4 haiku on aging

Daily progress
with pain in every step
These “golden years”

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Unable to sit
Unease prevents stillness
My restless legs

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Time goes faster
Losing track of days
One more bare limb

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Once, clarity
of a happy, sad youth –
memory fades

… on… lessons in rust….

Hello again everyone.   As many of you know I have a preoccupation with the subject of rust in my photos.   More than a few of my photos feature rust in some form.  Today is no different.   I’ve been thinking about why I find rust to be such a dynamic subject.   Part of it is (as I’ve written on my previous blog) the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic;  Finding beauty in the imperfect, the flawed and discarded.   But it also goes beyond that.   I think rust has many lessons to teach us.  No only about the inevitable end of all things but also how we can come to terms with the inevitable end.   Rust is strong.   It’s strength does not lie in speed, or the forceful blow to its subject.  Rust is gentle.  It does not seek to hide – it is visible in its destruction.  Rust takes it’s time; the object of its affection is coaxed into its corrosive embrace.

The Way Out Is Through

You and me like all things must end.   It is the nature of things.  We are mortal.  That means we will not live forever no matter how hard we try to extend the time we have.   I don’t care how fit you are, how free of disease you have been, your physical fitness, or your emotional health.   You will die.  In fact, you might say you are already dying.  And that’s okay.   There is beauty in the process.   What?  Yes, there is beauty in the process of dying = it’s all in how you look at it.   You can approach it with grace and appreciation for the time you have and the inevitable end or you can fight it every single step of the way.   I once heard a woman say, “I do not plan to grow old gracefully, I plan to fight it every step of the way”.   I’ve always found that viewpoint rather tragic.  But that is the prevailing viewpoint in western society.  In fact the exception in western culture is that you must fight it and with medical and technological advances you can fight aging, disease etc.  But that is all a delusion.  In the west we have become masters of delusion and self-deception.

Why do we find Autumn to be one of the most beautiful times of the year?  Autumn is the season of dying.   The leaves on trees are the most colorful just before they die and fall to the ground.   And this change seems to happen rather fast but the change actually started  at the point the leaf first came out and reached maturity on its branch back in the Spring.  Our lives are the same way.    It’s not just the newborn and young that are beautiful.   Beauty is enhanced through experiences that are both good and bad.   Rust is like that; it is one of those experiences that may seem to hasten the demise of something but it does not know that.   It just is.   It is a part of nature.  A part of life experience just like disease, physical and emotional discomfort.   Those things exist to add to our beauty.

Catacombs In Rust

You find me
Slowly you Change my life
I love you

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I feel your presence
your corrosion adds beauty
glory of Autumn

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Your rough embrace
Enhances my life through change
I welcome you

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The color of love
Textures the smooth beauty of life
Open arms tremble

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Sing a song of rust
A slow ballad of decay
Autumns dying love

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Sound of slow scraping
Crippled dry dusty fingers
Wabi-Sabi world

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Illusions of age
You teach strength through weakness
Beauty in Frailty

Face The Colour Of Your Fears

Your music moment provided by a band I recently discovered and had to buy all their albums – Do Make Say Think – A TENDER HISTORY IN RUST from their album You, You’re A History In Rust.

Album version


Alternate version

****Hey!  if you have short form poem or haiku about rust and the ideas I’ve written about, please feel free to post in your comment.  😉

… on… aging is like flying….

When I was young I learned how to fly.
Now that I’m old I’m learning how to land.

It isn’t always easy.
I get frustrated.
Sometimes I crash and burn.
I still need practice.

Landing The Hard Way

Landing The Hard Way

God Is An Astronaut – Fragile

… on… getting old DOESN’T suck….

Mortal.  It’s what we are.  Even our super heroes  with their super powers are mortal.  All things get old and die.  But we have somehow deluded ourselves into denying our mortality by thinking if we make the right plans, if we eat right and exercise our mortality will not be of an issue.  But we are lying to ourselves.

Infants are unaware of their mortality.
The young ignore it.
Adults deny it.
Mature adults fight it.
Seniors can’t escape it.

In fact all our marketing and advertisements seem to promote products that help us deny, fight or escape our mortality by finding ways of promoting youth and not growing old.  But these are lies.

2010 Three-Wheeler

Getting old doesn’t suck.
I use those words specifically because I hear a different version of them ALL the time. I’m really tired of hearing “Getting old sucks” from people complaining about their ailments or expressed as a sort of sympathy for my when I talk about my ailments.  For example, I have arthritis which has caused complications with bursitis and also sciatica and I also have atrial fibrillation.   These conditions come and go by degrees.  And while I have these pains that have caused me to resort to using a cane to help get around and have limited my mobility I do not complain.  I’m just happy to be alive.  Pain reminds me of my mortality and the older I get the more aware I am of the end that is destined to come – an end that I will welcome but will not rush toward.

It seems at times that we have finally become such a youth-based culture that aging and all it’s related issues have become completely intolerable as if mortality was something to be cured of, or fixed.  And medical science and technology have done nothing to diminish that idea.  Yet for every disease that is cured a new one is discovered.  It is inevitable and will continue to be so because we are mortal and there is NO CURE for mortality.

I once wrote the following 2 ideas (in previous blog posts):
1. We begin to die the moment we are born.
2. We spend our whole lives learning how to die.

We must come to terms with our mortality in loving acceptance.  Failure to do so will only result in the unnecessary illness of self-delusion.

At times it seems that we are just one step away from the Euthanasia portrayed in the science-fiction film – LOGAN’S RUN (1976) where life must end at the age of 30.  And maybe that is the only solution to our mortality.  Blind delusion that leads us to an end that is sooner than what was destined.

Sure, I’m getting old and I am accruing illnesses that accompany my status and state of being. I can’t change it.  I can’t turn back the clock. I accept that I have changed.  In fact at times I look back to when I was in my 20’s and think, “who was that person?” and ruminate that I’m not sure I would like to meet that person if I bumped into them today. My values have changed.  Getting old doesn’t suck – it’s just different.  I can still experience good things – even if it means just sitting by my window enjoying a quiet moment watching the sun rise.  I can still contribute to the world around me (whether others pay attention or not).  Life is beauty and pain.  We cannot escape pain and mortality.  We should welcome it regardless of what may come – at any age.

while at the hospital – 2 poems

Two poems while spending time in the hospital with Dad.

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He

standing by the mirror
face unknown
memory of youth
now
naked
frail
weakened

memory of showers
remembrance of shaving
smooth skin
now
wrinkled
unsteady
dry

now there is trouble, shaving a chore
nothing is comfortable
and all you can do is wait
now
tests
results
hope

~ 10/13/14 Aultman Hospital, Canton, OH.

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old skin hangs on old bones
through the back of a hospital gown
the time is slow
caution steps
one day at a time
ice cream melting in the sun
life is still present
but changed
my love is still present
but changed
a time of fast questions
slow answers
and wonder

~ 10/13/14 Aultman Hospital, Canton, OH.

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If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime’s argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are