Thursday, September 6, 2018

"TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT ONE MORE TIME" - Eagles

"What we learn from history is that we don't learn from history."  Then there is this:

Some time ago, several couples, all ofd friends, sat around a table laden with good food and drink when the realization settled in on everyone that we were all enjoying our second and even third primary relationship.

Smiles greeted everyone - knowing smiles that represented lifetimes filled with persistence, not giving up, optimistically carrying on.  The conversation didn't linger on the number of divorces that were represented around the table but rather on how many times we tried.  These were not "twenty somethngs" still trying to figure out how to say "hello".  These were veterans.  Decorated heroes who have made peace with imperfection, who have looked into the mirror and not turned away  -  knowing that there is only one truly perfect thing in life - a well made martini, stirred not shaken - by the way.

People are not perfect therefore relationships are not perfect.  Hopefully, we who keep voting for relationship will learn from our histories.  It's a convenient hope that such is the case.  With age comes the problems of aging but also that particularly liberating truth that companionship had been devastatingly underestimated in our early lives.

Appearance, that most fragile of human qualities, doesn't hang around long enough to be the glue that holds us together.  Billions are spent in the effort to make it last.  Sex, that hormone driven behavior, which in humans is not bounded by estrus or limited much by morality, must come face to face with the irrepressible forces of aging.   I have known old men who claimed to be as randy as ever and ready for a hot sheet session at the drop of their drawers.  Oddly, they always seemed to be alone - at the moment.  Probably means nothing.  What I'm saying is that no one gets to that proverbial "ripe" old age without becoming - well, a bit ripe.  But isn't that the exact moment when the fruit is most delicious - when love is most profound - when being with someone gives exquisite meaning to your life?

I'm an old man in love with an old woman.  I don't think it gets any better.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

... AND THERE WAS LAUGHTER

There is no accounting for the power
of freshly minted love - it's forever

We wrote our names on a laughing rock
chosen from that rocky beach that
applauded with each receding wave

We looked at each other and in that look
knew that the Universe did that just for us

That little beach with its raucous applause
was just for us and no other - our love so pure
With indelible ink we wrote our love on
a chosen rock to remind us - to remind us

We believed what we wanted to believe
You can't blame us for that

Monday, June 4, 2018

NOISE

NOISE

I turned the volume down
to take the edge off the voice
I should be turning it up to hear
more - more is better
Lately I wait to install my hearing aids
cherishing the silence of morning
A high keening is all I can hear as though
a mourner is miles away in pain
I adore the sound of wind the
happy chorus of spring peepers
and late summer cricket song
But not the emptiness of constant talk
And not noise for the sake of noise
Those places that thrive on cacophony
as though some good would come of it
as though loud was the new American dream

Monday, March 19, 2018

THE ROSEBUD THEORY

There are so many jokes in the standard repertoire about aging that it would be impossible to gather them all.  I'm so old I have stopped buying green bananas.  Anon.  I'm so old my insurance company sends me half a calendar. R Dangerfield.   I'm so old that the sight of flowers frighten me. G Burns.  I'm so old that when I order a 3 minute egg they want the money up front.  G Burns.  I'm so old the candles cost more than the cake.  B Hope.  This one by Steven Wright stops me cold: How young can you die of old age?

Of course, none of the above is original with me.  Not even growing old.  It just feels unique.  It's one of those things, that if you do it (grow old, I'm talking) you feel alone.  I don't care if the room is full of cheering friends, which, of course, is nice, but even such an outpouring cannot remove the footprint of time planted squarely in the middle of your back.

These things don't occupy your mind  too much until you pass 50, or for sure  60 for most of you.  I say all this from a lofty perch in the midst of my 80s.  That's when it gets serious.  Friends and family begin dying off much too quickly for comfort.  Children you once knew or haven't seen in a while are now voting adults if not parents as well.  Then one day you realize you are *thinking* about it all the time - well, a lot of the time.

A while ago I was commiserating with CA about the recent demise of my main computing machine.  It was only 4 years old.  What to do - what to do.

Now, here is how an Octogenarian processes such a situation.  OK.  Should I go ahead and replace the laptop with the present version or wait for the inevitable upgrade at some unknown time in the future?  I'd like the new model, but will it arrive in time?  That wasn't a joke.  I'm dead serious.  Whoops!

There comes a time in life when the idea of delayed gratification is  a kind of dark joke.

How about this from the Song of Solomon:  "Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither".  I kind of like that.  The Rosebud Theory of big ticket purchases in old age.  It has a certain charm, don't you think?

I've always liked the way Robert Herrick brought it together:

     Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
     Old time is still a-flying;
     And this same flower that smiles today
     Tomorrow will be dying.

A version of this was posted in January 2015.  It just felt right today.