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Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

Part I

My world is on a jagged, roller coaster ride.  Sometimes the path appears to be straight without any impediments along the way and suddenly, under one of the wheels that ships me on my way, a tiny stone throws me off balance.  Peace may follow again for a short bit, but watch out because there is always a quick, jagged turn.  I lunge forward, crash backwards, appear to ricochet and then settle down only to sway to the right or left before balance and quietude return.  During this maelstrom of events, as I gather up myself from the mental bruising of feeling like a boomerang I become even more quiet, or move into repugnant actions, but always become more introverted than ever before and as I draw within me,  solitude is gained through an incontrollable binge on food followed later by discomfort.

As I grow older,  I find I don’t handle these torrential periods as well as I used to and I am particularly not happy to feel the wear and tear on my body and mind.   Wearing out, physically or emotionally,  before I want to, is not to happen.  I vowed years ago that I would never let something get the best of me, but now I begrudgingly admit, I acknowledge it takes too much energy to even try to go on as long as I used too.

Ah, the wonderment of young years.  In my twenties and thirties I could stay up all day and night working or playing and regardless of the action was able to continue on the next days without a bit of problem.   During my late forties I noticed a little change, but certainly nothing to get excited about, but then that terrible number rolled around and life began to change significantly after fifty.  Oh the change wasn’t again the worst thing  I have ever experienced, I only adapted new ways of working or balancing long hours with hours of rest.  When this current decade of age arrived (the one that placed me in my sixties)  I knew that life was going to be different.  Now at sixty-two I can definitely say, particularly when I have much too do, the amount of physical work I can do is far less than in my twenties.  I must also admit that my midriff is a lot larger than it was.  It seems that if it isn’t one thing then it is another.

Fortunately, I pray, my current situation will not last much longer.  Hopefully, once I reach a point of conclusion in my work, my roller coaster ride will change to a gentler Merry Go Round.  Merry Go Round’s are fine.  You can get on easily when something happens and in a short time you can also step off and quickly and easily return to normalcy.  Now should this not be possible, or if my current  tumultuous life continues on longer than it should, then I will need to take a severe measure by taking charge of me–something that is quite difficult to do.  I can try to help others take charge of their lives, but I am not as good at it in my own life, so let’s hope I don’t have to try!!!


Part II

The climb up the hill finally ended the other day.  All that was to be finished was finished, even though my psychological hill was gouged with unforgettable marks recording how often I slipped, stood up, continued and finally achieved what I wanted.

But–yes and it is a big but–not more than 48 hours after the I looked around from the top of my jagged, hill I began to worry if all this wear and tear would do me some harm.  Another day I knew, as I lay in my bed racked with fever, swollen sinus and chills.  The dreaded ills of just a month ago returned to me.  Possibly if I had taken the time to care for me then, today, I may have not been able to enjoy the return of the same symptoms.

As I look back over the past weeks I wonder if I would have done it any different.  Would I learn to stop, rest and go on, or will I continually just plunge, recklessly forward believing my anthem of “It must be done!” is right.  Here I am somewhere near the entrance to my Crepusculum.  I think I am supposed to be wiser, smarter, seasoned as I cross  over to my twilight years.  But the truth is, I am sure I will continue to blunder on my way as I always do without once taking charge to plan.  Ah tis sad to know that the older I get, the more stubborn I get.

Now with aspirin in me to hold down the fever and allow me to write and think I see just how ridiculous this all is.  I am an adult and I should know better, but I don’t.  Tomorrow will not bring a bolt of lightning to change me, but the tomorrow after each of the new tomorrows may lead me down a new trail and change may occur a little bit at a time.  If only I could believe I am sixty-two and not twenty.  If only I could accept I can’t do it all.  If only I can remember that exhaustion leads to areas I don’t want to go to.  If only I would remember that once I have entered my Crepusculum I had better be just a little more in control!!



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I have been reluctant to post this writing.  Later, I decided I would simply because I feel, you my devoted reader, will understand.  This originally was written on Christmas Eve.


Today is Christmas Eve, a day of magic, a day of happiness. As a little boy I always was anxious for night time to arrive to open the presents. The grown up in me, greeted the day joyously and anticipated the family being together, particularly since it made my Mother the happiest. Out of all the holidays in the year, my Mother loved the Christmas season. All the rooms in the farmhouse were decorated when I was a small child. Then after retirement, when my parents lived in town, the house was equally decorated. In Arizona, I knew that I needed to have the Christmas decorations up early for Momma and they needed to be more spectacular each year. On Christmas eve, Momma always came to my house and stayed through the holidays. There, I also knew I should have the house cheerful and twinkling. And for the past six years in our present house I have decorated the house inside and out. Last year was significant in the amount of decorations I put up and their locations. Momma was so happy. She could see them all from where she stayed in our big Family room.  This year, Momma will not be here. This year I am letting Christmas go by.

