art lives in the flesh
holds riddles, true colors show
Calder painted planes
-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, May 31st, 2008
Posted in Art, Haiku, Photography, Place, Poetry, Practice, Secrets, tagged Alexander Calder, Calder's Braniff work, Milwaukee Art Museum, planes, Red Black Blue, The Lost Calder Files, the practice of haiku on May 31, 2008 | 4 Comments »
art lives in the flesh
holds riddles, true colors show
Calder painted planes
-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, May 31st, 2008
Posted in Bodies Of Water, Body, Bones, Culture, Death, Great Places To Write, Growing Older, Haiku, Home, Life, Nature, Obituaries & Epitaphs, On the Road, Personal, Photography, Place, Poetry, Practice, Relationships, Silence, Skies, Spirituality, Structure, Wake Up, tagged community as witness, expect the unexpected, funerals, graves, Great Lakes, honoring the dead, Lake Michigan, letting go, matriarchs, pensive days, rest in peace, The Grandmothers, Wisconsin, writing community, writing retreats on May 30, 2008 | 39 Comments »
Letting Go, funeral pyre on Lake Michigan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
It’s one of those gray days in Minneapolis. A storm kicked up her heels last night, a gale force blowing through my dreams. Mr. StripeyPants is draped over a soft brown blanket next to me on the couch. I grabbed my small red greenroom eco notebook of haiku. There they were — the scratched syllables of a day on Lake Michigan.
I looked at the photographs from the writing retreat a few weekends ago. The funeral pyre popped out at me. After we arrived at the little cabins in Wisconsin, we learned that the matriarch of the family-owned business had passed away earlier in the week. She was in her 90′s.
The family gathered to pay their respects. And when we walked on the beach that morning, we passed a tall wooden spire, a testament to her memory. At lunch, an adolescent boy in a black suit paced the pine needles next to our cabin, crumpled paper in hand. He glanced down to the page, out over the blooming tulips, then, lips moving, back to the page.
After dinner, and a day of silence and writing, we looked out the picture window to see the funeral pyre burning. Moths to the flame, we could not help but step out to the porch. We talked quietly among ourselves, but mostly, we stood still and watched. Bearing witness.
It was humbling. In a few minutes, it started to rain. At the same time, a gust of wind burst through the skirts of the white pines and blew out to sea.
Then, complete stillness.
Later in the evening, we were chatting by the fire, and what sounded like gunshots echoed across the beach grass. Fireworks. That’s the way I want to go out. A gangly fire on the beach. Wind blowing my ashes out to sea. Rain to quench my thirst. Giant starbursts in a Full Moon sky.
That Saturday, I wrote these haiku. And to the matriarch — though I did not know you, I know The Grandmothers. And for a few days, I knew the place you called home. Rest in peace.
standing in the sun
waves crashing all around me
pale face, flushed and hot
puffy cirrus clouds
spread cream cheese over the land
gulls dive for crayfish
summer’s in the wind
the moon fell into the lake
waves gently roll back
in a giant concave bowl
anchor beach grasses
sun’s reflection glares
afraid of my own dark thoughts
dead fish rolls to shore
monkey mind is fierce
I don’t know what I’m doing
morning turns and breaks
funeral pyre burns
wind gusting across the lake
all eyes were watching
of that kind of letting go
not for me to know
On The Beach, To The Wind, Phoenix, Lake Michigan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
-posted on red Ravine, Friday, May 30th, 2008
Posted in Culture, Fiction, Laughing, Life, On the Road, Photography, Place, Word Of The Day, tagged Espanola NM, grocery stores, humor, imaginary conversations, New Mexico, oxymorons, photographing signs, small towns, superettes on May 27, 2008 | 32 Comments »
What should we name the store?
Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this. How about … “VALLEY SUPERMARKET”?
SUPERmarket?? It’s not a supermarket. Smith’s in Taos is a supermarket. Albertsons in Santa Fe is a supermarket.
No, no, no, wait a second. This is big, man, this is huge. Our store is gonna be the biggest one this town has seen. It’s a supermarket, man.
Dude, truth in advertising. We can’t call it something it’s not!
Oh, and what do you think it is… a mini-mart??
Exactly! “Valley Mini-Mart.”
Give me a break! We’re gonna stock, what?, six brands of bread! Circle K doesn’t stock six brands of bread…7/11 probably carries two.
