Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Jewish mother's nightmare - my daughter has gone off to scatter her dead baby's ashes in the New Mexico dessert with a 102 degree temperature from strep throat. And yet I'm not freaking out. I trust her judgement. I trust her husband. I trust antibiotics. And I believe it is right that Mira be reintegrated into the natural world a month after her death at a place holy to her parents. I believe this is the right place and the right tie and that all will be well. (and of course I will feel happier when I know Ruth has recovered)

My book discussion group has been reading and discussing Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, a set of humorous essays about women and aging. And I realize both how humorless I am and how out of sync about aging. I really don't understand the view that looking older - especially wrinkled or gray haired - is looking bad - like youth or its illusion is supposed to last throughout life. That's only true for those who die young! I wonder how much losing Kerry young broke me of a dislike for the physical look of aging. I do remember wanting to look younger around the time of Ruth's wedding, but now, I'm just happy to be here and that my body works and has energy and I want people to look at me and see that - that I'm here and healthy and happy and every year my age.

Today's poetry challenge was to write a poem about a place.

Remembered Porch

Screened in porch
of my grandparent's
Texas house - floor
painted grey blue,
scrupulously swept,
smelled of peaches
on breeze from our
six healthy trees
card table and folding
chairs set up for
domino players, orange
park bench for evening
singers. Always singers.
And outside fireflies
and shooting stars
flickered like memory.

2 comments:

Dixi said...

I think it is right too that Mira be reintegrated into the earth if this is her parents' desire, especially in a place that feels right for the parents. Blessings to both of them.

I know I read a section of the Nora Ephron book at one time. I have not yet felt bad really about my body either. I am healthy and more fit than many my age, and I feel good about this and appreciate it. As long as I can walk and work my body, I am happy and want to maintain good condition as long as possible. Wrinkles really do not bother me greatly; and when I think about myself I do not 'see' them anyway.

Your "Remembered Porch" poem is very nice. I like the way you have written making use of so many senses - sight, smell, and sound. I can picture this porch and am glad that you now have this poem about it to keep it accessible forever.

Peggy said...

Blessings to you, Ruth and Chris, as they fill this holy honor to their child. Hope the strep is gone quickly--it can be so very painful.

I have kind of mixed feelings about aging bodies. Not so much my own but others, especially those I love or have known for a long time. Sometimes it makes me sad to see some who has grown a bit thinner, a bit more tired, a bit less strong. It reminds me that time is passing and that they will not always be who they were or who they are now. I think watching my mother and her friends go through this last stage of life has affected me in this way.

I feel basically the same way about my aging body as I always have. I don't like to see a tired person in my mirror, or one who looks drained or ill. I have been fortunate to not have as many wrinkles as many people my age--and of course there is the magic of hair coloring. Gray or white hair makes me look tired and ill--and I have had it for such a long time--I am so glad not to have to look at it.