Archive for the ‘crepuscular’ Category

Each day passes more quickly than I would like.  I wish for the passage of night to be short, but by early morning, before dawn is even awakening, I toss and turn and feel that one more moment or hour in bed will be too much for me.  With each day I worry that I may be returning to old habits and old habits brought me into the depths of sleep deprivation.   So far I still am affected by the accumulation of little sleep, particularly when I get up early……..then I am most aware of how tired I can be.

Yesterday at dusk or during the crepuscular day, while working in my garden,  I wished that the dusk could last longer, but once the greyness sets in, the black surrounds us very quickly in Florida.  I also wished that the dawn of morning could also come earlier so the length of that new day light could last longer.  Within a moment I realized, probably because of  the heat of the day, that I wanted to work within the grey parts of  the day when everything begins to calm and feel more comfortable.    Juxtaposed to my life the real twilights and dawns, the times that signal the most significant changes in my day may be a lesson for me in life.

Rather than wondering and worrying about the days of Crepusculum, maybe I need to just start enjoying this time of my life like I enjoy the twilight and the dawn.  Maybe, being within my Crepusculum  can become as calming to me as the real world’s crepuscular times.

So, instead of worrying about my lack of sleep, my aches and pains, or always hoping for those particular times of the day, and stop always wishing the reality of my life to change, maybe I should take my Mother’s advice and stop evaluating today or yesterday and look toward tomorrow and smile as I anticipate just how wonderful it can be.


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Continually I am asked by the ones that are closest to me, “Are you fine?”  “What is the matter?” “No I don’t think that is the reason, so what is it?”  If I try to answer the first two questions, most likely I receive the third question in response to my answer.

This brings me to a point in my life where I ask a question, “Why is it when I say what is the problem, I am told that my reason is justified and that I don’t understand the situation.  The situation is mine I think and after all this time of living I should hope that I know what my situation is.  But, there is a difference.  When I was young I would never think of telling someone what was bothering me.  Now I do and I think that is the basic problem.  I was an expert at covering up what I was feeling.  Well, how could I tell them when my self esteem was even lower than it is now.  Back then I felt I could never be truthful because I felt that the truth would hurt me more than them.

Now, it feels more important to me to tell the truth.  Yes I suppose I could sugar-coat it a little, but then usually these same people don’t sugar coat much for me.  One is M. who is so troubled with the way that I am, particularly in my reaction to acquaintances and friends, as well as himself.  Well, as two examples of his worry,  one friend has used up all the care and help that I have for her.  I have helped and helped and been there, and been there for her and what have I gotten in return is a plea for more help.  I just don’t have more to give since now I feel I must take care of me and so I stay away as quietly and politely as I can.  Another is a new acquaintance, who I thought might become a good friend.  When I realized that the “the sale–the job–the inevitable bit of money made” was more important than understanding what I wanted and dealing with it.  Yes I was the client, but it didn’t seem to matter much.  I was quickly told that I should understand that what I wanted to happen, (I had full rights to ask for what I wanted)  went against the grain of the acquaintance.  I understood in a moment that the commission in the sale was the most important.  Well, as I am known to do, the axe fell on this supposed relationship and now I am questioned why I made the decision I did.

I often think that this is the most appropriate time in my life to say what I am, what I want and how I see it.  If I don’t act now on my beliefs what am I going to do during that long journey with in my Crepusculum.  I can just imagine how my care can take quick turns that I don’t believe in.  That fact is catalyst enough for me to know I must grab a hold of my own life and start letting everyone know my wishes.  I just can’t sit in the quiet “corner” any longer.  This is all different to me as it is to the others who question me, but I believe this current life turmoil and questioning must be during my transition  from quiet toad sitting on the side of life, to a new, determination that makes people say, “Guess I can’t run over him any longer!”  Its not easy to change.  If you are  like me then agree  to  take a chance to stake out your independence.  Grab a hold of your wishes and sell them boldly to all you meet.  That little change will make you begin to see that it is possible to journey through Crepusculum with a modicum of respect and enjoyment.

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So many times,  in the past, I have wondered when I will be at the point to enter Within Crepusculum.  I asked myself,  was there a particular age and conjectured that it certainly was no where near the age that I am.  Unfortunately. I kept thinking about it as a year, a birthday, a definite milestone that I could post on the calender and be ready for it when it arrives.

