The Fear of Living
I don’t fear death; I fear living… too long! Some drop and are gone, others take longer to leave this world. Lingering is a fearful word in this old man’s vocabulary. Lingering often comes with losing control, as dementia sets in. Loss of memory, loss of driving privileges, loss of physical abilities to function without help all come with different levels of fear. And then there is pain. Chronic pain is very real to many, both young and old. It changes how we live and function.
I watched my father-in-law as he gradually developed Alzheimer’s disease. It was so hard to give up his keys to his car. But, not remembering where his car was parked, or how to navigate across the city of Edmonton, made driving too risky for him. When his wife developed a brain tumor, he had to move to a care facility, which involved more loss and now separation. It was extremely sad to see this happen. Even in the best of settings life was no longer memorable for him.
Fear of living on and on and out of control is my greatest fear. I try not to think about it or obsess over it, but it constantly shadows the recesses of my mind.
Living well for now
Aging brings new challenges
Life becomes fearful
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone asked us to think about our fears. This seems to be the season of the year when fright and fear are celebrated in some circles. Spooky ghosts and goblins are nothing compared to the real fear of living in pain or life out of control.
Thanks to my friend, David’s, post for stimulating these thoughts:
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When I was ten years old, my parents announced to the four of us children that we were going to be having a baby brother or sister. Back then there were no tests to tell ahead of time. What a surprise for me (and I think for my parents as well). My mom was 43 at the time, and having a baby at that age was questionable back then, since the age factor could lead to issues like Downs Syndrome and others.
I remember being introduced to people as the “Baby of the family!” It brought a lot of good attention it seemed. But with the advent of my new little brother, all that changed over night. All went well and my brother Philip was born without any complications. He was the first of us to be born in the hospital! He was so cute and everyone loved him and showered him with attention. I don’t remember ever feeling jealous or left out as a result. I am sure it was a bigger adjustment for my parents than it was for us children. My sister was delighted to have a little brother and took him under her wing to look after.
Tomorrow, October 25th, he turns 64! It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since then. I wanted to write this post to wish him happy birthday!
What a nice surprise
A little brother arrived
Happy Birthday Phil
Photo from family album
“Like a Poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden… “
~Percy Shelley – To a Skylark
A Poets Hymn
The poets mind is always in tune
to what’s happening all around;
Picking up on tidbits of emotion,
trickles of thought, or misspoken sounds.
Tucking them away for rumination
adding perspective, bias, and slant.
Embellished with bits of truth’s promotion
life lessons to heal and seeds to plant.
Prophets, seekers, mystics, and sages
Words written across his pages
Always in perfect pitch…
a hymn for the ages
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
I enjoy trying different things with my painting. I have not painted since April due to the summer heat. Now that cooler weather is here, I thought I would try a plein air painting. Plien air is a French term that simply means outdoors. I decided to paint the flowers blooming in the wooded area just beyond my back yard. By the time I finished the flowers had disappeared.
Plein air painting
Yellow wild flowers blooming
Painting; Dwight L. Roth
AP – Photo
In India, funeral pyres burn
Smoke of gloom rises from
crematories and parking lots.
Loved ones isolated as fires
consume what mattered most.
Overwhelming numbers rise
along with cries of family.
Ganges carries spirits of
loved ones to the sea.
Today at d’Verse Sarah asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the word Ash. It was shocking to me, earlier in the summer, to see the numbers of Covid-19 deaths rising in India. The funeral pyres burning in parking lots was very sad and disturbing to see. Cremation is done all over the world. The ashes of loved ones are kept or scattered. It is my understanding that the ashes of loved ones in India are often scattered in the Ganges River. Please correct me if I am mistaken. I decided to write about this for my poem today.
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The pregnant ocean swells and flattens
Teaming with life unseen
Feeling its heartbeat in the twilight
With the rhythm of waves
Gently rolling in, caressing the shore.
Salt breezes soften the heat of the day
Gulls circle searching for one more bite
Twilight brings a calm serenity
As the sun kisses the ocean one last time,
Before dropping off the edge of the earth
Only to return again at morning light.
Palms silhouetted against the sky
Sway strong and tall in the evening breeze.
Everyone is gone into the shadows
Following the flaming line of tikki torches
Called by the beat of the drums.
Dancers undulate, grass skirts sway
Twilight’s deep shadows close into
Darkness broken only by flames
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
A rerun of Twilight….