And then at night, on Christmas Eve, an unforgettable gift arrived:

The Christmas Gift, The Gift I Need to Remember
Today, quietly the eve of Christmas goes by,
it passes from gray at dawn to brilliant blue and white by noon.
And then this evening the night brings its chilly breath
to rustle through its darkened veil, whose stars glimmer upon my head.

On the eve of this Christmas, a voice whispered in my ear
from a luminescent cloud of red and blue drifting over my head.
To my ears came the same voice, the one locked in my heart
and now it comes to me from far above the blanket’s glow.

With heart beating, I question through a tightened throat,
“Momma, is that you?, are you all right?”
In return I’m asked why I am sad, where is my Christmas cheer?
“To soon when grief is with my heart, as it yearns for a yesteryear!

Momma tells me to look to my tomorrow and not for yesteryear,
“I’m fine,” she says, “Now you be fine, no longer should you worry.”
And then I realize no longer are there the colors of red and blue,
softly lighting the darkness of the room, the place that had just held joy.

To find the spell, to hear the voice I sit so quiet,
and I realize why, for that fleeting moment, why a visit came to me.
Where once tonight we opened presents and loved each other,

Momma came on Christmas Eve with a gift for me: Her voice, Her Love and My Tomorrow.

This isn’t a fictional poem, you may feel that it is, yet this is how it happened. I must now try to allow my gift to become more of a reality. It is a gift that is the most important that my Mother has ever given me. Her voice has eluded me now for weeks and now I remember how she spoke. I also need to move forward in life as my Mother would have. I can not stop the continual waves of memories I have, nor can I ignore the loss I feel. Momma was someone who could forge foward with an exuberant anticipation of tomorrow. I must attempt to do the same.

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To reflect upon my own life is much more difficult than if I was asked to give thought to another’s worth. While I was in college, I became concerned if I had done anything that would let me be remembered after my death. Even more so had I achieved any lasting legacy for the far future to know me?

I asked that many, many times and now my reaction to that question is that it is unimportant. There are other concerns in my life that I should attend to, or begin to resolve. These are issues that relate directly to my elder years or that will help me feel fulfilled. I cannot guarantee that anything I have done meets some unknown criteria. If it does, fine, but then it runs the risk of history not recording the accomplishment. Often a special deed is lost or distorted and if it is a small achievement, it can be lost. I think I am far better off knowing the things I have done in my life have made me happy and that I have done some good for someone else and not worry if anyone else remembers or agrees.

Even though I may occasionally complain, I know my life has been good to me. I have little wrong with me except many, many extra pounds! Early in my life it became important for me to be employed in distinctive positions, ones not in the regular mill of things. I accomplished doing that, but now wonder if I was doing that so others would acknowledge my success, or was I doing it for me so that I could feel better? Until I went to college I always felt I wasn’t equal to someone who was educated. So often in grade school or high school, I had problems with my grades. I had no idea how to go beyond that stigma. Even when I applied to Arizona State University and was finally accepted it was on the condition that I take limited courses the first year. After the close of the first semester the grades rolled in and I was astounded I had a 4.0 pt average for the semester. As I graduated from grad school, I still had a 40 average and I began to understand what my capabilities and intelligence was. That lack of trust in me marked why it was so important to me to have jobs people recognized as special. I never was able to understand that if I could do the job that it must have taken a little more something than pure brawn.

Throughout my life, withstanding any minor character deficiencies, I have been generous and willing to help someone. Unfortunately, this help and generosity has been limited mostly to my family, but occasionally I have given my time to help others. The last few years I have cared for my mother, as she passed from her Crepusculum and into her darkness. Constantly I hear how special I am that I can do this for her, or that I will do this for her. It is my choice to care for her because when I watched my Aunt and Father deteriorate faster in a nursing home than necessary, I decided I would never allow anyone else close to me to experience the same. Now, a few years later I know I have made the right decision. Caring for her has given me insight, knowledge and patience. Now, even when one of my S/O’s family members called to tell us that they were terminally ill, I offered for her to come here so that I could care for her. This is not an act of goodness on my part; I believe it is more an act of caring and a responsibility of what should do.

