To Understand Crepusculum and my Art

My blog, Within Crepusculum, was a journey exploring a place and time in my life where not all may continue to be as bright or as defined as my life has been. It is of that age, individually defined, where we all realize we are in our human twilight and eventually will travel beyond its borders.

During the twilight the years continue to multiply. Possibly the first years will be quite enjoyable because I will be able to function at full capacity. I am sure I will have ample time for my art, possibly entering the business world again on a small scale and particularly will have ample time to meet new people and see all the friends I have not been able to see for many, many years.

Eventually, though, the goodness of life fades even more. As I live within the later days of my Crepusculum I may notice the changes in me that do not allow me to enjoy everything as I have, and in the very near future it becomes continually more difficult for me to function. Finally, as time unmercifully passes and I have experienced much more physical and cognitive degeneration I will find it i leads me to my concluding chapter where my degeneration escalates even at a aster rate. . As I think about this time I begin to question how I will deal with growing old and probably growing older alone, as well as dying alone. These conditions are the basis of so many of my concerns; they are incomprehensible for me to face easily. Nevertheless, I will investigate my twilight and beyond it and try to prepare myself for the inevitable.

Many answers to the concerns I have in growing older already exist in my life’s experiences and often in the stories other people tell me about their lives. I will share those stories and experiences with you. I hope you will have ample time today, or at another time to read or ponder!

Possibly you may enjoy seeing my art and understand how the concerns I have in aging are then developed into a body of work.

My work explores how the irreversible transformation of fabric parallels our own aging process. In particular I am concerned about the moment when my ability to live independently begins a transition towards total dependence for life care. At that point I will not be able to control the escalating fragility of my mind and body. This major unidirectional modification in life care prompts feelings of being vulnerable to my world and apprehensive of my tomorrow.

My feelings of vulnerability and the reality of fragility in aging are reflected in the fabric I transform. The hollowness of my forms echo my own feelings of lost capabilities and marks a relentless passage of time.

The stacked, heat transformed, battered sheets of fabric or the bits of fabric packed into layers represent the stages of my life that is filled with memories, thoughts, concerns and experiences that will guide me through my own concluding passages. Additionally, the forms that are deteriorated both on the surface and internally represent the changing structure of my skin as well as specific worries I have about the deterioration of my own body.

The changes in the fabric and my body can never be reversed and the fabric becomes more fragile and vulnerable to my touch as I transform it with heat. Metaphorically the fabric is my skin, my mind, and body reacting as I do to the aging process.

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15 thoughts on “To Understand Crepusculum and my Art

  1. Frank
    You have begun a mighty work for the aged. Not too long from now, I will be amoung the numbers…I don’t think anyone in the past has captured this stage of life as it really is…Commercials portray that these “Golden Years” are without care or worry, but I know how I feel now, in my 50’s. I am no different inside than in my ’30’s and I believe that is how I will be on the inside no matter what happens on the outside…I do know that the worries increase even if you have the means to be financially secure. My father expressed his greatest fear was when my sister and I would be responsible for his care. He wasn’t convinced that we would do as he wanted and he didn’t want to be stripped of that “vote”…Unfortunately, dementia caused the very thing that he feared most and that was we didn’t follow his every wish….That is a hard place to live in your mind….


  2. As you know, my husband just died a little over 3 weeks ago. When I turned 50 I realized that I was one half of one hundred years old and that I just may not make it another 50 years. My husband’s death, which has brought pain that I never imagined and a longing to have him here with me today — not just sometime in the future — but it has also made me more aware of ‘the rest of my life’. I don’t know how the rest of my life is going to be.
    I have enjoyed reading your thoughts about your mom and dad and now yourself. Again, thank you for sharing.


  3. Hello, Frank – I had to come visit after your lovely comments on my blog. I will add you to my blogroll — I am quite interested in your views and experience with aging. It is inevitable that we all face some aging demons — my father had Alzheimer’s and it was horrid watching him go through that frightening journey — my paternal grandmother also suffered with dementia. I am concerned now that I’m in my fifties with what lies ahead for me. I pray for dignity, peace, and joy in my golden years. Hence, the effort to become more healthy and head off some of the potential pitfalls. I will visit you again soon. *hugs* Linda


  4. Hi Frank, I came to visit your blog after you posted a comment on mine. I’m really glad I did!! I love your art. The way you portray aging is so vivid and interesting. Your art makes me “feel” something that I am not necessarily comfortable with, but that’s okay. Aging is somthing that we really don’t get a choice about. The alternative is dying, and I don’t think I want to go there just yet.

