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Pant-legs take 2

Pant-legs take 2:

Even as i was seeing it live
the image indexed an old memory
dusted it off and brought it into view
like an old black and white appearing after a flicker of hesitation on the flatpanel of my mind.
I saw...
a flapping pant leg seemingly empty, seemingly vacant...
the over-sized grey fabric draping a leg
not quite fitting any shape, just hiding, concealing
Its a memory I recorded as  I walked alongside my old grandfather
some 30 years ago...
he was old then, pale-white, wizened and wrinkled
I remember noticing how he lifted his knees a little more than normal
like he was wearing pads...a batsman going out to bat
how there was a tiny veiled point where his knee was supposed to be
and how the skinny thigh and leg didn't even pretend to fill the trouser on either side of that knee.
He walked with a gait
a gait that bore testimony to his battle with arthiritis
his knees now concealed in that grey pleated wool pant from Harrods
looked like the pits that came from with…

empathy

I watched in disbelief as women in sub-saharan Africa
spend four hours each day getting water into their village.
I then switched off my reason and my empathic self,
got back to my life and drove two hours to work.

A Meditation on Aging...

I saw him stumble and reach out for my hand
one so sure-footed that others had always reached out for his.
I heard him panting and gasping for breath
one so strong that it had appeared he never rested.
I felt him grasp tightly, my arm for balance
one so independent that he had seemed to need no help
I saw him tear up as he reflected on of his life
one so driven that he’d seldom looked back
I heard him talk about the feelings and hurt
one so formidable that we’d never considered his pain
I felt him turning spiritual and philosophical
one so practical that he had appeared only to see the material.

He thinks today’s is the last suit he’ll ever buy
a man who seldom acknowledged endings
He recapped simple instructions as we drove
a man who knows how to do everything
He said things that are obvious and apparent
a man who had little patience with chit-chat.
He thanked me today for a suit I bought him
a man who bought me every suit I’ve ever owned
He wondered aloud why people are mean
a man …

the Eulogy

The priest said that she was a wonderful person. One who had kept the family together.
What did he say at my father’s funeral? After divorce and suicide had delivered him there.

Oh!

Our civilization has arrived at this station
we alight and look around
to find
buildings filling with our mothers and fathers
hospitals filling with grandparents and relatives
who are wandering the wilderness of old age
as insecurity’s companions
grey-matter greying
tendons aging
joints decaying
eyes watering
as they shuffle their way through long days of weakness
oft-despairing
always lonely
Minds firm, bodies infirm
bodies firm, minds infirm

Oh Medicine! see what we’ve done…
pushed on the boundaries of our mortality
bought a decade maybe two back from death’s timetable
So around us we find
aging children of super-aged parents
the infirm caring for the infirm
One tired generation at home
another fragile generation in old-homes

Oh Medicine! see what we’ve done…
Sandwich generations are the norm
no longer the exception
The joy of four generations at the Thanksgiving table
tempered by weightier burdens of inter-generational responsibility.

Oh people! see where we’ve come…
to a worl…

Spontaneous words...

Ten years from now I don’t know where
you’ll be
or
I’ll be
Ten years ago you were
a little girl running around the house with short hair!

I do hope to see you doing well in your life, Inshallah (God-Willing)

Remember
when you make tough decisions
you can always tell me
let me know how things are going
I promise I will never say I told you so
because I hope to teach you everything I know by the time you are eighteen
After that its for you to do for yourself
for you to figure out
its between you and God.

..But know
that I will always support you unconditionally
always be ready to help you.

The thing about life my dear is this decision...
when to use your heart and when to use your brain
Sometimes you have to rationalize and
other times you have to see with your heart.
The tough job is to figure out
what to lead with, and
what mix of heart and mind to use.

Our Child, America

I stepped up to the cashier put my candy on the counter looked up to meet his unsure but friendly smile You remember me? You took me to Wendy’s for ice-cream …and we talked? he inquired childlike. Yes of course, I remember. You were working with a lady on getting government benefits medicare, medicaid and housing how did it work out? I make too much money, he says they say I make too much money! his eyes disbelieving his voice appealing I make $1500 a month, and I don’t understand, because I’m barely above the poverty line, he volunteers innocently. Adam’s a young white man barely made it through high school has no parental guidance or support seemingly normal and street-smart unwise, immature, insecure. A boy-like man functional in a transactional world only by his wits and ability to hide vulnerabilties disabilites within a veneer of grooming and behavior of sealed lips and servitude which he puts on before work, each day so he can namelessly serve the function the world asks of him without entering into our c…

A whitescape

It snowed today
just enough
for snowflakes to balance
on tree limbs and twigs
to accent one aspect of every branch
like shadows in white.
As evening falls
over the limestone landscape
a gentle wind courses
teasing delicately arranged flakes
out of their formation
into another beautiful journey.
Wind gusts
sweep and swirl
streams of white powder
like unruly locks
of old wispy hair. 
Irresistible
this theatre
even for the shy moon
Peeling back the cumulus and the nimbus
she peers below
her glance gracing
both whitescape and snowflake
conjuring an alchemy,
a luminescence
that radiates
through the night
into my soul,
as I sit inside my bay window.