Well, I’m not gonna call it a supermarket. Just ain’t gonna happen.
Well, it ain’t no mini-mart, that’s for sure.
OK, wait, we can make this work. Come on, we’ve gotten this far, haven’t we? Surely we can come up with something that satisfies both of us.
Yeah, you’re right. We’ll figure it out. We always do. Come on, man, I’ll buy you a Coke at the Gas-A-Mat and we can think about it some more.
Posted in Animals & Critters, Family, Fotoblog, Gratitude, Personal, Photography, tagged images of pugs, love of animals, pug ailments, pug behavior, pug diet, pug dogs, pug health problems, pug illness, pug personality, pug pictures, pug stomach, pug stomach problems, pug stories, pug surgery, pug vomiting, pug won't quit vomiting, pugnacious, pugs and pecans, sick pugs, Sony the pug on May 25, 2008 | 44 Comments »
It turns out that 12-month-old Sony had one lodged in her intestine, which the Vet (my new heroine) found when she went in and opened up our little pug’s stomach this afternoon. The pecan, it seems, blocked food and liquid from passing through her stomach, causing it to swell up like a balloon.
She’s not out of the woods yet, although my-heroine-the-Vet said that Sony was awake and alert right after the operation. Medical folk will be at the animal hospital around the clock tonight, and tomorrow evening they’ll try to feed her something. If all goes well, we’ll pick her up on Tuesday.
Whew. What a relief.
I was worried they’d cut her open and find nothing. At least now we know what caused Sony to get gradually sick over these past two weeks until she finally reached the point this morning of not being able to keep anything down. Poor baby. We decided to take her in when we noticed her stomach had expanded so much that her left leg was starting to stick out and she could hardly lie down.
We’ve tried to “Sony-proof” our house, with mixed results. Every now and then I catch her trying to swallow a rubber band or eat the stuffing out of a toy. About two or so weeks ago I caught her outside with a pecan in her mouth. I got it away from her, and if my memory serves me correctly, threw it way out of reach — or so I thought! Little did I know.
From here on out, we’re going to be way more vigilent when Sony is outside. This isn’t the first time she’s had to be rushed to the Vet because she ate something discovered while snorting around under the old trees. She’s just not an outdoor dog. Which is too bad, because she love-love-loves being outside with her big bros.
***UPDATE*** — Sony is safely esconced at home, currently lying in her snuggly fleece bed. Her face is thin, her eyes alarmingly protruding. But she is good ol’ silly-sly-huggable-lovable-snuffaloffagus-nutty Sony.
Posted in 13 Moons, Bodies Of Water, Body, Bones, Personal, Photography, Place, Practice, Seasons, Skies, Writing Practices, tagged Blossom Moon, changing seasons, gardens, May full moon, moon over Lake Michigan, Planting Moon, spring in Minnesota, the practice of writing, writing about the moon on May 25, 2008 | 10 Comments »
Blossom Moon, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, May 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
The May Blossom Moon rose quietly over Lake Michigan. Saturday night, she dodged high cirrus clouds and streaks of intermittent rain. Sunday she was more sure of herself, dressed in pale yellow with a silvery sheen on glacial tides. Does the Moon pull the tides across the Great Lakes? I think she does.
The Chippewa and Ojibway called May’s moon, Blossom Moon. The Eastern Cherokee, the Planting Moon. The Farmers’ Almanac blends into Flower Moon. In some climates, blossoms are slower to the surface than others. Spring arrives in southern New Mexico or east central Georgia much quicker than it does to parts of the Midwest or Minnesota.
There are moon references to shedding horses from the Sioux and the Northern Arapaho – When the Ponies Shed Their Shaggy Hair. That reminds me of a horsehair carriage blanket I inherited from my Aunt Cassie. I had it hanging on the wall for a time in Missoula. The horsehair served as a lapwarmer.
I was surprised at how stiff and coarse the blanket was. How did they weave it together? With white-knuckled fingers, long needles, and bleeding fingertips? Two artists in the Casket Arts Building are working with horsehair in their art. One has incorporated it into an oil painting. The other, as hair sprouting from a clay-fired face.
Yesterday, I walked in our small gardens. The bleeding heart bells are in full white regalia. The day lily greens rose a foot over the weekend I was in Wisconsin. Four of the rosebushes we transplanted late last year show signs of life. We lost three of them. Not bad odds.
