4 haiku on aging

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

+++++++++++++++++++

Unable to sit
Unease prevents stillness
My restless legs

+++++++++++++++++++

Time goes faster
Losing track of days
One more bare limb

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

Night Rain

Night Rain

Splashes and Rivulets.
The rain dances then flows
washing, cleansing the
streets and sidewalks
by lamplight
while the city sleeps.

The sins of Winter
washed into the gutter and
time moves slowly.
I stare impatient
by the window
waiting for repentant Spring.

Choices

in memory of Rod Geiser December 2018

Choices: How Long Does It Take A bullet To Kill?

Choices: Years
It takes years of modeling behavior and molding thought
inspired by wrong perceptions and misplaced values

Choices: Months
There are months of despair
Choices: Weeks
There are weeks of frustration

Choices: Days
Persistent anger for days

Choices: Hours
Decisions made over the course of hours
Choices: Minutes
Actions taken over the course of just minutes

Choices: Seconds
It takes only a second to fire a gun

Choices: Instantly
In an instant the bullet will pierce the body

Choices
…and the destiny of shooter and victim
are irrevocably changed.

Choices
Change MUST come
Politically
Socially
Culturally
spiritually

Choices
Choices I must make
Choices You must make
Choices We must make
The time is NOW.

… on… time….

2012 Marking Time
I’ve been fascinated with concepts of time and our perceptions of it. I just saw this wonderful film that is an artful exploration of the subject of time.
It is titled THE END OF TIME by Peter Mettler…. It is mostly image and music but there is some spoken word. And wow, the spoken word has so many quotable quotes I would just say watch the whole movie. Here is a trailer to entice you.

Did you know that the root word for time and weather is the same in many languages? With that in mind here are eight questions and possible answers arranged in an hourglass shape.

Q: Are you rushing because you are Late?
A: I am getting wet.

Q: Do you like the hot afternoon sun?
A: It is 3PM.

Q: Are you really 85 years old?
A: The sun is setting.

Q: What time is it?
A: It is snowing.

Q: What time is dinner?
A: The wind is blowing.

Q: Where is the sun rising?
A: The dawn comes early.

Q: When does the moon rise?
A: The temperature is dropping.

Q: Do you have the time?
A: Can’t you see the clouds in the sky?

… on… structuring the dawn….

Eyes dim with sleep
Waking from dreams, slowly open
Structuring the dawn

Structuring Dawn

Night blurs into day
Colors and shapes come into focus
Morning clings to light

***The following music moment is from one of my favorite new albums A COMMON TRUTH by Saltland – which is the genius of Canadian composer and musician Rebecca Foon.  Her previous projects include the groups Esmerine and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – all on Constellation Records.

Saltland – LIGHT OF MERCY

…….what I am, what I once was……..

Youth chases after and follows its bliss
The aged remain and rest in their bliss
and neither can tell you where it may be found

Youth is controlled by passion
The aged controls their passion

Youth rushes foolishly head-long to learn
what the aged already know, and have taken years to learn

The error of youth judges the aged
The error of the aged criticizes the youth
And neither respects the other

The aged were once youthful
As the youthful will one day be aged
Neither should be rushed.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE

Vacation?

Over the years I’ve heard so many people talk about vacations.   The build-up and anticipation of a vacation, the vacation itself, and the return (from).    My imagination is startled how the vast majority of people really don’t understand vacation at all. For most it is simply an escape from the routines of daily life.  A vacating of the premises of daily routine.  But is that all there is?

I ask that question because have you ever noticed how people talk about the actual “vacation” and how they feel when they return from vacation?   My observations conclude that people merely replace one itinerary with another.  The time away from routine is another schedule that must be filled and every moment of that schedule occupied by doing this, that or the other.   In fact they are so busy on vacation that when they come back – the vast majority of the time – they talk about it in terms of how they might define work and their daily routines.  In fact most people over-work themselves on their vacation and they end up coming back to work, to the daily routine exhausted.    They vacated one routine and replaced it with another more itinerant time-filler.  What’s missing?   What’s wrong?

People miss the one important thing of a vacation.   They forgot about the vacant.  The emptiness. The space to breathe and just be.   The space to sit, relax and re-energize.  Finding that vacancy in vacation is the key to a true vacation.

When one finds this vacant space they can then actually find ways to incorporate it in their daily routine for mini-vacations.  My daily lunch time is a mini vacation for me.   Most people eat their lunches in the workplace and in America many corporations have “working lunches” while people have their mid-day repast while they work.  In fact at the company I work for they will frequently provide food to make this more attractive and people buy into it because all they think of is “free food” instead of the break from work they are entitled to.    My lunch break is only 1/2 hr long yet it allows me time to decompress, regroup, relax and re-energize for what’s to come for the rest of my shift.    How do I do it?  There is a small park about a 5 minute drive from work.  I drive to the park.   Sit in silence, eat my sandwich or cup of yogurt – whatever I’ve packed for that day – I round it out by closing my eyes for about 5 minutes before I head back to work.   I have a solid 15 minutes of peace, quiet and “escape” from the daily work routine.  It really is quite marvelous.    Of course there are those odd days where I’m required to be in a meeting that has a working lunch but fortunately those are few.    A vast majority of the time I am able to experience some vacancy during my lunch break.

These are things I learned over the years.   My vacations from work (whether a week, a day or an hour) are wonderful vacant spaces that I purposely try not to fill.  Sure I do some activity, I’m not just  “bump on a log” but  again the key is not to crowd out your time with activity but to maybe have an idea and then let it evolve.  And ultimately having to freedom to change your mind and cancel an activity.

One of my favorite films is Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Mr Hulot’s Holiday) This extremely short clip shows a pair of my favorite characters in the film. An older couple who just meander and amble through the film not really doing anything. Yet their vacation is truly a vacancy an itinerary that is empty yet fully experienced. Enjoy. And if you get a chance watch the whole film because it contrasts both notions of vacation: those who are concerned with over-occupying their time and those who are genuinely experiencing the “vacant”.