Tuesday, 11 April 2017

GROWING OLD



Canisbay lake, Algonquin Provincial Park      Pen & Ink Sketch    2017
Growing old, aging, it happens to all of us if you should live long enough. Some, a lucky minority, it would seem actually get to enjoy the so called "Golden Years". Instead, most of us will experience something less than enjoyable, and will sit in long lines waiting to be pricked, prodded, or scanned being examined for existing disease, and failing body parts.

Musical Chairs

Surrounded by silence,
I remember.
The memory,
it just popped into my head,
completely out of the blue. 
Triggered,
no doubt,
by the cloying cooking smells
clinging to the clothing of my companions
on our weekly quest. 
The odour reminds me of my grandmother’s boiled chicken, 
with dumplings. A whole chicken cut into pieces boiled in a large pot, 
and flavoured with salt and pepper.
When it was cooked she’d drop rolled out pieces of pastry dough
into the bubbling,
golden 
chicken fat gravy.

Now, fifty years later, things have changed,
and you daren’t do that, as salt is not good for you,
nor is chicken fat, 
and the lard used in the pastry will simply kill you, 
or that’s what we’re told.
One day it’s good for you,
the next day it’s not.
Do as “They” say and you will live forever. 
But, who wants to live forever?

Seated on a hard plastic chair at the clinic,
waiting for your name to be called,
is quite cerebral. I let my mind wander.
The rows of people sitting on plastic chairs reminds me of when I was young,
and we would play "musical chairs”. 
The difference now is that instead of music,
and giggling children,
I’m surrounded by old folk,
like me,
with pain etched faces,
staring blankly at nothing,
minds addled by drugs,
waiting for their weekly doctor’s assessment.

Sitting there thinking one can’t help but wonder
whether given the choice,
living longer, or living better,
what would they choose?
Death is so final, 
so frightening it seems,
that most of us choose longer
than better.
What’s that I hear? My name’s being called.
I give up my chair.

                                                             EAS 

Unhappy thoughts. Most in the Western World live in denial about aging and death, despite the fact that it's unavoidable. We'll all die, it's a fact. It's the "how" that scares the hell out of us, and forces us into denial. We avoid older persons like a plague thinking of old age as a communicable disease.


I’m Feeling Old

I walk down the street,
I’m feeling
so     
      old.

I'm invisible you see,
I’m seventy-five years old,
and told,
that I have little to offer.

Society has seen fit to stifle my being,
for being
so    
        old.

I’m seventy-five years old, 
I’m part of the past.
I’ve seen miracles happen,
that have lengthen my stay,
but shortened your future
in so many ways.

I’m sevety-five years old,
I have no future,
or so I am told, 
knowing
only the past.

Tread softly young persons,
though the future seems bright,
the past catches up
in the dawn’s early light.
                             
                                  EAS



So, there it is. I'm a bit old, tired, and achy. I've shared a lot with the readers of this blog over the past couple of years. I've encouraged, instructed, and put my feelings out there hoping that they might be helpful. But, as the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end". I'll continue to sketch and write, but mostly to amuse myself. Time to call a halt to this blog. I do hope that my efforts may have been helpful to some of you readers. Best wishes, and goodbye!


What would have happened
If I had turned left, instead of right, 
If I had run, instead of walked, 
If I had said no, instead of yes,
If I had never been born,
Would the world exist?

                EAS






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