Monday, January 14, 2013

LIMITATIONS

David Hayward - “the need to leave” (watercolor on paper, 7″x10″)

Limitations...
...of age
...of arthritis
...of energy
...of time

Contrary to the words of the poet, it is not, as they say, satisfactory...at least not yet for me and may require a lengthy period of adjustment.  I think of Walter Cronkite's sign-off, "And that's the way it is."  Except for loosening of time constraints, the other limitations are unlikely to change for the better.  The task is to keep them at bay for as long as possible, so they don't worsen too quickly.  And what is too quickly?  Well, too quickly to suit me, who doesn't care for the limitations at all.

At the age of 78, I'm bound to think of mortality and view the future as somewhat compressed, right?  Some folks, like Grandpère, live in denial of the reality of death, but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 51, I looked death in the face, and there was no turning back to denial.  To me, it's both funny and tragic when people deny death.  I'll never forget the time I told GP, "The death rate is 100%," and he said, "For whom?"  My black humor did not go over well.

Anyway, I'm easing into a completely different mindset about life in general and my own life.  There are so many things that I want to do and so many changes that I want to see happen before I die, but I know I will not do or see most of them, and I must come to acceptance and ease with the reality.  The difficulty is to sort out the priorities of what is still possible to do and move out of stasis.

If you detect a pinch of depression in my diary post, you are probably correct.  It's there lurking at the edge, but I've not yet fully acknowledged and accepted it yet.  We've experienced a good deal of turmoil and distress in our extended family, and, though the situations have improved, I feel I'm allowed a bit of depression now that things are looking up...if that makes any sense.  My depression is not severe, the descent into a black hole sort, so I carry on in hopes that this, too, shall pass.

To all that I've written here, I must add that it's my faith that lifts me and carries me.  The knowledge that I have praying friends who will support me through the tough times, is of inestimable value.  Without my sense of God's presence, I'd face all of what happened recently and all of what's going on now with much more angst, (though angst there was and is) and much less equanimity, and so I say, "Thanks be to God."
You’ve got your limitations; let them sing,
And all your life will waken with a cry:
Why should you halt when rapture’s on the wing
And you’ve no limit but the cloud-flocked sky?...
  


(From "Limitations" by Siegfried Sassoon)
Easy for you to say at the age of 34, Sassoon, but not so easy to practice when you're 78.  Still, the thought is worth a place in my mind, and the ideal is worth a reach.

The lovely painting at the head of the post is by David Hayward aka nakedpastor.   He posted the painting noting that it was available for purchase.  I waited a few days, but I found the painting irresistible and bought it.  In the poem beneath the painting, David says:
You’ve kept your place. You’ve held your ground. You’ve filled your space. You’ve stayed in bounds.
But something calls. You know you must. You forsake all. You will be blessed.
It’s time to go. It’s time to leave. This much you know: this is your peace.
The wonderful painting caused me to reflect on life, how we are always in motion, leaving and forsaking, traveling, and arriving at new places and eventually led to this post, for better or for worse.