old age

DSC06453 - Version 2

I had a delightful conversation with Julia Brabenec, from Northport, yesterday.  She is a member of Trinity.  We had tea, fresh bread, and poetry.  Julia read me a number of her poems, including this one.  She gave me her permission to post it here for you to read:

Old Age

How does it happen? We are walking
down the road of life, singing gayly,
thinking it a lark, playing by the rules
(and sometimes not,) tending our affairs
quite unaware of much that walks behind
us in the dark. Then suddenly it’s there!
A stealthy hand has placed an unseen mark
upon your back that only others see.
Nothing much has changed inside
yet others view you in a different light.
Their voices show concern,
gently condescending – subtle
message in a glance, an arm held out
to help a faltering step, perceived
by chance within the viewer’s eyes –
their courtesy unasked for but
accepted somewhat graciously.
   It’s strange how all our many years
unfold, slowly bringing visual change
leading to this sudden category: OLD.
   Yet truth be told, although we’re
somewhat rearranged, the center
of our being carries in its core
the essence of the youth that we retain
from all the years we lived before —
the whole of our experience.
   It may be difficult to entertain the thought
that we are really not what we appear to be –
obtuse old bodies, unneeded by society.
No one can see what’s lying deep
beneath the wrinkled skin that sags
from years of use; the hallowed space
we keep within us, holding carefully
to treasured chapters of Our Life’s Mystery.

Thanks for treasuring the chapters of Your Life’s Mystery, Julia.

Published by philandpatricia

we live in Northport, MI

6 thoughts on “old age

  1. Thank you for sharing Julia’s beautiful poem. I think it really captures what I’ve been hearing from my friends. One 84 year old dear one said just yesterday, “Well, I don’t feel 84 inside.”

  2. Yes . . . “no one can see what’s lying deep within” . . . and so it is for us to find ways to share what is deep within as Julia has so creatively done . . . and as you do so well with your photography and your sharing within Trinity. Thank you.

  3. The oldest person in years I ever knew was 101. She was also one of the youngest in terms of her spirit for life. Her name was Ruth Ellis.
    Your poem epitomizes the truth of who we really are – Thank you, Julia

    1. The greatest blessing in growing OLD is the wealth it brings in human kindness; the community of friends that drapes a warm, comforting shawl over aging shoulders.

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