We lost the bush clover. The deer ate it last year when we transplanted it down by the lilac bush. So Liz dug it up and nursed it back to life in a planter on the deck. At the end of the season, we transplanted it again and put a wire cage around it from the Garden Lady across the street. We were sad when it didn’t make it. Why? Too little water or rain? Or was it the clay-like earth in the spot where we planted it.
The strawberries we moved to the sunny rock garden hill are wild and flowering. I couldn’t see the moon last night. I think we are into the New Moon phase now. Blossom Moon was full last Monday. Sunday night, we all walked down to the beach to take a closer look at her full moon skin. You could hear the lake tide lapping the shore. The remains of Maurine’s funeral pyre rested on the sand. There was a light wind.
I took a few shots without a tripod. I never know if they will come out. Handheld night shots are risky. But I wanted to capture the energy — the Full Blossom Moon sinking into the lake. She floats on top for a time, mesmerizing me, making me want to dive into the light. But the Mermaids know better. Never fall headfirst into the Siren’s call.
posted on red Ravine, Sunday, May 25th, 2008
Olives, I prefer the ones with pits. Not California, but the real ones, the ones that haven’t been sanitized for an American audience.
Olives, of the twisted-gnarly-tree variety, and I love olive trees, too, they can live to well over a thousand years. I saw the olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, and who knows whose hands have touched that trunk. Trunk upon trunk, so thick, so multilayered, it recalls patterns. Rows of headstones, rings of water from a drop. A cumulus cloud tucked inside another inside another.
Mom is picky, Dad eats anything. Where did they get their sensibilities when it comes to food, and did I get mine from them?
Texture is my main care. Don’t like most shellfish, don’t like the thought of calamari. I like the taste, and I’ve had good calamari, good shrimp, but the thought of what I’m eating, tentacles, and that string of shrimp vein you have to take out before you cook it. That thought lodges in the back of my left lobe, and it’s as if it’s in my throat, that thought.
I used to hate steak, and even now I can’t look at my meat as I cut it. I can’t stare down a chicken wing, veins and corpuscles bother me.
My girls love chile, and I have to think that if you don’t make a big deal out of certain foods, kids won’t either. “Your girls eat chile?!” people tell me, and I don’t mean a spoonful, they love burritos smothered in red.
Olives. I love the color, olive green. I love the texture of an olive, how it’s like a meat, but the kind of meat I wish real meat could be.
Have you ever seen people who mix all their foods on their plates? I once saw a woman who wouldn’t let her mashed potatoes touch her salad greens. She was not into gravy.
Last night I ate a salad to die for, mixed greens tossed in a lemon-anchovy dressing, grated Parmesan and grilled asparagus on top.
Good food, food prepared well, is a blessing, a rainbow, a mist, sunlight after dark clouds, a primrose at evening. Good food, food prepared with a present mind, loving intention, none of it tastes bad, and I can put aside my food eccentricities for a well-cooked meal.
My favorite foods are strong, not bland. Thai anything, spicy tuna rolls, good red chile, pickled-with-vinegar. I wonder what my cravings say about my yin and yang. Surely one of them is out of whack.
-from Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – OLIVES
Posted in 25 Things, Culture, Food, Personal, Practice, Secrets, Topic Writing, Writing Practices, tagged food and culture, food aversions, food people hate, olives, Southern cooking, writing about food on May 23, 2008 | 8 Comments »
I’m not a big fan of olives. The historical and biblical references to the olive are more engaging to me than the food itself. I don’t like stinky cheese either. And what about pickle juice? I don’t drink it. But it’s the secret ingredient in my potato salad. I make it the Southern way: lots of mayo (in my case Miracle Whip), celery, eggs, pickles, salt, pepper, oregano, sage, and whatever other spices I grab from the rack. And then, that ½ cup (give or take a little) of sweet pickle juice.
I’ve noticed that sweet is a basic theme in Southern cooking. At least the Southern cooking I grew up on. I had barbecue ribs from Missouri last weekend at a writing retreat. They were delicious. But the one thing I noticed is that they weren’t as sweet as the tangy-sweet sauce I find on the ribs when I go Down South. And in the South, pork is the other white meat. Pork barbecue is a staple.
