The Quiet Peace at Dusk

The guest room is quiet. I barely hear the cars on the street. The sun has moved so that it barely is above the horizon making the room dull and most would turn on a light. Yet, sometimes it is nice to look around and see some of my paintings, including one I have just finished. I am sure I will start another painting in a couple of days but I wonder what will I do with them.

I look at them and remember the time and the thoughts I had to begin painting each of them. So many people paint stilllifes and are happy, but my paintings must have a story, a message to hopefully relay to the viewer. These stories and messages are about life, mine in particular are how I see something affects me. Most carry messages about growing older because I am at that age. I am at a place where the time left is questionable. The length is certainly unknown.

Many years ago, my first worthy blog had the name “Within Crepusculum” .In Medieval use man believed it was a particular period of evening lasting from sunset to vespers, the darker period of twilight when Venus and the stars began to appear. In contemporary usage, the Medieval  has been changed to “crepuscular” an adjective used in thought of the twilight. Now, I feel I have begun the journey into Crepusculum, where you find that you are not as you once were. No one can escape the changes you have as you grow older which then makes you think about your final journey..

Often people do not want to leave this world. It may frighten them. I am not one of them. I have always questioned this thing called “life” and how, we have no choice in getting it or leaving it. I may have been quite testy if I could have been asked  if I would like to be conceived particularly when they explained how the end is also predetermined! I have had an enjoyable life, but if I chose not to have one then nothing more would need to be determined.

It is this darkened room that allows my thoughts to move my fingers across the keyboard to record what is in my mind. Possibly you think I should turn on the light. I know I never will. The room as it is comforts me where the light will not.

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Tomorrow and the Tomorrow after Tomorrow!

Part I

My world is on a jagged, roller coaster ride.  Sometimes the path appears to be straight without any impediments along the way and suddenly, under one of the wheels that ships me on my way, a tiny stone throws me off balance.  Peace may follow again for a short bit, but watch out because there is always a quick, jagged turn.  I lunge forward, crash backwards, appear to ricochet and then settle down only to sway to the right or left before balance and quietude return.  During this maelstrom of events, as I gather up myself from the mental bruising of feeling like a boomerang I become even more quiet, or move into repugnant actions, but always become more introverted than ever before and as I draw within me,  solitude is gained through an incontrollable binge on food followed later by discomfort.

As I grow older,  I find I don’t handle these torrential periods as well as I used to and I am particularly not happy to feel the wear and tear on my body and mind.   Wearing out, physically or emotionally,  before I want to, is not to happen.  I vowed years ago that I would never let something get the best of me, but now I begrudgingly admit, I acknowledge it takes too much energy to even try to go on as long as I used too.

Ah, the wonderment of young years.  In my twenties and thirties I could stay up all day and night working or playing and regardless of the action was able to continue on the next days without a bit of problem.   During my late forties I noticed a little change, but certainly nothing to get excited about, but then that terrible number rolled around and life began to change significantly after fifty.  Oh the change wasn’t again the worst thing  I have ever experienced, I only adapted new ways of working or balancing long hours with hours of rest.  When this current decade of age arrived (the one that placed me in my sixties)  I knew that life was going to be different.  Now at sixty-two I can definitely say, particularly when I have much too do, the amount of physical work I can do is far less than in my twenties.  I must also admit that my midriff is a lot larger than it was.  It seems that if it isn’t one thing then it is another.

Fortunately, I pray, my current situation will not last much longer.  Hopefully, once I reach a point of conclusion in my work, my roller coaster ride will change to a gentler Merry Go Round.  Merry Go Round’s are fine.  You can get on easily when something happens and in a short time you can also step off and quickly and easily return to normalcy.  Now should this not be possible, or if my current  tumultuous life continues on longer than it should, then I will need to take a severe measure by taking charge of me–something that is quite difficult to do.  I can try to help others take charge of their lives, but I am not as good at it in my own life, so let’s hope I don’t have to try!!!