    My grandfather is almost 82, his health is failing. My parents and my aunts and uncles are aging, as well, and it’s hard to see them going through the struggles associated with growing older. In my minds eye I see them young and vibrant. Their minds are still vibrant, but the bodies…not so much. I guess that even at 46 years old, the same can be said for me. Time has a way of wearing you down, chipping away at the dreams and plastering in the holes with fear.


  5. lynda: You response to my art is incredibly sensitive. Thank you for being able to feel and not especially like it, but know you will need to deal with it. I have been meaning to visit your blog so many times. I had once visited and did not have the time to comment. But, I had enjoyed your writing and had added you to my blogroll, so I am pleased to hve made it to you.

    Yes, it will not be easy for you or your family to watch as your grandfather grows older and more infirm. Your description of time is also extremely good. I will visit you again. Thanks for coming here.


  6. Hey Frank. I appreciate you dropping in to my blog from time to time. Regarding our journey, I have come to grips with the realization that life is an illusion. A meta-physical sensory, and somewhat involuntary process, of the mystery (God, all that is, universal consciousness) experiencing itself through billlions of psyches.

    When we disassociate from our illusory bodily constructs, we can engage in the oneness. It is easy for me to say of course, I am a few years off from the twilight, and do not suffer physical maladies, but I know when the time comes, I will be ready to complete my journey without the false perceptions and chains of my Earthly environs.


  7. Frank-That slideshow and dialogue was profound, but troubling as well. It made me think of all the things in life that we, as a society, are not comfortable with. One is certainly aging, another is death and dying. That is why we feel so alone, when we have to face these things.
    My mother has experienced some dementia recently, and lately it has accelerated to hallucinations, and wild stories of things that she truly believes happened. I am torn between acknowledging her belief, and dealing with reality. Sometimes it is much kinder just to smile, and let her talk. Because if I act surprised or frightened by what she is telling me, she will no longer share her journey. (And she needs to have someone who will listen.) So I listen, stay calm, and sometimes get in my car, and cry all the way home.
    I feel like I am losing her to another place. It’s like she is somewhere lost in the woods, and I can’t find her. At other times, she is just as much herself as ever. It can turn so quickly that it makes my head spin, and I feel as though I have entered the Twilight Zone. It is frightening how the mind works (or doesn’t) and how it can misfire, and create a reality of its own.
    I wonder how much longer will she remember me? How much longer can we talk about our past? How much longer will I have a mother at all?
    Of course, there are no answers to these questions, for I have been told that it could be very slow, or amazingly quick. I just pray that I will not miss a minute of this present moment with her–loving her, and enjoying the time we have left. Sparkle (Lonnette)


  8. Lonnette Caring for a parent is the most difficult thing I have ever done. It is heart wrenching to watch the slow, sometimes painful, degeneration happen. I am sorry that I don’t remember exactly, but I do remember your Mother had hip surgery, but if her problems escalated after that surgery they often do, and then a few months later they clear……..when Momma had her last hip surgery the rehab was so difficult for here because she suddenly distrusted everyone but me. Rather than the therapist I had to do everything with her.

    After her major stroke (and stroke is infamous for changing and destroying the mind, she began living in another place, her home with her Mother and Father. For months I patiently reminded her how this happens to stroke victims and they begin the fill in memories with other memories until new memories form that are false. It is called conflagration. Eventually she was able to know the two places, here at home and her imaginary home, but so often would just say she felt better in her home (with her Momma).

    Now we are in the last period on her long, slow journey to the end….for some reason she remembers now more than ever, but even when off the ventilator she has the utmost difficulty to speak, and is constantly plagued with infection and fever.

    I tell you this just so that you know I understand how awful you feel. You are right you must always give her your ear, but may be see how she reacts to gentle reminders. If she has dementia she will not respond. If she is just medically confused temporally she will listen but may not change until her body is ready to come back to you.