I wonder what it is about sweet and the South? Why are the foods and drinks laced with sugar? I’m a sugar fan, even though it’s not supposed to be that good for you. When I am eating healthier, I don’t consume as much sugar. But I always allow for it in my diet, lest I feel deprived. The sugar in sweet pickle juice is what makes potato salad sing.
I don’t like the raw onions in German potato salad. Or the way the taste is dull and lifeless to the palate. I like a little zing. One writer last weekend said she used to eat raw onions, just like eating an apple. I can’t stand them. They give me indigestion. I do like them cooked in spaghetti sauce, or any kind of red sauce. I don’t like mushrooms. Too rubbery. Maybe it’s texture that drives food likes and dislikes.
Back to olives. I have strayed. I only remember them edging our plates at Holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas. They were not staples of our diet growing up. At the Holidays there was always a relish tray filled with celery, sweet pickles, deviled eggs (which I love and have on occasion added a bit of pickle juice to the filling), sliced carrots, pickled beets, and radishes. The variety added color and spice to the family feast.
I wish I could say I ate a lot of vegetables but they seem seasonal to me. I crave vegetables in the Spring and Summer. Fall I like baked squash. Winters, I go for hot and heavy stews.
We had a discussion last weekend about peanut butter. It came later in the night (when the silence was lifted), after we had done a 10 minute morning write on Everything I Know About Peanut Butter. I think I was the one that threw the Writing Topic into the bowl. We all scribbled down Topics on ripped strips of paper, folded them, and dropped them into the bowl. At the end of the retreat, we were reminiscing about all the Topics we didn’t get to write about.
Peanut butter, I like the Skippy Super Crunch, Lowfat, with lots of chunks of nuts. Others preferred health food peanut butter or only smooth. I was amazed at the different tastes people had when it came to peanut butter varieties. We used to have peanut butter and banana and mayo sandwiches as kids. I liked them. But my younger brothers liked them more. It seems like a strange combination. But try it sometime. The vinegar in the mayo mixes just right with the sweetness of banana. And then the peanut butter glues the whole thing together.
I don’t like any of the foods on the strange list in this Topic. No fake banana. No prune juice. No black licorice. No SPAM. People are shocked when I say I don’t like guacamole. It seems like everyone likes guacamole. What’s so special about the meat of a dense, lime green, tasteless tropical fruit like the pear-shaped avocado, mashed up into a dip with raw onions? The texture and taste do not appeal to my sensibilities. I’m never going to get it.
-posted on red Ravine, Friday, May 23rd, 2008
-from Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – OLIVES
Posted in Animals & Critters, Family, Home, Life, Money, Nature, Personal, Photography, Relationships, Things That Fly, tagged box turtles, garage sales, good luck, horses, hummingbirds, love of animals on May 20, 2008 | 36 Comments »
This weekend Jim rescued a hummingbird that got stuck in our potting shed. It flew into an open door then couldn’t find its way out. Just as it seemed to be on the verge of exhaustion from flitting this way and that, bumping windows and ceiling, Jim caught the bird and set it free. Jim has a way with hummingbirds.
Up until starting this blog, I never realized how big a role animals play in our daily lives. We’re not the kind of people who I think of when I think about the term “animal lovers” — horse people or dog rescuers — yet we constantly interact with all manner of critters.
Now that we’re outdoors almost every day, we come across crawdads and fish in the ditches, mating mallards that frolick in the irrigated fields (we call one couple “The Ortegas”), and box turtles lumbering about.
I used to love animals as a child. I remember one time walking around the yard with my eyes trained on the grass, looking for any living creature. I came across a dead bird, featherless and scrawny, that had tumbled out of its nest in the sycamore tree. I picked up the bird, cried while I dug a little grave, cried while I lay the little body into the hole, cried as I piled the dirt back over it.
I can see that same, almost unbearable animal love inside my daughters. The way they cry at the cruelty that invariably crops up in nature programs on TV, or how when they’re outside playing they’ll stop in their tracks if they see a dead lizard. They crouch around the body, gently prod to see if they can revive the poor lifeless thing, then get to the work of burying.
Horses are tricky. They’re so big, and the relationship we humans have with them is really special. That point hit me on Sunday during a community horse show in which Dee and her horse participated.
Dooley is about the most gentle, “unflusterable” one-ton creature you can find. He even makes the hippophobic klutz (i.e., me) look good. Something about his sad eyes or the way he patiently lets Dee flop all over him — you can’t help but fall for him head over heels.
