I was reading a book of poems written by a woman who decided to take up poetry at the age of 90, a book offering more illumination than I was prepared for this evening. Illumination of so many things.
What it might feel like to lose a spouse and miss that spouse, desperately. The experience of reading your own writing, many years after the words were written, and realizing that beautiful part of yourself is gone. The gratification of taking a stand on a small thing, but one that will change each remaining year of your life—demanding no one buy you birthday gifts, at 90 years old. The relief felt. No more false gratitude required. The energy of those little lies, returned to you.
And just as she gets me thinking about my future, I turn the page to find an interview where she is quoted:
It is very constrictive and destructive to always be living beyond the moment; to be preparing.
So I lean forward, resting my right elbow on this book, my chin in my hand, and look at the wall for a while, appreciating what is now.
Poems from the Pond