the creek without a paddle, I have no job or man. My freedom? It is ludicrous. I’m well out of the chase. All my time is leisure time. I live a slower pace. Who named this phase re-tirement? There’s nothing that is tiring. If they want to tire me out again, they’d best replace my wiring.
I’m tumbling backwards into silence. My words have lost their spark. When I seek enlightenment, I’m only met by dark.
When I try to pick a theme, my thoughts quickly retreat. Looking for a place to rest, they rarely find a seat.
Where do memories go to when they cannot find a door— when there’s no exit for them, and there’s no room for more?
Does our memory simply melt starting with today so the things that we remember are only yesterday?
Do we wander empty corridors or is our distant past our favorite thing to think about so they’re the thoughts that last?
I’ve been thinking a lot about dementia lately, but no, I don’t feel I’m describing myself in this poem. I am, however, trying to put myself in my sister Betty’s place to try to figure out what might be going through her mind…or what in her mind she might be going through. Certainly, we all have enough memories stored to entertain ourselves for life, and perhaps as we run out of room it is the last memories, more seldom thought of, that vanish first, leaving us with a rich inner world we are loath to leave. I hope this is true, or that we go back to a state of consciousness similar to where an infant exists before it is born, listening to the mystery of outside sounds and wondering where we are going to fit into them. Without words, are there thoughts? Unfortunately, not all mysteries are solved.
My memory’s in jeopardy of growing rather fuzzy. I can’t remember punch lines like “He wasn’t fuzzy, wuzzy?” Quips like “Betty Botter bought a bit of bitter butter” used to fly right off my tongue, but now they sit and flutter.
It’s true my thoughts surround me but they won’t assume an order. It is as though instead I have become a memory hoarder with stacks of memories piled up in my halls of memory where perhaps I could still find them—if I had the energy.
But as is, names aren’t stacked near where my face recall is kept, so when I meet acquaintances, I’m chillingly inept at sorting out the names to go with their familiar faces. This trying to put face with name sure puts me through my paces!
Somehow the very minute I recognize a face,
its name flies out the window, so I hasten up my pace to scurry ’round the corner before they might see me. It’s not my heart avoiding them. Just blame my memory!
The only reassurance in all this memory Hell is that lately I have noticed others scrambling as well, so perhaps it isn’t only me who’s exercising guile trying to avoid my friends in the grocery aisle.
Time marches on. It has no instinct to appease. It will not stop for anything. It has no need to please. Young girls who start out radiant eventually dim. Dreams that were fantastical turn nightmarish and grim. Aging is a truth of life that can’t be circumvented. It seems we do not own our lives. They simply have been rented. One day the lease will lapse on them and we’ll have to go back into the vapors to join the ebb and flow. That’s how nature plans it. We cannot break the chain. Our only hope is being recycled again.
Most of my lifetime, I’ve gone for the “zing,” Excitement and novelty were my main thing. I wrung out of life all the juice I could wring–— all the diversions existence could bring, constantly reaching out for the gold ring.
Life without change seemed pointless and dull. I wanted my life without any lull, so I greedily sucked all the fruit from its hull, finding on my own what I needed to cull— which things I should keep and which to annul.
As I fell to the ground after soaring the skies, I sorted successes from my mere tries. I learned from my tendencies to aggrandize, gave up on false dreams to follow the wise, and sometimes I managed to capture the prize.
Only now as my life has finally unwound have I gained some perspective and finally found that all those wild oats I have sown may be ground to release all the lessons so carefully bound. What is seeded in ounces may yield by the pound.
No longer is there any need to leave my house for drink or feed. Costco delivers, as does the son of one I used to join in fun to dance in bars and flirt with men, but now those times are what has been.
Now I prefer my company to what I used to do and see. I hope to circumvent all trouble By living here within my bubble. I lay out solitaire alone and socialize by screen and phone.
I’m done with yoga. Zumba is out. I do not flounce myself about. Here with myself, I pass my life sealed off from politics and strife. Though the world’s pleasures I don’t forget, I choose to turn my back on it.
Safe in my bubble, I peer out and I’m content, without a doubt. Behind these shutters and barred doors, I’m safe from robbers, rapists, wars. I let in nature, and that’s enough. It’s human nature that is too rough.