Ageless, Part 2 in Daydreaming on the Porch

  • April 18, 2021, 4:46 p.m.
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(Note: This is the follow-up to a poem I wrote 22 years ago. See the previous entry for that poem)

I

Growing old is not something
That time should allow
Because we age in our bodies
But not in our minds.
Our souls are young and eternal,
But our bodies are in mortal decay.
One lifts up the other
In a grand and exquisite dance of life,
A balancing act until the final breath.
And then what happens?
Is there the celestial light
I’ve so often heard about?

The spirit moves me to act,
To at least seek the answers
I cannot know beforehand,
For in seeking, I am knowing.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do
When we get old?
“Seek and ye shall find.”

II

I am old, but I don’t know it.
I was young, but I didn’t know it.
When you are young,
You cannot possibly know
What it means to be old.
But when you are old,
You are constantly reminded
Of who you were
When you were young.

III

But now it’s okay
That I am old.
I try to remember
What it was like to be young.
My thoughts flicker among
Age and time,
Youth and death.
I never thought of dying
(seriously, that is) when I was young.
Now it’s often,
Almost casually
In the back of my mind.
For you see, I realize my soul
Is waiting patiently for the right time
To take flight.
Will I struggle to remain here
Out of fear of the unknown?
No matter what
Earthbound mortality wants
My soul wants to be free
To be someone
Somewhere else.

IV

Life has been pain and sorrow,
joy and release.
Anguish and sadness
And happiness that dashes off
In search of itself
But doesn’t last

It’s strange, but the older
I get, the more I realize
That when I was depressed
I was most aware
Of the deepest spiritual truths
Because I knew they could save me.
And I needed to be saved from myself.
On the other hand,
When things are going well,
In harmony with life,
I then have the misplaced confidence
To indulge in what grieves my spirit
And alters the flow of life
Toward its opposite:
Death.
Why do I do this?
Because I want to
And I’m feeling strong enough
To bear the consequences.
And then I fall,
Or at least lean far back
Into regret and guilt,
But then back again into
The flow of life.
Cycles of my life.
Never ending
Until they cease.

Yin and Yang,
Good versus evil,
Light and darkness.
I think that without these conflicts
And opposites
Pulling me constantly in different directions
I would be nothing,
Blank and empty
But content enough.
God save me from myself.

V

I am old now,
But I’ve turned my suffering
Into a form of wisdom
That can never be taken from me
By others or myself,
Or by false prophets who come and go.
Wisdom remains
To weigh the words
And balance the thoughts and actions
Of others.
To look at how they are living their lives,
Through their thoughts and actions.
I’ll turn away from them when I have to.
I’ll get much closer when I need to

Despite everything,
I still chase after butterflies.
I marvel at the miracles
Of rainbows and sunsets.
I can still smile
When I hear the laughter of children.
I can dance when I am sitting,
And climb up stairs easily enough,
And walk briskly.
I can move and bend,
And sway in the wind,
And listen to the chimes
And the birds pouring forth
Such songs of pure joy
That I stop in my tracks to listen.

Spring is the time of year
When my spirit literally
Does soar.
It takes in the blades of grass,
The new green leaves
The cool fresh air
And the sparkling clear light
Of late afternoon.
It is fully alive now
And then.

So life is good in his moment
Where discouragement, depression,
Anger and self-pity
Fade slowly away.
Deep in the night comes peace,
At last.


Last updated April 19, 2021


ConnieK April 18, 2021

Much wisdom. I also liked the flow.

Lady of the Bann April 18, 2021

70 is the new 50. Now I am nearly there I am not sure it is old anymore, until I try cleaning under the bed.

Marg April 19, 2021

Well done! You made a great job of this - lot of thought went into it :) And lovely to see you in the flesh as well with the new profile pic :)

mcbee April 19, 2021

Always trying to walk briskly, keep the mind sharp and avoid that evil dementia. The fear of it always lingers as I remember great grandmother, grandmother and mother going down that path. If I can keep that fear away I find this time of life very enjoyable.

Oswego mcbee ⋅ April 19, 2021

You said it exactly. I’ve read where people fear dementia, and it’s most common and terrible manifestation, Alzheimer’s, more than cancer, even. I saw what dementia did to my mother. Her sister had it. I hope and pray we’ll be able to find a way to prevent it or stop it in its tracks.

Kristi1971 April 22, 2021

I love this so much. I'm not a fan of poetry...it's like I'm a cat being petted the wrong way. But - I really love this one. It's vivid. I can see everything about it.

Oswego Kristi1971 ⋅ April 23, 2021

Thank you so much for the kind words. I was telling someone yesterday that this poem, like the others I wrote almost 20 years ago, seemed to flow in a “stream of consciousness” sort of way from some inner place in my mind that can only be tapped when I write poetry. It takes more out of me than when I write prose essays,, so I suppose this is one reason I don’t write like this too often, in fact, hardly ever. I hope that will change, and that this poem and another posted here not too long ago, will be the first step in that direction.

Jinn April 25, 2021

❤️

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