There comes a time when even the simplest body language speaks to one and one has to listen. It is not an easy thing to do, this confrontation, but it requires some thought. It is easy to anger, but a dumb thing to do. And I try hard not to be dumb. But looking with an attitude of gratitude, I have nothing but awe to grant to this body that has served me so well.
Spending almost a year and a half when I was 10-12 years old in a sanatorium with a spinal problem had me on a curved steel Bradford frame on my back for most of that time. Children were kept immobile in straight jackets on these frames because that was how they treated chronic bone problems before antibiotics. When I was discharged my mother asked the doctor would I be able to have children and the doctor with exasperation I remember saying madam be grateful your daughter is walking. And walk I did, with difficulty and able to have three wonderful children but also to fall in love with my beautiful Earth and take care of the small plot of land for almost a half century. I took my commitments seriously and found virtue in labor and beauty in the doing of it.
So struggling with a continuing spinal and cervical stenosis coupled with a spastic heart that went into cardiac arrest twice have made things more difficult as I age. I learn new things and there will be new ways of doing things. My hours over the worktable lessen but I am grateful for the ways I can contribute to maintenance of our home that keep me mobile. My love of learning has continued to this late date and though my hands are shaky and my body and eye coordination lessens by the day I still do the things I love best.
My eye/hand coordination is not good but I learned this past week how to use the computer to print on fabric and I will be printing my poetry with a new idea in mind. The example I put before you.
For one who misses the old exuberance of my feet hitting the floor as my eyes open, the change to a more sedentary beginning of the day means that my body balks. The Lazy Boy chair beckons more often and I am inclined to rest my eyes, (so to speak). Naps are what the family calls them. Compensation is what Emerson called the balance of Life, God, or Spirit. He calls it the duality in life. For everything you lose, you gain a something else. There is an ancient maxim that says that the dice of God are always loaded. It may seem that there is an imbalance, but the balance is there. It must be so or the Universes would have long ago ceased to be. And I continue with those things that moth and rust do not destroy.
I forgot that I had written In Closing Times this past summer. I find it to have great meaning now.
In The Closing Times
Often there comes a time
to ponder great gifts
when a life has been lived diligently
for them to come forth. . . .
Yet oftentimes they come
in the closing times
when energy fails us
and the eyes dim. . . .
But no harm done,
for magnificent things
instead were accomplished
with greater meaning
and everlasting life.