Possibly, I should list the flaws I believe I have. Probably I am one of the worst people you can communicate with on a one to one basis. I am one of those who doesn’t listen unless they want to and I am often too quiet, nor will speak my opinion. From early on I was timid and even today carry many of the traits of an introvert. In addition, I live in a continual gray cloud. For years I only knew that everything was fine until suddenly I was moody or uncontrollably down. I continued this way on into my early fifties. During my forties, instead of changing things in my life I began drinking. I went away as so many do, but never could control it. Finally, during another gray period I decided that I couldn’t go on this way. I packe our truck with my cherished items, hooked up the muffler to the window and passed out believing there wouldn’t be another tomorrow. The next morning I awakened, unbelievably groggy and slightly irritated I couldn’t even orchestrate this event flawlessly. By that evening M had arranged to have me started on antidepressants. The world changed in a day. The gray cloud lifted and now only occasionally returns. The new day allowed me to stop drinking immediately, go to college, receive two degrees, make plans for the future and be able to take care of my mother now. Unfortunately in the past fifteen years there have been times I stop taking the antidepressants for a couple weeks and each time I do the gray, overwhelming cloud overtakes me with such intensity that it reminds of taking my pill.

My memory is very selective. I may choose to remember you as a dear friend, but I will never remember your birth date, nor will I always remember to write or call when I should. If I remember to call it may take a very long time because phone calls are a little bit of a problem. I do not like to make phone calls. I hated making business calls and always had a secretary or someone else to make the call and then give the phone to me. My family was even included in the continual hesitancy to make a call. Today I am much the same. M makes most of my calls unless i am calling a family member or a very close friend.

As I grow older and think more about my future, I find I think more of the past and wish to relive them (never change them-just relieve). Once I asked my mother if there was a time in her life that she would like to revisit. Her immediate response was, “Why should I–tomorrow is better!” It was the first time I realized how much I tend to live in the past and the first time I understood how much her attitude has allowed her to continue to live. If she had not been able to enjoy her unknown tomorrows, she may have had less living to today! I see the lesson in her curiosity of tomorrow, but it is a lesson I most likely won’t take.

Now is is time that you may decide if I have even come close to reflecting upon myself. My life is mine and at the present time I am happy with the way that I am. Tomorrow I need to forge on in my journey to Crepusculum. During that time I know there will be many diversions, particularly as changes occur with my Mother. To those of you who read my posts and especially to you who are kind enough to respond then if you have a moment that I have made you smile, gave you a moment of thought, or let helped you resolve a problem, then I am happy and content!

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Each day, in various ways, I think about my upcoming years within my twilight. At first, the thoughts are not overwhelming, but as they age they lead me from generalized thinking to a defined concern. I collect the concerns, after their fruition, file them away and then retrieve them for conscious exploration. Undeveloped concerns remain floating in the periphery of my consciousness until I decide to explore it or they never choose them. Possibly the ones that I never explore are the most difficult and so I avoid addressing those issues. In addition, a worry may be difficult to explore because the information is at the time of occurrence, although some worries are innocently prefabricated with out anything proven.

Regardless of what type of concern, the seeds are in my head buried in numerous ways. Sometime within my second year of college, during the time that I was taking many anthropology and art history courses I developed an uncanny picture of a group of people that had lived during the 15th and 16th century. Most of the group lived as artists, whose work kept their memory alive in the future. There were others in the picture that did not have any recognized voice in the future. I became very tense. I sat down on the ground without moving, nor speaking, because I couldn’t stop thinking about those “unknowns” in the picture. Who were they and what did they do? Without knowing those answers they were like empty, shells arranged within the picture plane and were used for color, texture or balance as any other prop might be.

It is then that I realized the limitations of remembering. Your accomplishments and your work becomes the catalyst for a memory of you by future generations. However, if you are unable to produce something so remarkable, then the people that knew you while you were living can only recognize your personal accomplishments. Possibly those memories, especially in families, can be handed down to each generation, but eventually that link will broken and suddenly you can become just another marker in a vast field of markers for mankind

My thinking opened a magnanimous perplexity for me in justifying a life form; particularly mine when I asked, “Is living without eternal recognition sufficient enough reason to be here?” With a raised eyebrow I realized the enormity of my question and decided that it was best left alone in its entirety, but another thought tumbled forth and it required me to reflect upon my life and fill any gaping holes or quiet any inconsistencies. Through careful examination of all actions and decisions in my life, I could be able to tell if I had affected anyone even if they didn’t know me. It seemed correct to state that if someone knew of me and didn’t know me then it would be quite possible for a future person to know something about me.

All of this began to feel ostentatious. Once again, I slumped to the floor feeling a little overwhelmed and knew I needed to return to a logical and thorough reflection of my life to guide me in the future. Instinctively, I knew that this was the appropriate time to look at my life–a time before being within Crepusculum,

a time to begin reflection.

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