cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Haiku: Alchemy of Aging

Days become more still
Old siren songs grow quieter
I hear new drumbeat

Amazing freedom
Choreographs day’s tempo
Measured steps suit me

Laughter and lightness
Transform binding to-do lists
To “catch as catch can”

I watch with wonder
Diminishing energy
Re-shapes my desires

Life has new balance
I find joy in small things
Transformed into gold

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Everyday Inspiration Day Five: “What Is Real?”

It doesn’t happen all at once, said the Skin Horse (to the Velveteen Rabbit). You  become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off (by children who play with you), and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and  very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.   From The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

I discovered this quote from a children’s book  long after my children were the age for bedtime stories. I was going through a divorce when I first read these words. They echoed the words of a counselor who told me I had to go through this difficult time, not around it. What the Skin Horse said about being Real comes back to me now that age is actually loosening my joints, I no longer have vision in one of my eyes and I am a bit shabby compared to my younger years. I  do still have my hair, now grown white.

Aging has challenges I do not expect to escape. Still, being Real is pretty wonderful. It helps me see that I am much more than what is visible on the outside. I’ve gained self-acceptance,  wisdom and strength  letting myself just Be.

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Everyday Inspiration Day One: Why Do I Write?

Writing is the joy and  purpose that putting life experience into words gives me. It happens when I go quiet and lose myself in the actions of the sky, trees, wind and small animals outside my window. It happens when I need to  tie up loose feelings from my own life experience. Experience is the key word.

I write from the perspective of a woman who will turn eighty in two months. I know what it is to have  felt the same way inside as long as I can remember. I know what it is to feel my body aging and live with limitations. Best of all I am discovering the unique joy of the changes I experience. I am changing and like a Janus face can look backward  and forward through a rainbow of experience arching through time from my early years to a still mysterious future.

When I started my blog I knew I could write.  I did not know I have been given the gift of writing poetry. I am a wordy person by nature and reducing my words to the seventeen syllables of a haiku gives me focus. I love to find just the perfect word and word field to express myself. I love writing poetry because at least in the Word Press world there are few rules about complete sentences. I love leaving spaces for readers to fill in with their sense of what my words mean in their lives.

I write because I have stories to pass down to my children and grandchildren. I write for the pleasure of remembering places I’ve been in my travels.

Writing makes me whole.

 

 

 

 

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Un-stumped

The Daily Prompt is “stump”. Sometimes a single word can uncork bottled-up feelings and thoughts. I’m in a season of change that I’ve been unable to put into words – until now.

Four years ago I moved to be near two of my three sons and their families. This is the place where they were born. My first marriage that lasted only as long as our children were at home is a time-worn story. Its ending was sad but necessary for me to move on. I remarried and followed my bliss to a vibrant city. City life, travel, lots of learning about myself enriched me greatly. In time I discovered I had once more moved beyond my present circumstances. By now my sons were married and grandchildren were born. I chose to live near them and be part of their lives. I used to wonder about my obituary describing me as a twice-divorced woman and think that’s not me. But it is. I’m single now and maybe I was headed here all along to be at home with myself.

Four years ago I put down new roots. I loved being with my family here. My grandchildren are awesome! I made friends in the apartment building where I live. I found a transportation service for seniors to get me where I want to go since I no longer drive. I found new doctors. All the mundane things that make up daily living fell into place. Until change happened all over again.

Several of my doctors retired or moved on and I had to get new ones. I had found a delightful new car service. However the sole driver recently told me that he is moving to California this winter. Aging is slowing me down. My energy is lessening. It doesn’t hurt but arthritis is making my body crooked. My children and their families are busier than ever growing into their unique family groups. My oldest grandson graduates from high school this year. Family remains my greatest joy. In the midst of these changes I now foresee the necessity for me to change as well. The hardest change facing me is giving up traveling. Flying in particular just wears me out. I told my son I was planning on skipping a beach reunion of my siblings and our children and grandchildren in August 2017. He replied that I should do what was best for me but to think about it. I did. When I called to tell him I was in, he offered to bring a beach chair for me. I’m getting excited and looking for flights.

I’m looking at things differently now. I got a Smartphone primarily so I can use Uber. I like the spontaneity of leaving home at will. I haven’t quite made that leap but I’m teaching myself to text my grandsons, who prefer to communicate that way. When I have my annual physical I’m going to ask my doctor for an order for a Rollator which Medicare will pay for. A Rollator is a well-wheeled walker with a height-adjustable handle bar, a hand brake, a seat to sit down in if the driver gets tired and a compartment under the seat for carrying things. This is the latest toy and craze for the Senior set. If you know what to look for they are everywhere. I have a friend, a former tennis player, who runs with hers to prove to herself she can. I plan to use mine to visit my son who lives close by. Uneven sidewalks between his house and my apartment have been a deterrent for me. I like change when I’m its author.

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Fashion Statement

My once-straight neck stooping
Peering into the mirror
Who is that old woman I spy?
Vaguely familiar I think I do know her
Can it be she is I?

Yesterday friend gave appraisal of me
As one “who is dwelling within my own skin”.
High compliment I received it
And now contemplate it
My settling into vintage-aged years.

Living in harmony with effects of aging
Softens the blow of multiple nuisances
Brought on by years of my being younger.
My body must deal with the natural calamity
Of living a rich life – and then getting old.

A new tool I discover and add to my arsenal
A distinct sharpening of my sense of humor.
My larger belly is wonderful for laughing
Loud, unselfconscious guffaws at my foibles
As I relinquish a measure of dignity.

These days clothes are a problem
Models on the runway just aren’t my shape.
What’s in my closet spans years of styles
I can fashion new looks as things slowly wear out
Survival of the fittest dictates my wardrobe.

