At Seventy

aboutselfieA shadow of my future self

Over the years, I’ve come to enjoy the wisdom and dry wit of May Sarton, a woman whose books — particularly Journal of a Solitude, The House by the Sea, and Writings on Writing — have joined my collection of literary touchstones: volumes I find myself reading and re-reading multiple times.

And yet, another of her highly-praised books remained on my shelf for years, unopened and unread. It seemed appropriate to save it for a particular and quite special occasion.  From time to time, I found myself thinking:

One day, I ‘ll be seventy. Then, I’ll see what May has to say about the experience in her book with the tantalizing title: “At Seventy.”

When the much-anticipated birthday came, I celebrated with a trip to the  Tallgrass Prairie bottomlands, where I took my first, shadowy selfie.

Then, in the late afternoon, with bees buzzing about in the late gaura and goldenrod, and the Burlington Northern rumbling both south and north, I opened Sarton’s book. Continue reading

Human for Halloween ~ and Beyond

treeteal

This much is certain: choosing to forego modern ways of connecting to the world has consequences. Over the course of three weeks, with no television, radio, newspapers, or social media to keep me informed, I became blissfully unaware of a good bit: the start of baseball’s World Series; the long-term forecast; the latest roiling of the political waters; the inevitable celebrity scandals.

Not only did I begin forgetting the date, with sunrise and sunset serving as my only markers for the days, the realization that it soon would be time to reset the clocks came as a bit of a shock.  Continue reading

That Haunting Autumn Sky

willowscurlsSky Over Clouds Over Arkansas Prairie
Willow the Wisp — such a wisp of a girl —
once whispered to clouds that she longed for some curls.
The clouds came together, and on one bright night
they curled ’round her head — what a beautiful sight!

 

Ground fog; mountain-hugging clouds; tendrils of darkness enveloping the sunlight — all have given rise to Will-o-the-wisp legends beloved of those who dwell far, far away from the city’s constant light.

When Steve Schwartzman wrote about “Will-o-the-Wisp” on his etymology blog, “Spanish-English Word Connections”, I not only enjoyed the history, I transformed Will into Willow, and composed my little verse.  With Halloween approaching, pumpkins piling up, and leaves beginning to show a bit of color, it seems that even the sky wants to share in the autumn fun.

Comments always are welcome. Because I’m traveling, it may take a bit of time for me to respond.

Attentiveness

(Click to enlarge)

 

One flower at a time, please,
however small the face.
Two flowers are one flower
too many, a distraction.
Three flowers in a vase begin
to be a little noisy.
Like cocktail conversation,
everybody talking.
A crowd of flowers is a crowd
of flatterers (forgive me).
One flower at a time.  I want
to hear what it is saying.
                                                      “Bouquet” ~ Robert Francis

Continue reading