Sunday, March 7, 2021

Being Wise Five


Christmas 2016

Being Wise Five March 7, 2021


Aging interferes with memory.

People used to admire mine.

Now I need reminding. I keep

two records, when I only need

one. If a book slips out of sight,

I can’t find it. I search my piles

of folders for class notes, student

work, miscellaneous papers I

don’t want to lose track of. But

where are they? Yet the lines

of new poems rise to the surface

My words are still there and

many memories, even if not

the ones I’m looking for. I do

pretty well on grocery lists and

remembering meal plans. My

life is simple: writing, publishing

what I’ve written; teaching, 

nudging my students to keep

after their goals, pointing out

awkward phrasing, celebrating

the completion of a book. 

Amazing that I still have

students. Once I forgot my 

class, but they were not angry.

They called to remind me. Can

love compensate for memory

loss? Sometimes, Muse Mother.

 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Being Wise Four

Being Wise Four February 28, 2021


Some days aren’t so cold. We leave

the back door open in the afternoon

for the sun to beat on the storm door.

The volunteer peach tree has buds.

Daffodils rise in the front and in the

flower garden. Inside, my small orchid

thrusts out its tiny bloom stalks.

Tomorrow March arrives. I look at

the corner where my friend sat amid

a chaotic bunching up of clothes.

The fuscia in the window keeps

throwing up its red petals. She

brought us so many sad stories

of children in despair, lost and

maybe never found. I’ve lived here

quietly, at peace, glad for what I’ve

done in my life, for the obstacles

I’ve outwitted, the miles I’ve

traveled, the people I’ve loved and

been loved by. I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Being Wise Three



Photo of Three Cliffs Baby on Gower, Wales by John Ewiing.


 Being Wise Three February 21, 2021


What is life without problems? I have mine,

and then some. I have my helpers, but

sometimes they fail, too. It’s why we like

to hear about other people’s, what makes

them stumble, protest, even despair. My 

old friend used to say: “If human beings

are involved, there is always something

you can do.” Welford Wilson comforted

me when I was down-hearted, and we’d

pick ourselves up and try again. I lost

my website for a day. Then today, to my

surprise, it returned. The email is blocking

eleven messages in my outbox. My mind

doesn’t do well on this level of technical

competence. From long practice, I’ve

learned to hang on, try new things, ask

help, give it a rest. Read a book. True,

life without problems would be dull. 

So what if the dog pees? Clean it up.

If the package is delayed, be patient.

If the order is incomplete, call and

complain. Don’t expect a perfect

life. You already knew there’s no such

thing. If people fall in love with you,

remember they can also fall out of love.

Human beings change. Rare are the

ones who accept you, foibles and all,

errors and all. Things don’t exactly

solve themselves, but sometimes

you catch a glimpse of a possible

solution. Go for it.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Being Wise Two

Being Wise Two February 14, 2021

Day after day I see the same things:
photos of my twin grandchildren when
toddlers. And my son Tim at age ten.
A sprawling orchid blooms in my
window. Finnish islands carved by
glaciers on one wall. Books and boxes
of books are everywhere. Paintings
and pictures on the walls. A few
plants here and there. The dining
table with its odds and ends, address
labels, planner, medicine, placemats,
and silverware. We eat supper 
together. Last night, soup. He had
chicken noodle, and I had vegan–braised
vegetables. A CD player lives under
the lively orchid, and a long-stemmed,
vibrant plant throws itself around the
computer table seeking light and
recognition. The email today brought
me another order of Baba Summer Two,
newly arrived in one big box and two
small boxes. Because of the window,
this corner is cold. But I wear many
layers, and a blanket over my legs.
Clutter dominates my household,
and too many books. Tim builds a
fire with wood Janet brought. She’s
always a step ahead of me. She
worries I’ll get cold. Lately we have
rain, wind, and low thirties, but sun
will return. Out the back window
I can see my hens and their guard
dog rooster running to the orchard
and back. Under my desk, a chaotic
pile of receipts saved for filing with
my taxes. My body still lives and
thrives. I sleep when I don’t want
to sleep, and stay awake when I
want to sleep. My dreams are
coming true, despite setbacks and
delays. I suffer patience and humility.<

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Being Wise One

Being Wise One February 7, 2021 These days, these years are like no others. The virus confines us, yet we flourish. I make lasagna, pizza, spaghetti and tacos, fresh bread, lemon ginger tea. Janet and I plan a vegetable garden. We already have the seeds, and the onion sets are in the ground. We have the vaccine, too, now. I get my second shot in fifteen days. I still teach by Skype and publish books. One shipment in and one to wait for. Another already in the works. We have a new, sane president, but the last one left poison behind, still unresolved. Good and evil remain at war. Good will win but slowly. We’re told relief is coming, and more vaccine. Meantime, millions are without work or rent or food money. The numbers stay high of the sick and the dead. It’s time to throw away the bouquet that lived two weeks, to work harder to walk better. In my own way to tell the story of this year, its joys and sorrows, its newly learned patience and acceptance.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Talking to Myself Sixty

Talking to Myself Sixty January31, 2021 At this age--eighty-three--I think about the rest of my life. How many more years? I'll never know, but is it important? Probably not.Good things keep happening.. I woke up shivering, but I managed to cocoon myself and sleep another hour Taking off my covers feels risky, but I take the risk, add my serape to my costume for keeping warm, then my blanket. Toast and tea help. Outside snow is falling, the weather page tells me, and it won't get above 34. I'll make bread today and read a favorite author,heat the left over pizza, and Tim will start the woodstove earlier than ususal. Today matters. Each day brings a new surprise. My seventh grade boyfriend calls me up. His wife has dementia and he's depresed., but we laugh. My therapist' of the 80s to whom I dedicated my obook about teeens, writes to thank me and signs her letter "fondly." We're starting a vegetable garden. Janet has already planted onions and garlic and is readying rows for sugae snap peas. It will stay cold today, but we have wood and fire-starters, plenty of lemon grass tea.By suppertine we'll have fresh bread. I'll read the author I love best., walk indoors, make notes in my diary,laugh at Tim's Southern accent drink more hot tea and remember to enjoy each day's new surprises in a warm home.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Talking to Myself Fifty-Nine

Talking to Myself Fifty-Nine January 24, 2021 Once I held a songfest with a blue grosbeak at six in the morning. I sang, “Where are you?” and he sang, “I’m over here.” “I see you,” I’d call, and he’d reply, “I see you, too,” then fly away before my eyes with his mate. We were at the dam, No one else around. Now he is my screen-saver. I meet him every morning when I wake at three, four, five. His head and body are bright blue, his wings black, white, gold, even red. Imagine a bird singing to me. Out of the wide universe, a little bird. He doesn’t care if I forget what I’ve just said or lost an order I forgot to finish. All the limits of old age are upon me, one after the other. But people help me, and my spirits are generally good. I forgive myself and other people, too. No point in holding grudges. Best to have a clear conscience, achieve what I can, and then let go. I escaped our plague and get my shot tomorrow. Hallelujah, ***************************************************