The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

JANUARY 30, 2012 6:44PM

Mine at 50

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   ( My Son with his Daughter last December ) 




the sun is now rising

pink as the shell of her ear

as the buds of her cheek

on this ability to be 


as the creases in my skin

as the new folds of my face


the heavy shoulders

are no longer mine 

mine is now the roll on floor

the screeching 


the wet embrace after a (not quite sufficient)

bath, the moon and stars 


all of time

ours to share

mine are the storybooks 

and silly dances,  no thought to the last


to be tucked in the drawer

or if or when or how, or how long


now is piqued with long stretches 

of calm, of sky

of whistling wind through the house

mine is encouraging words


at right moments

mine is the standing back


mine is the letting go

the offer of a hand

the observation,

not the task


of searching not quite gone

but less  a frenzy, for the knowing


there will be fine moments

on this horizon

in this new day

that are once and truly;  




( 52 to be exact ) 












 Sorry for the Utube, but this song always reminded me of then and now.

 Judy Collins  Born to the Breed. 



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Beautiful words and sentiments, appreciated by another elder. (And proud of it.)
What a beautiful picture to go with your exquisite words.
I look forward to our first grandchild with the mixed emotions of a reluctant child finally forced to let go of one illusion to welcome a new one. If I had the luxury of choice, the latter would win hands down. Your poem reassures me of this.
Janie, it will be there, you are still in the tucking of the sock in the drawer phase. Enjoy each, thanks friend.
Lea: I follow your path, with appreciation for your words.
MCS: Indeed.
Ahhh....beautiful! And so true. It really is the best...the "silly dances" & the "storybooks" & even the "letting go." Hurray for a new child to love, & new eyes to re-see the world through. Being "the elder" IS kinda cool.
Wonderful piece, Rita. My first oral history project was with gay & lesbian elders way, way back in 1991. There was one woman, I'll never forget, who told about how the night she turned 50 she waited by the clock and watched the second hand pass the mark. Then she shouted out "The rest is for me! I don't have to be cute or pretty or clever or quiet for anyone else but me." Or words to that effect.
We elders deserve more respect.
this ability to be
of searching not quite gone ~

Each of you, brand wonderful to embark, to thoroughly enjoy your well earned elderhood. ..the rolling, the whistling...

Lucky baby, lucky granny.
this was blissful...truly peaceful, and I enjoyed every word!! /r
sigh, so pretty. both she and the poem.r
Congratulations on becoming a grandmother. That picture is lovely.
Ahh Rita.. this was beautiful.. I hope to see some of my own some day. I doubt it but can live through you.
Wonderful words.
whewww!!! This was fine...entirely lovely and fine
Your work is so elegant
it reels me in...breathless to observe
Stunning again and still, Rita -rrr
ps...we saw Judy Collins in concert last year. She was magnificent!
Want to be with this awhile but thinking this ... that she ... and all of this ... are yours ... as you ... are so much ... hers ...
ALL you! Welcome back, jeeez.
Such a lovely tribute to the changing of the guard and the birth of new generations.
Finding yourself at the top of the generations is hard, but eased with the coming of the youngest. Lovely poem.
you write so well of time past parenting and striving and being so busy, especially all that doing-for-others busy-ness, this older time, these years. "the observation, not the task ... fine moments.. that are ... mine." i chafe and gripe about the wrinkles and the aches but i love what comes with being older, what you are beginning to know, what shines in this poem. your son looks like you, that handsome guy.
Beautiful and winsome. R and hugs.
Your words touched my heart. I have no children but am close to my nieces. One of them had a baby a year ago and she is the apple of my eye. I finally quit doing the work to learn the meaning of love. All I have to do is look in her eyes.
rated with love
now is piqued with long stretches
of calm, of sky
of whistling wind through the house
mine is encouraging words
at right moments
mine is the standing back

one might say: holy indifference..


