cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Redefinition

To make an end is to make a beginning
The end is where we start from

T.S. Eliot

Thanksgiving time three years ago
A sudden meltdown shock occurred
Within my gathered family
Exposing long forgotten faults
We could not comprehend
Or figure how to heal
Youngest son’s deep woundedness

Two years more time passed
Again we were together
As a family at the beach
Stroke affecting wife of eldest son
Diagnosed the week before
Yet still they joined in our midst
Received our help and warm embrace

Tomorrow’s Independence Day
We celebrate as family
Grateful that the youngest son
Will bring kids and his wife
Whose recent cancer surgery
Revealed chemo yet to come
Love will be given and received

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Passages

Summertime six years ago
I settled in this space
Unpacked and put my memories
On walls and table tops
In places I found evidence
Of occupant who came before
Tiny holes in closet door
Suggest a place to hang his ties
Apartment life is transitory
I put roots down none the less
Created my new home.

These past six years began a tale
Chapters of unexpected change
So many things I used to do
No longer are within my reach
My apartment is the same
It is I who have a different view
I will re-member cherished gifts
Grieve and lay them to the side
Look out the window at the tree
Watch pink clouds at early dawn
Embrace anew life’s mystery.

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Metamorphosis

I’m back after a good week in Mexico with my sister and brother-in-law, who are delightful traveling companions. The resort was all I thought, another home for me. And I realize it is time to say goodbye. Being there occasioned an existential experience which was a surprise. I’m truly one of the oldest generation. I’m OK with that. When my energy is restored I want to write about it. For now I am grateful to be home, period.

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Haiku: Fare Forward

Year draws to a close
Peer ahead into unknown
Dreams for the asking

Love, peace, forgiveness
Beyond our imagining
Free flowing justice

Harvest of riches
Strive for the impossible
Believe, be surprised

In Response to the Daily Prompt: Extravagant

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Deja Vu

Early in the month of May five years ago I had “the talk” with my husband that got the wheels rolling for me to be sitting here at my computer telling this part of my story. For a great while my heart had longed to move to Cleveland and live near my family. And so on that sunny May day I gathered my courage and asked my husband to help me figure out how to make my dream a possibility. Of all the ways I expected him to reply he surprised me by immediately saying he would help me. He was aware that I had not been happy for a while, and neither was he. I remember the tenderness of this moment when we both acknowledged we were ready to let go of our marriage. I think it was one of our finest moments.

The next months were a whirlwind of making the arrangements necessary to pack up and begin my life anew. It was three months and two days after that talk that I arrived in Cleveland to stay. My time here has borne rich fruit. I spend good times close to family members, especially my growing grandchildren. We share in celebrations and hardships as a family. It is a precious surprise to find I have a life and friends of my own here. I have even allowed myself to enjoy the gift of being my own person apart from family members. I consider myself settled in my new home in every way. The other day it was a real jolt to discover strong feelings I still have for my former home.

Recently a couple of my friends and I went to a Book Discussion Day. We learned that Virginia Woolf’s novels influenced the writing of the featured author. One friend decided to read Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and explore this idea. She invited me to read the book and discuss it with her. I remembered that Virginia Woolf was one of the Bloomsbury school of writers. I also thought I remembered that the small group of town houses I called home in Chicago was called Bloomsbury Townhomes. To check my memory I Googled the name Bloomsbury and my street address. Suddenly there appeared on my computer screen pictures of the sidewalk in front of my house and a low brick wall beside it. I could see the Jewish Day Nursery and its playground across the street from me. The sound of children always made me happy. Seeing these familiar scenes took my breath away. My chest tightened and I cried. I could not believe what I was feeling. I thought I had said good-bye to Chicago. I had packed up and moved the things that really mattered. My dream of living close to my family was a reality. So why was I overcome with emotion ?

I could leave my husband. I could let go of almost all my books, many household items – mine and some that were my mother’s, clothes and even furniture and never look back. What I could not erase was the sense of place that encompassed me and the home I inhabited for almost twenty years. I will never want to erase living through good times and growing pains that I experienced there. It has found its place inside me as part of my whole. I am grateful.

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Haiku: Alchemy of Aging

Days become more still
Old siren songs grow quieter
New drumbeat sounds now

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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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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Autumn Blessing

Today I listened to the rain
Pouring green new energy and balm
Welcome spring of new ideas
Timeless gift to stir my muse.

Seeping deep into my soul
Water floods and lifts my art
Trickles with a gift of words
Fills the cracks, restores me.

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Haiku: Elusive

Silvery, silken
Gossamer reminiscence
Of days now long past

Faded and precious
Distant from reality
It’s time to move on

Dreams spread before me
Future possibility
Rainbow in gray skies.

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Ina’s House

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice. T.S. Eliot

For fifty years I’ve claimed the name of Mother
Lately evolving into being Grandma, too.
Always feathering my nest as haven
For those who’ve been entrusted to my love.

I knew joy in tending, teaching, reprimanding
Knew heartbreak when life’s bumps became obstructions.
Felt proud as children became each one a unique person
My days filled always with them as center.

Years passed my sons grew into manhood
Found jobs and wives, gave birth to their own children.
Created homes, developed talents, new directions.
It was amazing to become a matriarch.

I think now sons are where I started
I am moving onward to a different place
Time for me to live with new intentions
Time to cherish days as mine alone.

No longer is my prime identity my sons’ Mother,
My life breadcrumbs to teach my children how to grow and age.
I’m going to savor living in the moment, write my poetry.
My name is Ina and Ina’s house my home.

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