Part II

The climb up the hill finally ended the other day.  All that was to be finished was finished, even though my psychological hill was gouged with unforgettable marks recording how often I slipped, stood up, continued and finally achieved what I wanted.

But–yes and it is a big but–not more than 48 hours after the I looked around from the top of my jagged, hill I began to worry if all this wear and tear would do me some harm.  Another day I knew, as I lay in my bed racked with fever, swollen sinus and chills.  The dreaded ills of just a month ago returned to me.  Possibly if I had taken the time to care for me then, today, I may have not been able to enjoy the return of the same symptoms.

As I look back over the past weeks I wonder if I would have done it any different.  Would I learn to stop, rest and go on, or will I continually just plunge, recklessly forward believing my anthem of “It must be done!” is right.  Here I am somewhere near the entrance to my Crepusculum.  I think I am supposed to be wiser, smarter, seasoned as I cross  over to my twilight years.  But the truth is, I am sure I will continue to blunder on my way as I always do without once taking charge to plan.  Ah tis sad to know that the older I get, the more stubborn I get.

Now with aspirin in me to hold down the fever and allow me to write and think I see just how ridiculous this all is.  I am an adult and I should know better, but I don’t.  Tomorrow will not bring a bolt of lightning to change me, but the tomorrow after each of the new tomorrows may lead me down a new trail and change may occur a little bit at a time.  If only I could believe I am sixty-two and not twenty.  If only I could accept I can’t do it all.  If only I can remember that exhaustion leads to areas I don’t want to go to.  If only I would remember that once I have entered my Crepusculum I had better be just a little more in control!!



Today and then the Tomorrow

It has been many months since I have come to share my thoughts with my readers.  I doubt that many of you are left, but possibly you will see this post and wonder, “Is it true–did he write!”  Yes, it is time to write, it is time to use Crepusculum once more to help me sort out my thoughts, particularly those centered upon this state of life that I am in.  No I did not make a mistake, I believe I am with in a very strange state where my life is experiencing not all things that are good.

The thing that makes me edgy is change.  I don’t like it, yet how do you stop tripping on all the stumbling blocks along your  life voyage.   The little differences that affect me are the ones that plague my mind, yet humorously the changes that I have made happen to me are wonderful for me, but often not as fun for M. as he watches me becoming a less readable person.

It came to me one day–I stopped dead in my tracks and said, “Are you going to continue this way and die this way?”  Next I asked, “If you don’t, then start loosening the mental restrictions you have always endured.”  I did and it was like I took off a girdle.  Suddenly my lifelong inhibitions started to crumble.  At first, when I did a few things I had never done before, I stopped to take heed and lectured my self on being so indefinite.  I thought, people aren’t supposed to be so dissolute.  Pick yourself up and stop the nonsense.

Well, it wasn’t so easy.  Those tiny little crumbs, the newness of unbridled life was so monumental that there was no stopping me.  I had broken the shackles and I felt I had just a small chance to taste life in a wonderful new way.  I knew I needed to because if I was expected to become Within Crepusculum one day, then my time before the entry into my dusk needed to be brilliantly, humorously, tastefully, possibly wantonly paved with exciting memories of now.  If the twilight was only to be heralded with boredom then I was on my way to an eternally, troubled existence that would lead me to my last, darkest hours.

Then of course,  this renaissance or even possible birth of independence, seems triggered by old haunts that I have had for years that are coupled with my continued grief and nonacceptance of my management of family and death  during those pungent days of last November.  Time will only tell if the closure that must come one day will rid me of my mind of blame  and permanently open the the door of my Renaissance.

Crepuscular Shopping!

It has been a dry period for me, where I can write about something prolific.  My mind might think of something, but rarely could I call it stuff that is special!!  Writing about the human twilight and beyond can become a little boring unless you do a lot of research or are incredibly creative.