    You ask how much longer will she remember you. It is frightening to not know. Years ago my Mother promised that I always lead her back to me from wherever she went in her mind because it was important to her to be with me. I have worked so hard on that and on the days she is confused it kills me. She also is extremely hard of hearing and I never am sure if she hears me.

    I hope that you will feel comfortable writing to me if you want. I shall be visiting you and am going to add you to my blog roll so that I can see your current posts. I love that feature, then I don’t have to go out searching.

    My prayers are with you Lonette for I know your present and future may not be as wonderful as you would like them to be, but as you say just use every hour to enjoy and love her……then there is only that harder thing to do and that is walk through her last days and then the next days alone and find ways to help you ready for that time.

    I forgot the last time that I wrote to tell you to join Eons. I have a post all about it but they have wonderful support groups. The Caring for Elderly Parents group and Caregivers group I belong to are great. Its just Don’t worry about not being a baby boomer. Ignore the age thing, join and find that they are a great source of solace. The manager of those two groups Hippygil52 and Moderator Saltflat are tremendous. Hippygirl’s husband is close to death and Salt’s father just passed. Their hearts are profound.

    My best


  9. Frank: I have to laugh, because I AM a baby boomer. I was born in 1952. LOL! Thanks so much for the suggestions about the caregivers groups. I once was the Moderator for a Grief Discussion Board, and it was a wonderful support for all of us.

    Bless your heart, you really have your hands full with the care of your mom, and you are so loving and gentle when you speak of her. My best to you on your journey with her. I guess you have had to learn a lot, to deal with a ventilator, and so much more. (My dad was on a ventilator before he died, and it was horrible.)

    I have always felt that perhaps I am too sensitive for this world. I feel things so deeply, and my heart literally aches. I ‘ve been having chest pains lately, and I can’t sleep. I just push and push myself. Perhaps, if my mom just won’t fall again, we can get her settled in Assisted Living (at least for awhile) and we can all have a better existence.

    Yes, she first fell (while I was holding her hand, coming out of the Waffle House) and broke her right foot, and left leg. Then, while in the nursing home, she was just about to be released from rehab, when she fell and broke her right hip. This required surgery, and that is when the cognitive issues escalated. She has been in the nursing home since the middle of June–about 4 1/2 months. She is stubborn, and forgetful about using her walker (or wheelchair) and the risks are very high for her to fall again. She doesn’t like to be reminded to be careful, but she even forgets that she can’t just get up and walk like before. (She had balance problems even before these falls, and was fortunate to not get hurt badly, until recently.) I wish I could put her in a bubble suit and protect her, but I know I can’t. So I pray, and do everything in the natural that I can, to see that she is as safe as possible. (If she would only do her part…but she has a mind of her own for sure.) I will put you on my blog roll as well, and it is so nice to finally know you and your situation better. God bless, (Sparkle) Lonnette


  10. Excellent work, and profound thoughts.

    My mom passed in 1998, and then my dad on New Years morning of 2001 while watching the Rose Parade.

    I was the cargiver for most of the time for my mom during her past few months, but I was the sole caregiver for my dad the past seven months of his life, and was wating for the home care hospice nurse to come by with IV meds and instructions that morning; She called from her car to say she was on her way about two minutes after my dad had begun to code. She stayed on the phone while I checked his vitals…..absent….and then offered to come by and officially pronounce him and to call the coroner.

    Some months before, I had decided I was going to refrain from ever correcting him again, as he would go in and out of accurate thinking. He had been diagnosed about a year earlier with myelodysplastic syndrome (bone marrow failure) and was transfusion dependent at the rate of one unit per week. He had been a brilliant musician, pianist and arranger, and a well read man, and toward the end of each week when transfusions were due, he would suffer two or three days of extreme confusion. I would alternately answer and converse with him as myself, or as my mother, or as his mother depending on his needs and queries and who he though I was at any given moment. That was a much kinder way, I feel, than constanly correcting him; after all, this time was for his comfort level, not mine. I have never regretted handling it exactly that way.

    Ultimately we are who we believe we are anyhow, and all else in but a moment in time.

    Keep the faith,

    Beej and the critters AKA LinkerThinker


  11. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo


    1. Я думаю, если вас, если вы были заинтересованы вы могли бы посмотрел на другие блоги, не о том, что вы читаете. Попробуйте вам понравится!


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