I watched his graceful giant body lope with my daughter poised just as gracefully atop his back. I truly hold these two, and especially Dee, in awe. A part of me wishes I could move like that, trust like that, have had that kind of mastery over something when I was that young.
One last tidbit from the weekend. On Saturday my parents had a garage sale. It’s an annual event where the whole neighborhood participates. Throngs of buyers come and walk from house to house looking for deals.
My sister and her friend brought the bulk of items to sell at Mom and Dad’s house. I rummaged through all my stuff and found exactly five things I wanted to get rid of: three pairs of shoes, a black purse, and a lamp. I laid out my five items among my sister’s and her friend’s goods, then set off to see what other neighbors had to offer. Right away I found a mid-century modern chair in chartreuse vinyl, perfect for sitting in a spot of sun and reading. I bought it.
My lamp sold immediately. One woman almost bought one pair of shoes but suddenly ran off to catch her infant son, who was about to walk into a low juniper bush. Three people examined the purse before placing it back with the other items.
At noon, we shut down. We piled everything that didn’t sell back into bags and prepared to haul them off to a neighbor who holds everything for a local charity. Em asked if she could have my black purse.
“Sure,” I told her.
Within minutes of taking possession, Em came running to me with five bills.
In her hand were two $100 American Express travelers cheques and three for $20. Two-hundred sixty dollars worth of travelers cheques that I had misplaced in 2003 after a trip to China and India. Back then I had looked everywhere for the darned things and concluded that they were gone for good. They were the kind that never expire.
Lucky weekend. Lucky, and blessed.
Last night for dinner I made Pasta Puttanesca. This is a basic Italian dish with not-so-basic ingredients: garlic, capers, gaetta olives, and anchovies. Yum.
What? Not yum? You don’t like anchovies? No capers? Olives? Not even OLIVES!?!
OK, some people don’t like olives. Or, if they like olives, they only like California pitted olives, the kind you can stick on each finger and eat off, one by one.
Olives are one of my favorite foods, after watermelon and white rice and Greek strained yogurt. Oh, and coffee. But if you don’t like olives, I understand. I don’t like shrimp. The texture is like rubber.
According to this blog, the “top five food items people almost unanimously hate” are:
Olives didn’t make the list, although anchovies did. If you’re among the “almost unanimous” food haters, you can make Pasta Puttanesca without the hairy little fish. But don’t leave out the olives.
Apparently, a lot of people like olives. Just ask the marketing folks at Swank Martini. Some people even use olive brine to make martinis. Which is a little like the adult version of what my kids do, which is drink pickle juice.
What about you? Do you like olives? Green or black?
Do you sometimes wonder what to do with pit after you eat an olive? Have you ever dropped one in a potted plant while at a cocktail party? (If you answered “yes” to that question, chances are you’ve stuck a piece of ABC gum under a chair at least once in your life.)
Write about olives. What memories do the bitter little fruits evoke? At family gatherings, was there always a stick of salami, olives, pickled cauliflower, stinky blue cheese, and Saltine crackers? (If so, are you my cousin?)
Pungent foods, and especially those that are also basic and symbolic, often create pungent memories. So if you don’t have much to say about olives, write about some other sharp, zesty food that you’ve eaten through the years. Write about jalapeños. Or write about your least favorite food.
In any case, you know the rules. Fifteen minutes, keep the pen moving, don’t cross out, don’t stop to think. Everything I know about olives…. Everything.
Do you ever look at your animals and wonder what’s going on inside their heads? I do, especially with our dogs. Usually I think they’re either blissed-out happy or totally miserable. It’s almost always the former, but every so often, like when they’re covered in mud or have just rolled in something disgusting and it’s damp outside and I won’t let them in — then they’re miserable.
But with a snake, it’s not the same. You don’t look at a snake and say to it in a squeaky voice, “Hi, little Baby, are you happy I gave you that rat?” Most of the times I look at her, I wonder if she’s awake. Sometimes I even touch her skin to make sure she’s alive. On a very rare occasion, she hisses at me. She shakes her tail violently as if she were a rattlesnake, which, apparently, is one of the ways bullsnakes protect themselves.