Today I am not creative.  When the mail arrived I complacently looked through the envelopes and there it was, a little teeny golden egg, that maybe if I played my cards right I could write and enlarge upon the idea.  What was even more surprising is that it fits right into anyone’s journey toward their twilight.  Just think, most of you aren’t even ready to think about this time of your life, but when you are, you probably could come back here to reread the post, unless of course, wordpress or myself have moved on!!

M, who is older than I, (thankfully) received a catalog entitled “Independent Living Aids–Vision Products for you Active Independent Life”.  I smiled and remembered the other magazines we receive at home that address the older years and the aids one can order.  Some of those catalogs are, “Dr. Leonard’s” and  “Amerimark”.  A search of the internet found  some others that  I could store them away to use in my older years.  I should be fair and say that many of these magazines offer many items that are actually very good for seniors and even younger ages, so it doesn’t hurt to thumb through the pages.  Once you do,  you can quickly evaluate just how good the magazine is!!  One thing, though, you should not judge the magazine as bad just because it provides all sorts of nifty, marital aids!!  Although, when my Mother asked what the items were used for I always told her to ask my sister.  She did.

There are all sorts of products available.  Here is a partial list of product categories that three of the catalogs offer:

From Independent Living Aids:

The following are only some of their products that are a special for the month.  If you have a hard time seeing or hearing then  this site will give you a plethora of items to choose from so that you can see and hear better.  There are all sorts of lights, magnifying glasses, etc. to help you do things.  I must remember to keep this address.  I need a good light!!!

2.5” Large Red Numbers Desk or Wall Clock
Sits on a desk or push the panel forward and it can be mounted on a wall. All operating buttons are large and visible.
Item Number: 835923 In Stock
Price: $16.95

4 Alarm Talking Watch and Date (Round)
4 Alarm Talking Watch and Date (Round).
Item Number: 756474 In Stock
Price: $19.95

Beeping Foam Ball
Beeping Foam Ball
These safe-to-use foam balls are easy to find by following their high-pitched beeping.
Item Number: 108421 In Stock
Price: $39.95

E Z Fill Liquid Alarm
A bright red, small (2 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ x 3/4″) gadget that buzzes to indicate that a liquid has reached about 1″ from the top of the container.
Item Number: 765450 In Stock
Price: $12.95

Giant Button Affordable Speaker Phone with Flashing Ringer
In addition to 10 two-touch speed dialing, 3 programmable one-touch speed dials, hold button, last number re-dial, it is a two-way speaker phone with volume control. Measures 8 1/2″ x 5 3/4″ and has 1″ x 1 1/4″ buttons with large bold numbers.
Item Number: 186254 In Stock
Price: $19.95

LCD Magnifier & Filter

LCD Magnifier & Filter
High quality fresnel lenses that increase the character size over two times.
Item Number: 454502DS
Price: $94.95

Large Print Bingo Cards (10 pack)
The numbers on these large (6.75 x 7 inch) heavy-duty bingo cards are .62 inches high.
Item Number: 118743 In Stock
Price: $11.95

NoteTeller 2 - Talking Money Identifier
The Note Teller is a compact (6 inch by 3 inch by 1 inch), lightweight (8 ounce) portable talking money identifier that will verbally announce the denomination of ALL bills from a one dollar bill to a one hundred dollar bill, including all “new” 5’s, 10’s, 20’s, 50’s and 100’s.
Item Number: 541600 In Stock
Price: $295.00

From ElderDepot:

FREE Shipping on all orders over $50.00 within the Continental U.S.
Caregivers’ Corner
Home Incontinence Bed Bath Dining Clothing Vision & Hearing Mobility Gift Shop

ElderDepot is a very traditional internet store to buy ids for elderly.  They carry all the safety bars for the bathroom, tub bars, toilet risers, etc.  If you need those things then this is the site for you!

From Amerimark:

Shop By Department

Amerimark carries different kinds of catalogs.  The department above are really separated into the different catalogs you can receive at home.  They have a lot of apparel, jewelry and things for women.  Some of the clothes are stylish, while others you wonder who would wear the clothes.  But, if you are on a budget, older and can’t get around it is a place you can consider.

From Dr. Leonard’s:

Home Health Products Support & Mobility Apparel Shoes & Footwear Home Furnishings Exercise & 4Nutrition Housewares Hobbies & Leisure Personal Care

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Dr. Leonards carries a little something for everyone.  I have even ordered moccassins from them when their sale or shipping was less than Carol Wright’s.  There were some products my Mother used, including some of the least expensive and good support hose you can find in the market place.  They also have a selection of clothing that changes by the month, but I would not call it haute couture, maybe basic to sub-basic.

Here are some highlights from Dr. Leonards and ElderDepot.

Dr. Leonards:

Dr. Leonard’s has some things for all ages!   The image below are ICE TREADS that you can put on any pair of shoes you have and then you can easily walkon top of the winter ice!!

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Now after you scoop the snow you might like to try:

Dr. Frank’s Joint & Muscle Pain Relief

It helps stop pain from Arthritus, Fibromyalgia, Carpal Tunnel, Sprains, Tennis elbow, Joint Stiffness, Muscle Strains and Sport Injuries all for $15.99

ElderDepot.com

Flexible Utensil Set w/ EZ-Grip Handles

Complete dining set includes stainless steel rocker knife, spoon and fork that can be angled up 90 degrees, and large, non-slip handles for easy gripping.

$29.99


Now this is something you might want now if your pills are a little too big!

Ultra Fine Cut n’ Crush

You’ll love the convenience of this compact pill cutter and crusher.

Very resonable at (?) $9.75

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From Amerimark:

Reventin™ Intensive Serum for Wrinkles

Powerful Formula for Deep Wrinkles

Deeper wrinkles, creases and folds need special attention that the average skin cream doesn’t provide. Reventin™ Intensive Serum for Deep Wrinkles is an advanced anti-aging formula that absorbs deeply into skin for serious results. Enriched with collagen, cucumber extract and glucosamine — Reventin™ does more than just firm and tone, it helps erase wrinkles for a softer, more youthful appearance. 2 fl. $12.95b

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Modern Kama Sutra 3-DVD/CD Set

Make Your Sex Life Sizzle!
Discover the teachings of the ancient Kama Sutra with this erotic and informative 3-DVD set. Pleasuring Her First focuses on passionate kissing, manual lovemaking and oral sex techniques.Sexual Positions for Great Sex demonstrates an amazing array of positions designed to bring out the passion.Sensual Secrets to Amazing Sexshows how to open your senses and heighten intimacy in your lovemaking. Approx. running time 110-120 minutes (each). Set includes 3 DVDs plus 3 FREE CDs of sensual music. Contains nudity.  And it is only:$29.99

Just possibly this post has drawn a smile across you face and also has given you some insight for what is available in those little magazines that arrive in your post that you have thrown away.  It doesn’t hurt to stash a copy somewhere for future  reference!!  Or maybe you are thinking it wouldn’t hurt  to order  some ice treads to use for the rest of the winter.

Happy shopping!!!

Is it a question of attitude?

 

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  I am convinced that life is 10% of events that happens to me and 90% of how I react to those times!  Therefore, it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.  Charles W. Swindoll

When I first read this quote, I passed right on by it.  A few days later, I came upon it again, reread it, and finally realized what I should have seen before!

I stopped to think about my attitude and how my outlook for the day is formed and if it ever changes during the day, what either format means and if there was anything I should do about making sure I carried with me the best possible reaction to the events in my life.

Usually, I awaken in the morning very early.  This is a hold over from when my Mother was alive, but now I treasure that time because it is my time to think, write or do whatever I like on the computer.  It is a time that is always in the darkened room.  It is always quiet and affords me the ability to write in privacy!  While I am at the computer I have a small cup of coffee and if it is one of the days that sleep has eluded me then the coffee does no good, I still feel like sleeping, I nod often and soon realize the best thing to do is go lay down!

