Unknown

The following is a piece that my mother found in a magazine somewhere and asked me to copy it for her. I liked it and made myself a copy.
This is in her memory.

Youth is not a time of life–it’s a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, and supple knees. It is a temper of will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease.

This often exists in a man of fifty more than in a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair–these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.Whether at seventy or sixteen there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars, and the star-like  things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, unfailing appetite for what next and the joy and game of life.

You are as young as your faith and as old as your dread, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

So long as our heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage and grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the infinity–then so long are you young.

When the wires are all down and all the central peace of your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then you are grown old indeed, and may God have mercy on your soul.

 

Author Unknown       If anyone recognizes this, please tell me the author’s name.

 

My Clothes…

are harassing me. I went wild in January in Fort Myers Beach and bought not only new clothes, but different clothes: tops wit wide necklines that show my bra straps. Horrors! Now they sit in my closet saying nasty things to me:When are you going to wear me? You never pay attention to us. We’re just hanging here, stretching ourselves and you don’t have the nerve to wear us!

No, it’s not that. Well, mostly it’s not that. It’s that I lost several pounds in January and bought two pairs of pants that don’t fit me now. Wait! I’ll try them on.

(Time passes.)

They do fit, kinda. How much weight did I lose in Florida? I had no scales to weigh myself on.And now that I have lost weight again they seem a little tight, as though they were designed for a slimmer body in general. And I can’t wear tight clothes, if they’r tight in the legs.

I was caught up in the dazzle of clothes on sale–way on sale–60% off, 80% off at Tanger factory outlet stores. I was as certain as can be that I was saving money. Wasn’t I?

I’ll wear the pants and a grey top today to go out to lunch with our son-in-law. Then I wont hear them whining any more.

 

Why not Poetry…

It’s time for a change:

OUR SUMMER FURNITURE                                                          June 13, 1975                         A Report from Bernie on Prince Edward Island

Some sonofabitch
Stole our furniture.

Just a couple of rockers,
A couch,
And a bureau or two.

It seemed shabby and poor,
A poor man’s way of surviving,
Hearing it over the phone
From Officer Curtois
Of the Mounted Police.
(I heard “Officer Cootie,”
I’ll never catch up with
Anglicized French.)

That was October.
Now it’s June and I
Hear it’s more complicated.
That sunofabitch is
Multiplied by several.
And they aren’t poor.
They sell antiques.
Ours

Mirrors, dishes, tinware:
A picture of an old-fashioned
Girl with a modern cat
Climbing over her shoulder
And tasting milk, or
Soup, or something
Forever gone.

A picture of your grandfather, Angie-Ban.
Do people buy instant
Ancestors?
Or is that noble, bearded man
Long thrown away and
Burned in someone’s
Kitchen stove?
(Your eyes were his.
I’ll miss him in the living room.)

A framed somber annojuncement
Of death–two great-uncles and their nephew,
Lost at sea eighty years ago,
Now lost again,

And a priest’s phtograph
Unnamed:
If I knew who he was,
I forgot.
Now I can’t forget his pale, placid, collared face.
Only “Jesus as Carpenter”
Is left.

Perhaps it’s a lesson:
Learn a Trade
and
Find the Way..

Be loving and forgive the sinners;
Squat on the floor,
Eat from the common pot
(Did they leave any forks?)
LIve without chairs and
Chests–
Oh! the bear rug gone! Locked in a chest for  years,
It was a consolation on cold nights
to know it was there.)

Find an example in the
Mouse and the Bird,
No summer have they left us
Alone,
Always reminders–
Dead birds, mice nests made
Of blankets–
To comfort us.

The sun is there, too,
Usually.

If not the sun, then the
Clouds, or the
Rain.

All is God’s way,
We are left alone,
To ponder and
Fumble our Way

Through antique shop
Looking for the
Sunofbitches who
Stole our furniture..