That is very bad logic to conclude that the beginning of one’s twilight can be targeted with an actual date.  When I think about that assumption, its almost as though I believe you should look at a calender and see your prearranged death date!!

Then, just the other day, I stopped what I was doing and realized I may never know beforehand.  Its just going to happen one day.  I think I will be doing something that I have always done so easily (This has to be a significant task, because if it wasn’t I doubt that I would pay much attention to it) and suddenly, I will realize I can’t do it or I can’t do it anywhere near as well as I did the year before.  If this sort of thing happens all too often, maybe three to four times in a row, then I will take it as some kind of a sign.

Regardless, I am very aware that the years that have currently passed are piling up on my age, but I am determined, like my Mother was, not to be effected by their passage and not accept being older when I don’t feel that much older than I did a decade ago.  We have a friend in Toronto who is four or five years older than me, yet he lives his life already within his twilight.  I don’t think he has a spark of youthfulness about him and I realize he has had some health issues, but that certainly is not reason enough to consign yourself to your twilight years.    The other unfortunate thing is that he does not understand what he has done to himself by responding to life negatively, which in turn allowed himself to be completely engulfed.   It is sad to watch and recognize the crepuscular qualities he has.    Lately he calls to tell us his other friends at home have asked to see him less than they used to do.  In comparison to me, his actions significantly show that I haven’t even neared those years.

For a while, during this time of mourning, I found my self even more than just lethargic.  I had days that I couldn’t think straight.  During those days I had attempted to do some work that any other time I could have done quickly and simply.  This time everything fell apart and it took me longer to plan than it has ever taken me.  Immediately, I kept wondering, “Is this it, is this the way one starts to behave before they take that final step into the twilight??  Fortunately, I came to my senses and accepted that my actions were not signs of entering the dusk of life, but rather it was a symptom of grieving.  It was a hard lesson to learn how to evaluate and now I can easily tell one from the other!!

When I finally realized my error, I came to a conclusion.  First I accepted that I will be having many more scattered days, until more time has passed in my mourning.  And that presently, my thoughts and the mourning I am experiencing are an opportunity for me to continue to grow and understand the world around me.  It becomes a very difficult task for me to explore death and mourning and the beliefs that I have.  To be able to accomplish this, I must see myself going though another whole segment of my life, a part that now I feel is integral to prepare me for the entrance into my crepusculum.

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If I let go of all the things I know,
if I toss from my heart what tugs at its’ walls,
if I take the chance to step on to the edge of my soul,
then will I be better or worse than I am.

Will the sun shine again as bright as before,
will I never again feel the anxiety within my mind or,
can I take a hold of all the scarred, ragged edges
and bring them back and sew them together again?

If I bend and pick up the pieces of me
If I reach and hold onto the sweetest of the memories,
If I sit and stare at the nothing I see in the vision of my soul,
then will color be able to return to the space I see with my eyes.

Will sorrow that pierces and gouges the heart,
be changed so that the spring returns to the soul
or will tomorrow only bring another spear
laced with grief that only I can feel its’ sting?

As I continue on my journey toward my twilight it is evident that I shall be carrying a few more questions that I can only answer.  Each day I realize that there isn’t any one else in the world that can tell me how I am to do the things I am to do, understand how and when the haze of my world will return to its normal clarity and it is only I who can can know when my tomorrow will feel like it has brought the new spring to my life.

For now I continue to muddle with in the sludge under the white snow that occasionally lets me slip and fall.  It is the grayness of the sky that matches what my eyes see as I sit, sometimes too long, staring off into the corner of my bedroom; or at times I fall asleep on the chaise only to awaken and return to the sight of that same corner of nothing.

I question also, when will the night begin to pass without  numerous times of awakening to see just how much longer I need to stay there.  Eventually I arise before dawn and trip quietly down the stairs so that I don’t awaken M. or the cat, Souse.  It is then, once again in the appalling quietude of our house I sit in that corner of the kitchen that I have always sat in before the bright monitor of the computer to think of what next could lessen the impact of these days on my soul.
And then suddenly,  I realize I have passed from the time of pensive thought into flipping url’s like Blueberry Pancakes on a sizzling hot grill and as the pancakes  are stacked they leave no room between.  As I arise from the computer I know the day lies ahead to be experienced mostly with agitation even more than the Kenmore washer produces to wash my clothes.  And I seem to follow the same cycling.  First there is the agitation, then the rinsing and calming of my mind only to plunge forward into a spinning haze.

