March 5th, 2012

cleaning-sweep

THE OLDER WE GET, THE BETTER WE USED TO BE*

Some days I can't settle at all and others that's all I seem to be doing. I look at the backs of my hands and think how much smoother they used to be. The crosshatching has always been there; I remember it clearly yet it seems so much more prominent now. The knuckles knobblier, the grooves ...groovier. I still bear, here and there, the tiny white scars of cat scratches from long-ago, they've faded a great deal. The veins, on the other hand, are not fading, quite the opposite. My hands are still smooth, but not when they are bent at the keyboard. I can see my old lady hands from here.

The house is quiet. Almost too quiet. But playing music distracts me right now. I need to be still and let the words flow, instead of having them be caught up and swirled away. Too much of my time is swirled away, flying up into the air in spiraled hieroglyphics that disappear into the past. You might think that I'd be busy making noise to cover the absence of my family but actually I am wallowing in silence. No one has the TV on. No one is talking to anyone else or yelling at anyone else or asking me for anything. Every year when my family goes skiing, I dive happily into my alone-time and curl up in it. A week is just perfect: enough time to myself to really enjoy it and not enough time to miss them too much.

When I look at current photos of my best friend from junior high, she looks exactly the same to me. When I look at myself in the mirror, I see myself as I WAS, not always as I am. Focusing often comes as a shock. When did THAT happen, I think? When did that start to wrinkle/sag/discolor/fade? The older we get, the better we used to be, indeed. I'm at least 20 years younger in my head; often more.

Anders has a hella big birthday coming up. The fact of it is making me ponder my own mortality, my own rate of exchange of youth for experience. It's not a pleasant exercise; far from it. But, as they say, the alternative is worse. Coming to terms with it is the process of a lifetime, I suppose. Once we finally get used to the idea, then what? EEK!

I think the amount of clutter-clearing I have been doing lately has exacerbated this internal discourse. It makes me think of later days; of paring down, of letting go of things. I should be feeling freer for every bag of gently used stuff I put in the donation pile but instead it's making me morbid. Perhaps just getting it OUT of the house will help; it's fenging up the shui in here.

*Title paraphrased from a quote by Lee Trevino