The Destined Path


Threshold
Heat transformed Nylon     1999

In my old blog, Within Crepusculum, my main objective was to understand the path that all life takes to reach its final destination.  Crepusculum (the ancient word for twilight) is the word I use during the time in life when changes occur leaving you less capable maintaining your life and it becomes necessary for someone else to help you with decisions and care.  This need, even though warranted, takes much of your independence and leaves you unsettled.

Even though I am not at that place, I often think about it and know a timeless journey begins one day and it will lead me through the twilight of life and on to the last darkness.  Many years ago I made a sculpture (the one above) that I named “Threshold” which metaphorically if the place where, without awareness, you cross and a journey begins.  The path may have unstable inclines and uncontrollable downward slides, its surface littered with stones along representing each physical or mental problem you have or will have before you take the last breath.  It is a season, one that can never be ignored, refused not changed and leaves no choice of day or time.

Sometimes the stone’s represent what becomes to difficult to handle in life.  Once M. said to me that the difference in aging between people is how ambulatory each is.  Hindered movements offer far less freedom and it impedes how your muscles continue to work.  A second major difference is the “mind”.  There are many forms of dementia other than Alzheimer’s and many find that their ability to process is less as they age and find that it is simply a part of growing older.  Regardless of the cause, it becomes worrisome to yourself and your family when you tell them it is difficult to deal with your finances or health issues.  When this happens the differences of how we age shows remarkably.

Every day I stand at the top of the stairs and hesitate.  I know if I am careless I will invite an accident.  Any misguided step can bring more pain to my knees and back.  These problems, including my lungs, are the many stones strewn on my path.  A “newer stone”, one that comes to me when in thought is a comparison of my life and my parent’s life at the same age.  My father retired farming a one hundred sixty acre farm when he was my current age.  Similarly, my mother moved to Arizona with me, lived on her own and enjoyed every day while living in an active retirement village.  No matter what, each year I become less tolerant of dealing with what was, what is and what will be.   

I rue the day that my next surgery will be.  The surgery is usually tolerable.  It is the therapy that follows.  I realize, now, that I must decide how long and how intense the therapy will be.  I have paid a dear price doing more than I should during the extensive required sessions.

When I compare the future to how I am today and then compare it to the recent past I am poignantly aware I am not the same as I was.  Regardless, I will not let go of the sparkle of iridescent colors of life until I must.  There will be a day I realize that medically there is nothing left that a Doctor can do   Then, I will be ready to move on down the destined path.

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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.