I am closing in on ‘elder’ myself, dearest woman.
Oh but the germ of a ‘jimmy’ in me….i cannot eschew this
Evocation, to :?
To something in me that has never been, but will be…
Unblemished innocence, protected, til the day comes I must rise
To be an experienced man. Manchild. Whatever. NO GOOD. Experience
Teaches us that we are faulty, faulted, fucked up, far from ‘good’,
Which we then project upon our spiritual progeny, probably to
Their detriment, I dunno…..

There is no end to the intellectual & intensive physica l education
Rita will give to a wee one, and this is almost a holy duty.

Well worth it
This made my heart feel so glad. Beautiful baby, beautiful son, beautiful Rita.
Lovely words, lovely sentiments, Rita. Yours is the future, soft, gentle, and calm.
There is nothing on earth more beautiful than a new baby.
rita this is lovely, and I'm a little past 52 already, and I probably won't see this till I'm 72... but I sure do hope I get there intact. I look forward, and I'll remember your poem.
Thanks for these words, Rita:

there will be fine moments
on this horizon
in this new day
that are once and truly;

This is what I strive for, even now, 20 years further down the road from you. This poem is about far more than grandkids; but, of course, you know that.
Absolutely beautiful. How I miss those long ago days and nights. Grandchildren are definitely wonderful, but nothing beats your very own....
By the way, your son and granddaughter are both beautiful!
Baby's breath
Yours is.
What a wonderful photo and poem. Such love.
What a wonderful photo and poem. Such love.
Beautiful description of grandmotherhood. I wait with anticipation for my turn on the floor.

Rita the photo is a small masterpiece. The look in his eyes ... a whole life reflected there ... What a beautiful father, & the way she curls like a bud in his arms ...

'Mine are the storybooks,' again.
'... whistling wind through the house.' Hey, Rita.

Dancing to the very last sock :-)
"less a frenzy, for the knowing" - yes

gorgeous photo - thanks for sharing all this
I just keep re-reading...
No words this evening, Rita.
You capture this new shift in life's circle well.
A sweet spot to be at in life, Rita. You capture it with deserving grace. Love-ly image in a true sense that it speaks to loving and being loved.
Lovely sentiment. I like the thought of weightless shoulders...
Oh my..How times flies then poetry and memories combine to make this memorable post. May you enjoy the fruits of your life for many years to come...
I'm happy you did Not gripe about Life a`gin.
Some readers weary `bout courtroom `brawl.
I feared you were gonna castigate bad lawyers.
criminal curt ...
the defendant imagines
the judge naked
at the carnival
grandmother, mother, and child
awaiting tattoos
uncertain of the spelling
of his newborn daughter
If Deluty writes a senyru
a senyru is near perfect
or working at perfect

