Sunday, May 18, 2008


i have this aversion to 'old'
there's something so gross about aging
i have a real problem with it, always have
wrinkling and sagging,
shuffling and stooping
i find it all so distasteful
senior's moments, dentures, white hair
debility and weakness
i seems like such a cruel way to end up
after experiencing the excitement of childhood, the vigor of youth
and the productivity of the middle years
to end curled up and dried up
so undignified
so wrong

i had a grandmother who always looked 'old' to me
but she didn't live 'old'
she was kickin' and spittin'
feisty, independent
compassionate in her actions
and amazing in the kitchen
for a time in my youth i had this notion that she'd never die
i thought of my grandfather in the same unrealistically immortal way - forever in his study, reading, writing for various publications, wearing his pile-lined slippers, eating his licorice
they seemed ageless to me
but time was not kind to them
strokes, bypasses, cancer
time is that way with all of us
its like a double-edged sword, it can by its passage, bring promise and maturity, assuage grief, impart fantastic memories,
but it turns to cut us right in half in a matter of just decades
reducing us to mere shadows of our former selves

i know its all bravado to make claim that i will not succumb
i am fiercely determined to stay vital
still i feel the claws of age sinking in to my bones, wearing them away
so i take calcium and magnesium, i lift weights, i dance, eat good food
to keep the monster at bay
i think about my heart valves
i wonder about the condition of my arteries
i think about my liver and my lungs
i think of my muscles - i don't want to lose strength
who wants to be weak?

I wear my garlic necklace for the vampire of old age
but i don't think its working
I know decline is inevitable
i know i can't stave it off forever.

i can't read small print without my glasses
i hate this
my optometrist calls it 'middle aged focus'
I buy skin creams and treatments,
but still i see small lines on my face where none existed
i have 'white roots' which i battle to smother in colour
i have pain daily which grumbles on a good day
and roars on a bad one.

the 'circle of life' (sorry for the unfortunate Lion King association here)
is what it is
the part where you start off in diapers and eat baby food is adorable
the part where you end up in the same state,
well there's just nothing cute about that now,
is there?

No comments: