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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

On Becoming Seventy: Gail Taylor

Guest essay by Gail Taylor:

Monday, May 13, 2013

On Becoming Seventy

Becoming 70 now is knocking on my door at night reminding of his eventuality with aches in my back and stiffness in my joints. Even though I protest vehemently that I am not ready, he chooses to turn a deaf ear or at least remind me that my ear in fact already does not adequately catch all the subtle nuances of the spoken word.  And what will he do, I ask you, if I stubbornly dig in my heels and wrap my arms around the banister?  Perhaps just to prove my point I will go to the very top of that banister and ride it to its base.  Alas Becoming 70 reminds me that I traded in that ounce of spunk and self determination back when I was in my fifties for a ride on the merry-go-round instead of the thrill of the roller coaster.  So here I wait for the inevitable, its odds of close proximity increasing like the labouring of my breath with each step I take.

Surely, there must be advantages to Becoming 70.  I pause and ruminate about the subject in hopes of some inspired thought, but alas back when I was in my twenties, logical thought was traded off in a deal worked out with hands of greed.  Is there nothing that I have not already sacrificed on the altar of living life to its fullest?  Perhaps I left a bread crumb trail that will allow me to retrace back my steps to another time when some promise lined the road ahead.
The guest not wanted on this trip surely must be fear.  Since the unknown is not some newly created creature suddenly ready to pounce when I am least expecting it to do so, I do not understand this newly found trepidation. That being the case, this fear must then be a different creature, an ear worm whose haunting chant just beckons there for me, lulling me into an hypnotic stance, a stance from which some day I will not awaken.  
Becoming 70 hears my cries of confusion and gently holds my hand as we stand atop that escarpment peering back those many years. Interestingly, I can see that not only unease lays among the fallen leaves; there is love and possibility lurking in the gentle knobs that will become the buds of tomorrow's spring branches. Still wasted moments of bitter words hang like curing carcasses from the limbs and I can see that how I choose to spend what is left of my journey is still largely up to me.  There is much that I know can now turn a blind eye to such as the dust bunnies under my bed.  I can continue to research and rant about  the injustices I discover or I can toddle off to tea parties. Three guesses which route you think I will take.  Yes indeed, I have retired to take up ranting and raving and
so far it sure beats working, except for the pay that is.

1 comment:

Gail, I'm laughing & crying, ruminating,ranting & raving along with you : )

At the end of last June I was able to sing the Beatles' song "When I'm 64" as a member of a club
I never thought I'd join!

Guess we're still living the '60s experience in our sixties!
peace & poetry power!
Chris ... & Chase (who is well into his 90s in human years)


Conrad DiDiodato said...

Hi Chris, Gail

I stopped complaining about aging after 50...I'm just thrilled to be able to live one more day to write/read poetry.


Gail Taylor said...

Yes, Conrad, indeed age is relative, but we do not always see eye to eye with all our relatives.

Conrad DiDiodato said...

Well said, Gail!