I overuse syllables
I hope he no sue me
If he do I gaze via
Women in jury's
bib overalls
apology . . .
It will be good dear Rita...
As good as this piece...
Though I have heard women talk about these feelings before, never have I read them expressed more beautifully and thoughtfully. R
It's not so bad being the elder, is it? Beautiful words, Rita.
LL2: Thank you so much!
Matt: a lot of emotions it evokes, for sure, growing older, your place in the world, and happiness. TY
Suzie: letting go of the need to be the center, like I was as Mother, grandmother is more the ever present love in the background. TY for reading.
Drew: what a wonderful story. Exactly my thoughts here also! TY and welcome here.
Jules: :)
Miguela: No doubt, but like the circle, we probably wont' get it till we no longer need it. TY for coming by!
catch 22: I like working on the ability to be soft, I don't want to curl up and be rigid, I don't need to enforce any rules here anymore, I can be the fun person in the room, the silly one, the soft one. Thank you always for your introspective comments.
Michelle: bliss is a beautiful word that aptly describes the storybooks and silly dances of now, TY.
Hugs: had to stop myself from posting a current photo, even prettier, no bias of course, thank you for saying so.
Pauline: It is a step and another phase in a woman's life, we were on the same wavelength these last days you and I. TY for reading, appreciated.
Con: If only. At 42, I believe I was at my prime in the way I looked. Amazing what occurs physically in ten years span. I am ok with it.
TinkerTink ? On Moi blog? really? Thanks Tink!
Linda: my son was thirty one when this occurred, a great age maturity wise, you have time. TY
PM: thank you so much for thinking so. Judy's version of this song is different on the utubes then the one I have on stereo, but that was all I could find. Magnificent, the first lines : I was only nineteen the morning you were born...." set me crying every single time. TY Muse.
anna1: take you time! always here for friends.
ASH: it has been awhile. I have been sick and also just not in a creative spot for some reason. Peaceful for me is not always the most fertile poem wise. TY!
Mary: the changing of the guard, a great way of saying it! Yes. I have to remember to keep my mouth closed and listen more, I want to tell him all the time: Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy. Don't Worry. It will all Be Alright. Thank you for stopping in.
Jls: Not so very here, but growing older certainly is. Loss is something that is hard to deal with, that is what i have been writing about this couple of years. Thank you and welcome here.
Femme: you nailed it. The release of the need to do it all as I had to do in younger years. The ability to be soft, still working on it. Thank you for your ever thoughtful words.
Zuma: Winsome! Love that word, thank you Queen Zuma.
RP: my sister is very close with my children also, they adore her and aunties have a special place in our lives, I had two whom I love very much. TY.
A Holy Duty Jimmy, so true. Yet I hope to retain the childish spirit she conjures in me again. I always sang and was silly with my own kids, it's so much fun to play again. Chase and tickle. Ah. Thanks James for your friendship always.
Thank you Firechick, this is my all time favorite photo of my son, which is saying something. He has such a peaceful contented look in his eyes. One I have not seen in many years.
Fusun: hoping so, but knowing me, I am sure there will be some current somewhere! thank you for the sentiments.
No Good Daughter, there certainly is not. The pinks and the softness are incredible.
DB: it's a fine feeling, one I hope you see also. I had my son very young so my chances were improved. Not the easy way though. Wishing you the same.
John: yes it is. It's about finding my way. A new way after years of doing doing. Now being and occasionally doing. When I choose to. Big differences. TY I know the horizon will bring you surprises that remind you you still have much to give.
Deborah: I appreciate your reading and thinking so!
ILL: True, being the mother is wonderful, it's all linked in my heart. TY for reading.
hilarad:Thank You
OB: As stated above, the photo is a favorite, an all time one. Love comes in such a surprising way, I think it took him by storm TY
Lez: I see you there, and wish it for you also, it's a grand thing!
Kim: we are dancing to the last sock, letting it lay where it falls now aren't we? She is like a bud in his arms, I looked over many photos for this one but this was the chosen for those reasons. The peace in his face, it brings me to tears sometimes. To see him as a father. As you know, he told me every morning is like Christmas morning!
Thanks Kim.
C&V my moments were stolen ones deep in the night when I was a young mother. Now I awaken and just grab a blanket, and look at the stars. TY
JT: I know from your posts you are in the thick of it also. Glad to know I hit the feeling for you also. TY always for the support of my writing.
Sweet Spot indeed Scarlett! taking a different connotation these days. TY friend.
JP: You Too! Thanks Jim
Scup: I no longer have to make or enforce the rules, letting go has it's advantages. Thanks always for your words.
Thank you for the kinds wishes and words Algis. And for coming by.
No Art, no gripes today. Only love. No see through bibs for grannies, just won't do anymore. ha!
Mission: I am sure it will be, with all the ups and downs life always provides but looking forward to it all. Thanks Suzy.
Michelle: what a lovely compliment, I appreciate your faithful reading of my poems, thank you so much.
UB: I have some great footsteps to follow here on OS! your being a path I look to. TY Kim.
For some reason I read, " The sock fucked in the drawer" and I was all Whoa Rita.and then tried to find beaty in that.
Son looks like Armand Assante -- very handsome and the baby is beauitful. I am not enjoying this aging process at all but this was still lovely to read.
Aren't grandchildren wonderful? I have two, and they are really something.
Ferns you crack me up. Not that even as a granny I can't put a well places F bomb in a piece. No aging is not pretty is it? Trying to accept the changes as different not altogether horrible. Tough. Thanks Ferns.
Wren: it's a joyous time, to have a baby around, just changes everything! TY for reading.
Rita, congratulations on all accounts and what a heart warming post you have presented here!
Thanks Tr ig; you will be there soon enough my friend!
Designator, welcome here and thanks for reading.
I love this Rita and can relate so much, having just become a grandmother myself. Looking forward to a little more of that "standing back" but its still early. This was beautiful!
her spirit rises in your fancy-free
what choice have we but to be where we are and find what we can in the moments? this is lovely, rita.

