At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mine Eyes...

...have seen the glory of a great many things.

They surely have. Not with great acuity, mind you. Being astigmatic, my perspective was always a bit skewed. I view that as a positive. The list of glories witnessed could extend for line upon line, page upon page, volume after volume with no end in sight.

These grey-green, yellow-flecked orbs of mine have served me well. But we’ve reached the end of the line.

Got meself a new pair of glasses today. Not that they’ll do me much good. Got me the news today, too, that my cataracts will keep me seeing double, in an ever-darkening fog forever after. But I didn’t wail like a baby the way I did some decades ago when I first learned I needed bifocals. I wasn’t prepared to handle decrepitude...then. I’ve come to understand decrepitude much better since. We’ve even bonded a bit.

Even so, today’s news gives me pause. Here’s a wee bit more of me needing to be excised. More body parts to be discarded. I’ve really no alternative. Cataracts, in some eyes, result in haloed vision. Heck, if every face I saw was bathed in halo, I’d welcome the experience. But my cataracts aren’t remotely that creative. I merely see blurs doubled.

I gots me new glasses, but I gots me appointments to make, surgeries to schedule and paperwork galore to examine via a magnifying glass. I gotta do what I gotta do in order to see the world as I once saw it:


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sand and Water

Dear friend, Fiona, nudged my heart towards this song in her comment to my previous post (even provided the lyrics, she did).

As luck would have it, here's a live recording of Beth Nielsen Chapman performing this song...a song she wrote after her husband passed away.

As "luck" would have it, it struck a nerve for reasons I shelter from view.

Sorrow, at times, is best felt...unexpressed.

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I cut my hair today. Quite short.

Donated the tired, silvered strands to "Locks of Love"

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Dust I Was...

Dust I shall become.

The days grow shorter. Here, on the prairie, one can see and feel the change. The corn that stood sky high a week ago is making acquaintance with the reaper. In the coming weeks, all the fields will morph to stubble. Redwing blackbirds that, eye blinks ago, voiced their opprobrium at my presence, the very same birds that dive-bombed me hurling insults, no longer care as I pedal by. Their fledglings have found their wings. Parenting duties fulfilled, they’ve taken to harassing hawks high in the sky. More for sport than survival, it seems.

The nights are cooler now. Windows flung open, I hear coyotes howl. Do they greet the autumn or mourn the end of summer?

The air is different. Some mornings, I’m blinded by the slanting sun. The sweat-soaked grit on my legs is no longer nurturing loam. I now sport detritus. The cycle of seed to sprout, sprout to fulgent growth, bows proudly at the curtain call.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stumbling in the Dark

I spent a morning with my (ex) Mother-In-Law last week. It was, as always, an emotional experience.

Her stroke has robbed her of voice and mobility. My divorce from her daughter envelops us in a dark cloud. The hearts at the heart of things struggle for expression.

I sat with her and talked. It wasn’t (couldn’t be) a conversation. It was a soliloquy on my part, met with smiles and nods and little more on hers. She does as best she can.

All the while, there was that dark cloud.

And, all the while, I wished I could bare my heart...answer all the un-voiced questions.

That’s kinda how things end, it seems, all too often. I wasn’t at my Father’s side when he breathed his last. My Mother and I had been estranged throughout my lifetime. When our hearts finally melted into each other (and they did), they did so silently. Alzheimer’s robbed us both.

So, there I sat, holding the hand of a woman whom I loved fervently, not knowing what she truly thought or felt about this miscreant who had brought so much pain to her family.

I wish I could explain the loss and the pain. How I loved her daughter and her family. How much I grieve that we are fated to be the sum total of our personal experience. In my case, I grew to be a man dedicated to serving authority, serving others, sacrificing too much of my soul for my own good, thereby serving my wife poorly. Those impulses carried me far in my career...but carried me ever farther from her love.

And I would have her know that her daughter truly once was the love of my life. For she is a fine person, but she grew to be a woman dedicated to hearth and home, family and friends, in ways that carried her ever farther from my love.

I grieve for all that. I grieve that we come to be who we are as a consequence of influences both noble and crass. That we each are the embodiment of laughter and tears, untold sorrows and sweet dreams. I wish I could explain how, despite our best intentions, we, too often, find ourselves stumbling in the dark. Trying to do right, trying as best we can, yet failing and falling even so. We light candles, yes, as we upend tables and chairs, stub our toes and lose ourselves in darkness. Those candles have their place, they surely do, but it takes a whole lot more to become enlightened.

There’s so much to be said that will never be said.

I told her I loved her and left her with a kiss.

But I can’t shake the melancholy.

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