When I first awaken and during this private time, I am one of those that do not wake up to well.  Two hours can pass and I will still be in a cloudy state.  Yes, I can write and develop what I am writing, but if I need to really think, or function, I am not too good at it at this hour.  I have always been like this in the morning, quiet and possibly, you would think I was in a dreamland, which I may be.  Regardless, I feel I am innocent in premeditated actions because I just could not plan a thing until much later.  When I worked, I always responded the same way when I got up.  So often, then, I repeatedly told myself everything would be fine once I got in the car, because I knew I needed to face the day as soon as possible.  After arriving at work I still needed my time…everyone knew that and usually, unless a crisis set in, everyone respected that time.

At home, during my state of reverie I may go about straightening things up a little.  I may move a comb, a knife or a sheet of paper, all in grand innocence, yet those are the things that annoy M the most.  If I do move them, I am chastised and there fore, at that moment, my Attitude is negatively forned for the day.  Possibly, the phone may ring and the caller may also perturb me or even the cat can bring me from cloudy maze to arched eyebrow disdain.  These ill-received words received may cause my attitude to be less than stellar for hours.  I can, unintentionally, brood during that time.

When I finally read Swindoll’s quote I sheepishly thought, yes I do have a choice.  I can allow a sarcastic question/statement to send me lurking about in dark moments or I can tell my self that it is not worth having them affect my attitude for the whole day.  I think he makes sence wben he writes that events happen to you each day but they only comprise a small percentage of your life, as compared to how we react which can be a much higher percentage of getting it wrong.  So if life (my happiness and good will) is 90% of how I react to the events in my life then I had better start making respond positively, rather then letting my attitude travel south into a not so happy place.

 

Finally, I came to a conclusion!!

So many times,  in the past, I have wondered when I will be at the point to enter Within Crepusculum.  I asked myself,  was there a particular age and conjectured that it certainly was no where near the age that I am.  Unfortunately. I kept thinking about it as a year, a birthday, a definite milestone that I could post on the calender and be ready for it when it arrives.

That is very bad logic to conclude that the beginning of one’s twilight can be targeted with an actual date.  When I think about that assumption, its almost as though I believe you should look at a calender and see your prearranged death date!!

Then, just the other day, I stopped what I was doing and realized I may never know beforehand.  Its just going to happen one day.  I think I will be doing something that I have always done so easily (This has to be a significant task, because if it wasn’t I doubt that I would pay much attention to it) and suddenly, I will realize I can’t do it or I can’t do it anywhere near as well as I did the year before.  If this sort of thing happens all too often, maybe three to four times in a row, then I will take it as some kind of a sign.

Regardless, I am very aware that the years that have currently passed are piling up on my age, but I am determined, like my Mother was, not to be effected by their passage and not accept being older when I don’t feel that much older than I did a decade ago.  We have a friend in Toronto who is four or five years older than me, yet he lives his life already within his twilight.  I don’t think he has a spark of youthfulness about him and I realize he has had some health issues, but that certainly is not reason enough to consign yourself to your twilight years.    The other unfortunate thing is that he does not understand what he has done to himself by responding to life negatively, which in turn allowed himself to be completely engulfed.   It is sad to watch and recognize the crepuscular qualities he has.    Lately he calls to tell us his other friends at home have asked to see him less than they used to do.  In comparison to me, his actions significantly show that I haven’t even neared those years.

For a while, during this time of mourning, I found my self even more than just lethargic.  I had days that I couldn’t think straight.  During those days I had attempted to do some work that any other time I could have done quickly and simply.  This time everything fell apart and it took me longer to plan than it has ever taken me.  Immediately, I kept wondering, “Is this it, is this the way one starts to behave before they take that final step into the twilight??  Fortunately, I came to my senses and accepted that my actions were not signs of entering the dusk of life, but rather it was a symptom of grieving.  It was a hard lesson to learn how to evaluate and now I can easily tell one from the other!!