you don't even need the video. ;-)
I think you have captured the art of grandparenting very well....letting go and offering a hand....excellent.
Exquisite. Perfect. ~r
The joys of grandparenthood, grandly stated. So much I love in this. "mine is now the roll on floor
the screeching
the wet embrace after a (not quite sufficient)

"mine are the storybooks
and silly dances, no thought to the last
to be tucked in the drawer
or if or when or how, or how long"
Just so precisely stated. So seemingly plain, and yet so full of eloquent emotion.

Congrats. And thank you for this beauty.

Ah, the joyful indulgence of a not quite sufficient bath.
rita, this is just beautiful. i especially like the part about her on the floor.
rita, this is all gorgeous, the poem, the baby and Judy Collins' singing. I rarely envy anyone as i know how crazy is any envy. But it is dawning on me how unlikely that I will be a grandmother, and that sometimes makes me sad. (my dd is a late blooming 25; I'm 68...)
"mine is the letting go

the offer of a hand

the observation,

not the task..."

Oh, yes! We are kind of like fans in the bleachers now which is very good as fans can simply watch and even leave if that suits them. And that suits me, how about you Rita?
Dizzying to think he was she not so long ago. A beautiful poem for a beautiful beginning, full of fine moments and new horizons. For all of you.
Wonderful photo, words and comments above. An experience so many of we elders can relate to.

Life continues with its mysteries and uniqueness no matter what age we reach.
Tril I have an hour away distance, sometimes a good thing. Enjoy!
Thank you Victoria, for coming by and reading.
Damon: her spirit does indeed fill me up too! invigorating.
MOC: thanks so much, I love sharing music which is why I am a blogger I guess not a true writer. I don't like it to be intrusive so you have to click to hear it or not. Thank you for the kind thoughts
Marty's Husband, I hope so, I am new at it but I find myself limiting the amount of stuff I weigh in on. Just listening and understanding. Thank you for reading.
Thanks Joanie :)
Pilgrim I was trying to think of how things are different, of course I played with my toddlers but now, that's really all I do, PLAY, read, tickle, have fun. It's Great, I highly recommend it. Thank you for your enjoyment, your comment was fun.
Bea, as above, it's a great time, toddler screeching, granny too. Thanks Bea.
WendyO: You never know ! Thanks Wendy.
Spud we are the fans in the bleachers now, aptly put, cheering them on letting them know it will all be alright. Just enjoy the time. Glad you popped in Dr. Spud, good to see you.
Margaret, it doesn't feel so long and I have to stifle myself not to spout out all the memories she brings back to me of him as a toddler. It's a fluid love connection, and hoping the horizon is clear and steady on. Thank you Margaret , appreciated.
Linda, I have many here I read who can guide me forward I value the input. Thank you!
loved your breakdown

of the words
and the structure

not done as in...
and not overdone

Thank you II, often I think I should spend more time with line breaks and structure. I did do a count of lines per stanza but that's all. Glad you saw the honest in it.
you may be out on the street

but I am down




with love and affection (your fondest reader!)