Today I live at the pace of now
Finding delight in the scenes out my window.
Accessing new worlds in my writing and reading
On my own magic carpet I travel afar.
I like the view from within my own skin.

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Haiku: Litmus test

How to be Grandma?
Though endowed with snow-white hair
Baking’s not my lot.

Grandkid’s faces beam
Some in scrapbooks, some on wall
Own no camera.

Once sent greeting cards
For significant events.
Birthday cards endure.

Just don’t measure up
Must not be in DNA
Then it came to me.

Always been like this.
My grandchildren know me well.
Who else could I be?

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Writing 101-Wilde Wisdom

Be yourself; everyone else is taken. – Oscar Wilde

When I turned fifty a friend asked me what I wanted to do now that I was half a century old. I replied, “I want to be an original.” I felt it was long overdue for me to stop paying attention to what other people expected of me and dis-cover the creature I am meant to be. It has been a fascinating journey. Twenty-eight years later I’m just entering my prime as an original.

In March I went to Costa Rica with a tour group I’ve traveled with previously. The first evening I knew to expect the familiar ritual of telling each other something about ourselves and what we do. Before when I traveled with this group I introduced myself as a retired pastoral counselor. This led to people’s expectation that they could tell me their problems and seek advice. I’m glad to help people but realized they did not see beyond my profession to the whole person that I’m evolving into. As I was flying down to Costa Rica I decided to show my new face Vivachange and to do and say whatever I wanted to. In the “tell something about yourself” circle I said that I had recently started a blog and had made the joyous discovery that I have a gift for writing poetry. In the following days nobody came up to me to talk about poets and poetry! I learned something new about the world I’m entering and am excited to continue my journey here.

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Strange Glory of Grief

Over the weekend there was a phone call.
Friend long forgotten remembering me
Stirred up a past put to rest, so I thought.
It was lovely to dwell there again.

She spoke of a man once mentor to us
Truly important to who I’ve become
Now dead these past three years.
I knew that – did not consider more grieving to come.

She asked if I had heard of his book
Personal journal published after his death.
Not being aware I bought it forthwith
It came in the mail today.

Suddenly grief put her arms around me.
Book’s paper and words transformed into a koan
Moaned from my heart washed by tears
Cleared my eyes to look deeply into myself.

The young woman I had been grew year by year
Foundation was laid early on.
Now I sing praises of happy thanksgiving
That in the end she has become me.

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Writing 201: Poetry – Sonnet – One Rose

My life has been a rich bouquet
Composed of flowers, weeds and thorns.
I cherish,  give value to every one
For different gifts they’ve given me.

Flowers bloomed beauty in my path.
Weeds put obstacles before me.
Thorns taught grappling with problems.
All were life lessons necessary.

My life has changed, bouquet no longer
My lot is now a fallow field
Ready to grow what seeds are planted.

My life’s become simplicity.
Time to be one rose complete.
For more is less and less is more.

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Perfection In the Midst of Imperfection: Lagniappe and Love

Once upon a time almost half a century ago, when my youngest son was two years old, we used to go to a late afternoon Christmas Eve service at our church. The big draw for our three sons was the Kentucky Fried Chicken supper afterward. We mothers enjoyed a break before the harried moments of getting children wide-eyed with excitement to sleep so Santa Claus could arrive. The fathers were happy to be off the hook for a bit before the annual challenge of assembling toys that always came with a part or two missing. Through the years there is one Christmas Eve that remains perpetually fresh in my memory.

We arrived a little late and found seats in the back of the church. While we sang carols, one of my favorite parts of the service, my youngest son quietly slipped beneath the pews and crawled forward several rows until a vigilant parent retrieved him and pointed him back in our direction. When time came for telling the story of the First Christmas the Pastor called the children forward to gather around him at the front of the Sanctuary. The children sat on the floor and looked around with awe at this part of the church usually reserved for grown people, often wearing long black robes. I noticed a child edge away from the group and stealthily begin to climb the circular stair leading upward to the Pulpit. Soon a small head leaned way over the railing, like a sailor leaning out over the sea from a ship’s crows nest. It was my pew-crawling son.

Behind the Pulpit and other Ecclesiastical furniture, there was a tapestry-like wall covering surrounding the Cross. It was a heavenly shade of blue patterned with gold lines forming diamond shapes. At the points of the diamonds there were rosettes completing the design except where one was purposely left off. This was to remind us of the imperfection of humankind. I privately named the missing flower the symbol of “The August Order of the Missing Rosette” and considered myself a charter member. I mentally included my pew-crawling, pulpit-climbing son in its ranks.

This holiday season I’ve had occasion to renew my membership in the “August Order”. I do most of my shopping on-line. I particularly like ordering from Amazon to take advantage of free shipping if I spend a certain amount. I checked with my middle son who lives in another city to see what my two grandchildren wanted as gifts. I went on-line, found just the thing for each child and had them shipped to their address, which is in Amazon’s list of people I frequently send gifts to. Two days ago I received an email from Amazon saying the gifts were on the way – to my address! I couldn’t believe it. I’m certain that I clicked on my son’s address. My stomach sank. Now I’m afraid I can’t get the presents to their house in time for Christmas day. This is bad, but the worse thing is that this is not an isolated incident. It is a feature of aging that I find hard to accept. Doing ridiculous things and laughing about it with my friends “of a certain age” is one thing. Messing up my grandchildren’s Christmas is a whole different matter. I emailed my son about the delay and told him that I guess perfection is just not something possible for vintage-aged people. He replied that to him “my imperfections are just lagniappe (a Louisiana phrase meaning something extra added to a gift). The August Order of the Missing Rosette would be proud of my son and me.

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