I think of all this newness of experiences each day and wonder is it all that bad and  will I be able to make it through it and look backward and know that even in my mature years I can grow and learn all there is that life has to offer.  I know for now I wonder why there needs to be lessons like I am within, but I think  that somewhere in the motion of living there is a plan for me and I must follow this relentless path to find greater peace.

As I turn each new corner I find myself a little closer to my crepuscular years.  With each step I must take now I realize it can only prepare me for the new years ahead of me.  To gain wisdom through thoughts, by the anguish created by death and by recording my  collective new beliefs then it is an acceptable path that I take.

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When I was in undergraduate school, I became very interested in Anthropology/Archaeology. That led me to take enough courses to get a BS degree in it without taking many more courses. Before I officially turned in a portfolio for grad school, I toyed with the idea of getting the Bachelor of Science in Archaeology first and then go to grad school! If I had, I am sure that I could have arranged to enter grad school the following year. My concerns in art and the complexities within the studies of Anthropology and Archaeology are interwoven in my mind and because of their simularities many issues in Anthropology helped define my art.

I have always envisioned being a part of a team of Archaeologist excavating a mountain’s surface and exposing layer on layer of rock, sediment, debris and different forms of life that create the intervals of growth and help to supply material to determine the age of the fossils sandwiched between the stratum. As archaeologists uncover the remains of an ancient people’s midden their story unfolds as the site is uncovered tier by dusty tier. Each layer of excavated soil is carefully sifted to find artifacts that will tell a story and give a time line for the living that inhabited that particular spot. In comparison, our thoughts, memories and emotions become multiple tiers in our mind that lead us to self-understanding and expression. Regardless of which idea they both demonstrate a passage of time structured by a complex cycle of growth, life and decay.

Many spiritual dogmas, in the past and in our present day, enlighten the cycle by believing in an afterlife. When I think about the artistic possibilities of life being spiritually continued I imagine a line of hollow, fragile forms. Each represents an empty homogenous soul that waits patiently for a heavenly tomorrow. In reality, I imagine souls serenely floating in azure blue skies accented with billowy, white clouds as they pass through the immense golden gates of heaven. On the other hand, the souls may become a part of an interminable final que and as the line of fragile forms sway, one by one the souls fall and become anonymous hollow pods that are brittle, frail and worn from the passage of time. The fettered, empty shells give little information of who or what they were. Yet they are the remains of countless people who have lived throughout history.

Death Scene         Gothic Illustration          Girl Reading Book

Cave  at Lascaux        Simone Martini         18th Century

At times, it is those people, probably us in another five hundred years, that makes me stop and try to remember them for a moment. Can you possibly guess just how many people have preceded you in death. Can you look at the three images and feel that their lives were equal to our current existence? In the majority of paintings or illustrations held in Museums there is never information about the people that are in the painting, unless they are infamous.  Nonetheless, they need to be acknowledged. Imagine that the death scene, from the Lascaux caves, probably was drawn by someone with blood and urine.  The death scene had to have been important to the artist to have recorded it and is as important as one that is recorded today.

Nevertheless, the relationship between man and time continues within other relationships. In our youth and early mature years our backs are metaphorically, straight and strong, while we collect stacks of memories and information. Rarely, while we are younger, do we consider our ending chapter, although our subconscious tries to signal that we are changing. Where once our memories were occupied with dense information, later in life as we grow older, we find that they may thin and fray at the edge. Where once the back never tired it now asks for a moment of rest and we begin to understand and accept that there may be passages in life that leaves us perilously fragile and degenerately transformed.

I am sure one day, I will pass through an ominous threshold and I may find I cannot live independently because I am not able to control the escalating fragility of my mind and body. If this happens I will begin a transition towards total dependence for life care. This major, unidirectional modification in life care prompts feelings of vulnerability to the world and apprehensive of tomorrow. It is evident how important it is for me to find that certain, younger person that will understand and follow my directives for my life care. The directives have already been listed in my living will and so my only worry is appointing an executor for the more distant future should I be alone to die.