J.P. Hart is buttering up you.

He's 50- and still
in kindergarden class
in front row cussing `gin
I sad for 2- gopher post
who deletes some post
and allows Spam post
WE need closed comment
llama post and alpaca hats,
and socks . . .
Kerry has not refunded yet.
2 X's $45.00 do = $90.00.
Kerry deleted 4- avatars
@ Salon
My `clownsense `avatars
&`goat gouda blueberry
Eric Holder?
What about?
Kim Doan?
Lawyers stold her laundromat.
I lost in one day $10,000 bucks.
What is a hick supposed to think?
Dear Rita
No be wooed.
Just toss a kiss.
Say `great kiss.
Kerry in cubicle.
under emails is:
a love haiku to:
his pet poodle
and his cats
I like this post
better than
butter on beet
Jim: Fondness back, open comments so I can visit please! "There's a place where I can go and tell my secrets to...'

Art is butter on beets good? i assume so, butter makes everything better. Sorry about your accounts, Celery should never be deleted, it's fresh and crunchy. My two favorite men visit one after the other, it's a good morning.
I keep coming back to spend more time with this, with you, with them, with calm and peace, with moon and stars, with storybooks and whistling wind ...

So much ... here ... is yours ...

And yet ... as I hold your words ... and watch his eyes ... I feel the warmth that surrounds Sofia ... and smile ... at all ... that because of ... that thanks to you ... is ... and always will be ... hers ...

Lovely love ... held ... given ... all ... of yours ...
Listening to Judy Collins ... remembering a piece you wrote ... a while ago ... about first moments ... alone ... with your son ... and ... about ... so much ... more ... remembering ... Kim’s words to you ... there ... I wish that piece ... were still ... here ... but more ... I hope the one ... who has known so much ... given so much ... found ... so much ... has a sense of who she is ... of how she has touched ... enriched ... her ... the ... our ... world.

Just look once more ... here ... at his eyes ... as he nestles his lovely one ... in his arms ... they are your eyes ... nestling still ... all ... your lovely ones ... may somehow, Rita, you not be the only one who doesn’t see ... all you are ... all you give ... all ... you have always ... been ...

so much sky ... I see ... feel ... hear ... here ...
Hi anna1, thank you for coming back and reading and listening to the music. In this song she says "you know we got nothing, we have it all" and once my son wrote that at a little mother's day ceremony they had at his school where they asked him his favorite time with me and he wrote when he and I had a little apt together, we had nothing but we had it all. I was surprised to hear it in a song and also the first verses, of course. I took some of the very personal pieces down, just felt a bit exposed with them out there forever. I will probably take this photo down after a bit also.
I thank you for your kindness and your perceptive reading of my poems and music. I treasure the friendships I have made here, you and my TS friends especially.
 Still reading your words here, Rita ... while they are here. Know how they move ... touch ... lift ... all of us ... who visit ... here ... with you. I wish this ... and the others ... would always remain ... reachable ... though I understand ... your feelings. Perhaps I just want to share ... that ... when you reach so deep inside ... and speak ... of what is there ... of all you are ... of how you have touched ... and shaped ... and created ... life ... felt life ... known ... life ... you allow us all ... steppingstones ... touchstones ... sun and moon and stars so bright ... tides and rhythms ... all ... we are ...

just this ... perhaps ... I want to share ... even as here ... I think of this lovely little one ... who will stand beside you ... as her father did ... or cuddle close ... as you help her ... see ... and know ... especially ... the rhythms ... her rhythms ... as she learns ... the moon ... the world ... the love ... you’ll share ... with her ...

Thinking of you ...
Beautiful! And I think I sympathize a lot because I just became an uncle on Valentine's day. Will see my niece in December.
Congrats Pranay! Enjoy, thanks for reading.
Welcome here, Brianna, thank you for coming by.