What I’m trying to say is, I don’t normally anthropomorphize my snake. Remember the turkeys and the post I did where I imagined what they were thinking as they stared at us through the windows? Later I pretended they were The Amazing Turkeys Wallenda, and another time I put words to what they were thinking as they greeted me coming up the drive. I loved making fun of them.
But our pet bullsnake is the one animal I’ve taken at face value. That is, until today.
Today I looked at the photos I took of Baby on that day she was so active, and there it was, calling out to me. Not all of them, but one here, another there:
Can ya scratch my chin, right there, under my right fang.
Are you my mom????
Peekaboo. I see you.
I don’t want to go there. Baby has dignity. Not that turkeys don’t, but Baby’s a special case. She defies being made into a goofball.
I’m not sure what to do about it. The silly side of me wants to break loose. Ah, what will Baby care? She’s a snake. She has no feelings.
The other side, though, stares into those steely eyes and realizes that I’m the only one who will look the fool if I dare try to penetrate her inner snake.
Posted in Art, Haiku, Photography, Place, Poetry, Practice, Seasons, Skies, Structure, tagged Alexander Calder, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, spring in Minnesota, the practice of haiku, The Spinner, Walker Art Center on May 11, 2008 | 5 Comments »
Spinner, 1966, sculpture by Alexander Calder, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden near the Walker Art Center, May 2008, Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
blue Midwestern spring
Calder’s spinner bobs and weaves
dancing with the wind
-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, May 11th, 2008
-related to post, haiku (one-a-day)
Posted in Body, Bones, Essay, Growing Older, Life, Practice, Seasons, Wake Up, tagged aging, Bob Chrisman, red Ravine Guests, the process of aging, writing about growing older on May 9, 2008 | 35 Comments »
By Bob Chrisman
Last fall, determined to catch the color changes in the leaves, I watched them turn from green to yellow, orange, and red. I would sit on the window seat in the front room and write about the colors.
One day…suddenly it seemed…the leaves had all turned. When did it happen? I had been watching everyday.
I sat in the window seat even more determined to watch the leaves fall. Occasionally a leaf would let go of the branch and float to the ground to join other leaves. I didn’t remember all of those leaves on the ground yesterday. Did they fall during the night so no one would realize that winter waited around the corner?
One morning I looked out and found that almost all of the leaves lay in yards and in the street. Again I had missed the time it happened.
Growing older has worked just like that. One day I noticed a gray hair. The next day a whole head of gray hair greeted me as I looked in the bathroom mirror. A single wrinkle on my forehead disappeared among the many lines that developed overnight. My varicose vein on my right thigh became a veritable road map of veins. My waistline doubled in size.
I felt old, but only in my body. Then older crept into my mind.
A few months before I retired, an employee appeared in my office. “Great music. Who is it?”
“Soooooooo? Is she from your generation?” My generation? I recoiled at the idea that I had joined a generation.
“Don’t you remember ‘Downtown’? ‘The Other Man’s Grass is Always Greener’?” I searched my mind for other titles.
She put her hands on her hips. “No, I don’t know her. And don’t you dare ask me where I was when John Kennedy was assassinated. I wasn’t even born yet.”
Thus I came to the knowledge that many of my cultural references meant nothing to a lot of the people who worked with me. I had grown old.
I never thought I would live past 40, but that birthday came and went. Turning 50 changed the way I viewed myself. No longer young, middle age had overtaken me. I celebrated the 56th anniversary of my birth last Saturday. I may live to see 60.
I am older.
But, you know what? I like it. Despite the aches in my joints when the weather turns damp and cool like today, not feeling like a part of the current culture frees me to do what I want to do without worrying about what other people will think of me. Maybe this “getting older” thing will free me from most of my inhibitions.
The rules have changed. I am old and can do what I want with my life. I don’t have family to account to. My friends won’t be surprised by what I do (well, most of them won’t).
Because I am older, I know now that I have a very short time to live. I must get on with my life’s purpose (whatever that may be), not because I’m desperate, but because I want to do the things I came to do. I want to live each moment regardless of how many I may have left.
Older has become the sand rushing downward through the neck of the hour glass. Older has restored the preciousness of this life. Older is what I am right now.
Bob Chrisman is a Kansas City, Missouri writer whose piece Hands, about his mother’s hands, appeared last month on red Ravine. Growing Older is based on a writing practice that Bob did on WRITING TOPIC – GROWING OLDER.