“. . . we can catch our breath and turn transfixed. . . “

Washing dishes is, believe it or not, a two-handed job.

Washing dishes is, believe it or not, a two-handed job.

Everyone knows the old saw, “Getting old is not for sissies.” A friend has a better aphorism: “Getting old is a full-time job.”

I’m pretty sure my shoulder’s damaged rotator cuff and torn tendon were not the result of old age. I don’t have an explanation such as a fall or any other incident I can remember that would have caused them. Especially so short on the heels of more or less the same problem in my hip. Dr. Miracle Worker did that one, too.

The fact is, I don’t think of myself as much older than I was when I finished my Ph.D. So that full time job of getting older is for you old people. My birth certificate and driver’s license say I’m about to be 69. I expected that to happen someday, just not this soon.

I intend to write soon about that getting older business. But it’s taking second place to the current problem which is this damned sling my arm is in. Three more weeks. So I’ve documented a few of the ordinary tasks I’ve had to learn to do, or simply not do with my arm in this ridiculous contraption.

Try to put your socks on with one hand. When you discover you need a pedicure, it’s too late because you’ve already snagged three socks.
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You need either your big brother close by to zip you up, or a better friend than most of us have. Or you can wear nothing but sweats.
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Some essentials are possible but forbidden.
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Making music is required regardless of difficulty.

Each winter as the year grows older
we each grow older, too.
The chill sets in a little colder;
the verities we knew seem shaken and untrue.

When race and class cry out for treason,
when sirens call for war,
they overshout the voice of reason
and scream til we ignore all we held dear before.

Yet I believe beyond believing
that life can spring from death,
that growth can flower from our grieving,
that we can catch our breath and turn transfixed by faith.
—Words: William Gay, 1971
—Music: Annabeth Gay, 1971

2 Responses to “. . . we can catch our breath and turn transfixed. . . “

  1. Mary Jackman says:

    Harold, I love the words by Wm. Gay:   Yet I believe beyond believing . . . that life can spring from death

    Thank you. mk

    ________________________________

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