Death, the end to all this thought, comes when it wishes. There is no preset date or hour, nor is there a preset script. You may think death will come and sweep you away at that unknown moment, that it will whisk your spirit instantly up to the heavens, yet sometimes for some people death lounges at the door letting the person’s degeneration become unbearable for the family and their associates. Death, that final hour, will tick in the background of my twilight…………..

2012                  2014 tick

tick tick tick 2018 tick tick tick tick 2029

tick                 2020 tick                                                         tick 2028

2013 tick tick tick 2021                                              tick

2025                                tick tick 2026                                                               tick tick tick

tick tick tick tick tick 2026

tick 2027


tick tick

tick tick 2229 tick tick


2030 tick tick

tick 2031 tick tick 2032

tick tick 2033…………….

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Rhoda Goldenberg is my sister-in-law and was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer less than three weeks ago.  Unfortunately she had little time to ready herself for any upcoming passage she was to take.  During the last week before being admitted to a hospice, Rhoda frantically tried to insure that her daughter and granddaughter were cared for without her presence to help guide them.  Now, M., her younger brother, as well as her other siblings are working towards a trust for them.  At the time of posting she was not expected to live more than one or two days.

You are somewhere in a hospice on the sea, near Boca and most likely you will not be there very long.  When I think about it, I should have taken a moment to talk with you when you called to speak to M.  Sure I knew you had pancreatic cancer, but I also felt there was time, a few more weeks or months for me to tell you how sorry I am.  But that day, I felt I should let M. speak to you.  You had a lot to deal with and I quickly handed the phone over to him without taking one short minute to tell you how I feel.   A lesson can be learned from handing over the phone so quickly as I did.  From now on I need to remember to do what is felt in the heart at the moment you feel it and not leave it for another day!

I want to let you know I was glad to have met you and knowing you has been years of gaining an unusual experience in knowing someone.  I want to let you know how wonderful it was when M and I first visited you in Florida.  Dinner on the lanai was the best, as the cool evening breezes softly blew across the screened-in patio.  We sat there for hours following dinner.   The food (made by you and I) was always superb, the wine Sid bought was delicious and yes, watching M. eat the leftovers as we chatted was humorous.  Although, it wasn’t just dinner that was great, it was the idea of living near the ocean, being warm in the winter and being with someone that made me welcome and wanted.

During the past thirty-five years since we met, much has happened to our two families.   Your  Mother and my Father have died.  We each have gained and lost more pounds over the years than most people can.  We have shared many Seders, some with you present, but we haven’t seen each other for many, many years.  I know I couldn’t go to your wedding to Sid, nor has there been any time in the last decade for a trip to Florida.  Yes, we have spoken on the phone many times over the years and I know you quite well through our conversations.  I’ve been able to follow your life with Sid, how you raised Ari and all the troubles you continually have caring for Ruth and Sara.

I think the last few years have been the hardest for you as you cared for Sid.  But now, Rhoda, in your final days you need the care.  Thankfully, you went to the hospice on the sea.  I hope your room is balmy and bright with sea breezes that gently blow in the wind.  You, or no one deserves this particular, swift end to life.  But, it appears that the human body responds correctly,  to allow you to move quickly to your destination.   I wonder, I hope you had a bit of time to reconcile yourself to your own concluding passage.

But before you leave, dear Rhoda, you should know you will be remembered.  To some  people the best memories I have are the little ones like the ambiance of your first apartment, the diet muffins you could make so well, your ability to cook with flair, your ease in answering the many questions I had about Seder or other holidays, your knowledge of Hebrew made you my interpreter or translator when I needed to understand a word and lastly, your memory as a store house of family facts.

Now, Rhoda, you are journeying on your the last hours through your final darkness.  You have just left the many years you enjoyed within your own Crepusculum (the twilight years of your life) .  Thankfully you were able to spend many, many more years in your twilight than others.  I am sure that you and I expected you to have many more years ahead,  but that is not the case and so I must bid you a fond farewell.  I know you will continue to live in the hearts of your sisters and brothers and particularly mine.

To you Rhoda I bid good bye–

To you I will remember the smile on your face–

The shine in your hair–

The quickness of wit in your mind–

Your hands with your rings and the bracelet–

B’ Shalom dear Rhoda!  Peace to you!

