Posts tagged as:

getting older

raison d’etre

by kye on September 6, 2009

I turned fifty a couple of months ago.

I feel younger than I have since I was a teenager, if by ‘feeling younger’ one means the feeling of one’s own vitality running high. But I don’t feel young. I’ve done too much; learned too much; lost too much. My father’s dead, my mother’s dying and her recognition of me unsure. There’s now a landfill next to the farm where I grew up. The water of the creek where I played is brackish and stinks of refuse. There’s no going back.

Maybe you know that famous story about a man who slips while walking along a cliff. Plunging towards his death he is able to grab a vine and starts to haul himself back up, when a tiger appears on the cliff above. Looking down, he sees another tiger below.

But the worst is yet to come: a rat begins to gnaw away at the vine. This rat has a nearly mythological interest in cutting through that vine. We might name him Mortality, and the tiger below, Death.

The tiger above? Perhaps it should have an angelic name, as it represents the force which prevents the man’s return to Eden.

If you put yourself in his position, you’ll find that it’s a tremendous moment–both terrible and marvellous in its enormity. Now, stay with the experience for a minute more as he spots a luscious strawberry growing right in front of him. He lets go of the vine with one hand… reaches out… plucks the strawberry… eats it…

What a strawberry!

That is vey nearly the experience of fifty. But not quite. Because in the story the man is alone, and there’s nothing to do but eat the strawberry by himself.

But we’re not alone. And it’s much much sweeter to pluck that strawberry and share it. So, I’ve started a blog.

And you’re reading it. I’m very grateful.


the red thread

by kye on August 28, 2009

I’ve had this red pillowcover for eighteen years now.  Dominique made it for me when I was pregnant and nesting—I found the material in the remnants at London Fabrics.

Dominique moved to Seattle; London Fabrics closed long ago; so did my marriage.  But here is this red cover, looking humble among my later pillows but not especially worn.

Actually, it’s not really red:  Under the magnifying glass there’s blue… gold… cream… and those are rose threads!

When my eyes were younger, I knew that.