When I finally realized my error, I came to a conclusion.  First I accepted that I will be having many more scattered days, until more time has passed in my mourning.  And that presently, my thoughts and the mourning I am experiencing are an opportunity for me to continue to grow and understand the world around me.  It becomes a very difficult task for me to explore death and mourning and the beliefs that I have.  To be able to accomplish this, I must see myself going though another whole segment of my life, a part that now I feel is integral to prepare me for the entrance into my crepusculum.

Imagine its absence while you are alone!

rose-for-one-little-word

The poem that follows was inspired by the constant memory of the moment my Mother left this earth.  But, it is not only written to record a memory, it is dedicated to the many people I know, including myself, that may have their final hour alone.

I have written about my being alone, as I reach the end of my journey Within Crepusculum,  I have worried about entering my own final darkness without someone I know to accompany me on that profound voyage.  I have thought endlessly of the many things I need to do after I begin my twilight journey, especially deciding who could accompany to the end of my Darkness.

Because I was determined to make my Mother’s final hour as safe as possible for her, I think of all of the people who might be alone.  I do believe my Mother felt loved and accompanied.  I sang her songs, especially “You are my Sunshine” and talked to her to look for her Angel and that at the very end of the path she should see my father waiting for her.  My sister interjected that she always thought of that particular time to be colorful and that you pass from the darkness into Paradise on the Rainbow Bridge.  I  quickly included this in my whispering in her ear.  We both wanted her to know she wasn’t alone and that we were going to accompany her all the way to the Rainbow Bridge.

I think that all humankind should have that ability to have the living accompany them as far as they can and help them not be frightened.  Death is as poignant as Birth.  In birth you have a whole life ahead of you and you aren’t even aware of that until you are much older.  But in Death you have lived your whole life and your heart is filled with the memories from it.  To have someone you love or know accompany on your final journey into the Darkness is a fitting wish.

Sometimes I kid myself and say that death, mine, doesn’t bother me.  In reality that is a lie, a cover up  so  that I don’t express how frightened I may feel about it.  Now, I can’t imagine being alone or just with strangers at that final hour.  If I had been able to understand life more I would have already accepted that I prefer having someone near me when I was with my Aunt when she died many years ago.  She waited for me to arrive before she allowed her death to occur.  She needed me, her choice, to tell her she was safe to leave and that I would be there by her.  Shortly after I told her she died.  That very moment  when some one passes from earthly life and on into Paradise is indescribable and I certainly will not even try to do it, yet I will say it is profound.

Just take a moment to think about that moment.  Think of what separates life from death and then imagine its absence……………

One Little Word

There is this little word, often used within a phrase,

that heralds the difference between life and death.

You never know the exact moment that death arrives,

and often you question how much longer.

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You ask how much longer not because you want it over,

but because you continue to pray for “for just a little more time”,

Time to hug, time to kiss, time to feel and time to remember,

yet you know that it all depends on one little word, one little phrase.

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Panic reigns inside your chest and head as your heart beats harder,

your eyes well with tears and you know there isn’t time for tears.

Tears choke the words you need to say in the hope they are heard,

words you use to bring comfort and  healing, but never death.

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You say those words and pray that life continues a moment longer

so that you feel you have one more second to share your love.

Deep inside, once again,  you tremble and falter because your heart

is aware of that one little word waiting to define who is still living……..

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Your words tumble forth, yet in the quiet of the moment you know

these are the last words you will be able to utter to the one you love.

There in that moment you hold tightly for fear of losing your loved one,

yet just then you know the time is here and the word is to be spoken.

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Hear it echo in the quiet of the moment as you place a kiss upon the cheek,

then one on the lips, while next you grope quickly to squeeze the hand.

Silently, with no need to to speak, you lay your head against the other and bid good bye,

good bye to the one you love because now “they no longer breathe”.