Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cranky Old Man

This sort of touched me. Likely because I am becoming the cranky old man. It is said that this poem was found amidst the personal belongings of a stroke victim who passed away in a rehab hospital.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Post election blues

I am posting here today just to express my depth of depression over the recent election. You see my candidate lost. I had supported him heart and soul with my time and my money. I am trying to disect my depression. Am I depressed because of the idealogical departure that the majority of Americans have taken which is polar opposite from mine? Or is my depression rooted in the experience of losing. The same as I experience when my Alabama Crimson Tide loses. Or when I pick an investment opportunity and lose my money.

I suppose it is a little of all of that. I was discussing this with Bellamy, my grand-daughter who is wise beyond her years. I think she may lean a little left because she likes the president. She finds him entertaining sort of in the same light as she likes Big Bird or Barney the dinosaur. However she is not seasoned in the ways of the world. She finds repeated episodes of Baby Einstein fascinating and frankly I don't get that at all. After all how many times can you watch a puppet puppy dog bark at a puppet baby duck and laugh out loud. 

As I watch and listen to her I come to the conclusion that she is not that far removed from where I am. After all I have to admit that I was entertained by repeated TV ads of my guy saying the same thing every time his ad came on TV. I would sit and smile at him and hang on every orchestrated word implanted by the puppet master. For the amount of entertainment I received from this Baby Einstein experience, I also have to admit that I would stare menacingly at the TV, often even mute the sound, when the opponent came on with his puppet master derived soundbites.

I am two days into our defeat. I am still not all that happy and upbeat. I feel dejected and have a dismal attitude of our path forward in this America that I have lived in for almost 67 years now. But I have to admit that I still got up this morning and had a couple of waffles, fed Bellamy some cereal and will later on this morning go to a petting zoo at my other two grand-children's preschool in a bright and sunny part of NE Tallahassee.

I tend to forget that most of what matters to me happens in the very tight circle of those that I love and am privileged to walk the walk of life with. The President never gives me a thought. My loser candidate has actually never given me a thought. I doubt that he would let me sit down and climb up on my lap and watch Baby Einstein with me. I doubt that he would listen to the same stories that I tell over and over and politely laugh at the punch lines. 

As Thanksgiving approaches and I gather with my family to give thanks, all the political candidates will do the same with their families. They never give me and my circumstances a single thought. I need to try hard to practice that same approach. I will look forward to putting little two year old Bellamy on a pony this morning and watch little 4 and 5 year old Benjamin and Georgia feed some grain to a billy goat. All the rest of the chatter is meaningless obsession over things that I can do very little about.