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So many days (weeks) have passed since I have posted. I have tried to write, especially at night, I sat in the darkened room at the little desk. As always, my Mother’s life support motors continued to whoosh and play in synchro-nized tones as I sat in the dark. The computer screen dimmed to maximum so the darkness wrapped around and cradled me.

Even as I sat in this well-known spot, the words rarely came. Instead, a stream of empty-headed babble floated in and around my head and quickly I began to feel very exhausted which then lead me to give up and go to bed. One more night wasted. Not only did I not write, but also the time sitting uselessly in the chair robbed me of the time I should be sleeping. It felt like a vicious cycle as the wasted hours accumulated and the body’s exhaustion peaked at new levels that take forever to lower. I admit I am sleep deprived and it does take rest for the mind to function. The body is a funny thing and shows you what needs to be done as it takes charge when I attempted to type. Without realizing it, I fell fast asleep. When I awakened only a moment later, I noticed that I needed to delete the letters and characters I had rested my fingers on as the body shut down for the moment.

The lack of sleep may make me continually disagreeable and it may cause my body to eat more than it should, but it is not the only cause for my lack of words. Lack of words, the blank mind, it is a worry to me. In addition, so many times, as I sat trying to write I found the things that bother me the most encroached upon my mind. These worries moved stealthily to the forefront of my thoughts and for a while I felt that it didn’t make any difference what I wrote about, yet I questioned how I could integrate them into my journey to my Crepusculum.

In the short time I have been posting, not all I write is directly related to my queries of the twilight, but I realize everything has the ability to influence my thinking and help me understand how I might react to problems during my time within my twilight. Any interaction I have is a permanent part of my experience and my experience will guide me down the path of exploration.

But then, I wonder, what do you, the reader, think if I continually make detours to salve the mind and let my worries come into your lives. Will you see them as I do or do you expect much more consistency in presenting issues that I face in preparation for the next stage of my life? Now after five paragraphs do you question the validity of my not writing before now? I am sure it seems like writing to you, but to me it has only been a way that I can move from a state of blankness to a state of combining words…. a state slightly less than written text.

Surprisingly now, I need to tell you more. I need to let you know how these past days have been so undirected. I am tired, very tired, but each day I know, I must go on. As I continue on each day (M. says I am not completely aware of what I do) I hope that I can continue giving my mother the same care as I have been, regardless that her care requirements have nearly tripled. I also wish that she is able to enjoy some form of happiness during this time and while these thoughts are active, I stop and remember all of you, as well as the other people who take the time to write me their well wishes.

Then, without hesitation, I take a very long moment to send peace to Shadowlands as she watches over her husband, and I especially hope that her heart gently safeguards her through these trying days as her husband passes into the shadows of his darkness. Of us two, she is the stronger and I read in awe of how she continues each new day, rarely beleaguered before him, yet inwardly being overwhelmed and possibly alone.

Therefore, he and my mother, as everyone does upon leaving their twilight, begin another journey, a final, unidirectional journey into a personal darkness. Some may say a light may guide you through that darkness, but even if it isn’t present often a living person can help by always being by their side. I know Shadowlands will walk with her husband every step of the way and I have promised my mother that I will be with her, regardless how long the journey may be.

The promises, the care, the worries, the tiredness are all a part of my life now. Even though they may be problematic, it is my choice. These are easy for me, as compared to that final moment, the final good bye, that realization that I will never hear her speak, just as Shadowlands will never hear her husband’s voice again. Sure, the voice has been a part of my life; I can listen to it in my head at any time, but never again in the spontaneous conversation that has always been between us. Therefore, I think of a time during my mother’s last hospitalization that becomes very poignant. A respiratory therapist told me quite firmly that I need to grab a hold and deal with my mother’s death, She repeated this even louder and firmer as she left the room…………”Deal with it! NOW!” The words still echo in my head, but particularly that day left me speechless and almost childlike. Now, with time to do its work I can say I may need to “deal with it”, I have tried unsuccessfully for too many years and now I know that there is no way I will ever be prepared!

Maybe now, once again I can write. I made it this far and my mind continues to be a tiny bit open. As I think on what I have written, it only reminds me how important it is for me to settle so much about my care when I reach that final journey, because I probably won’t have anyone I know to make sure everything will be as I want. I will be alone to walk through the darkness on a unidirectional journey.

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