Archives for posts with tag: Kent Haruf

I think I’m ready, or at least as ready as one can be for an adventure into the unknown.

I’ve done my research. I’ve read May Sarton’s contemplative journal At Seventy and Judith Viorst’s lively book of poems I’m Too Young to Be Seventy and other Delusions. A couple of Viorst’s points: You want time to slow down? Try waiting for the results of a biopsy! Keep trying because the world would be a lot worse if we don’t.

I’ve read about the physical changes of aging: faces becoming more asymmetrical, eye sockets get wider, ears grow longer and wider, nose droops, rib cage rounds, feet get wider, etc. In general gravity rules!

I’ve enjoyed novels about aging characters like The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson and Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. The characters are still kicking and still finding joy in doing so.

Then there are the nonfiction guides. Current favorites are On the Brink of Everything by Parker Palmer and Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher. Their emphasis on saying “enough” and “no” to even good projects is freeing. Then one can concentrate on planting seeds from your tree, not somebody else’s. As Palmer says, “Today you’re the peacock; tomorrow the feather duster”.

My mail is starting to feature AARP, hearing aids and funeral planning seminars.

I’ve got some projects planned:

  • Finish reading the Bible (last time I started I got stuck in Leviticus)
  • Attack the tsunami of Braille magazines in my living room. I must skim them before recycling them.
  • Turn my blogs into a book so I’ll leave a well-marked trail of one woman’s occupying aging process.

Celebrate the occasion as much as possible:

  • Schedule lunches, dinners and bridge playing galore
  • Read some of the poems my friends sent me at a poetry reading at a local nursing home
  • Survived an interview for a local television station for Women’s History month (I didn’t know seventy was that historic!):

It’s below zero and we’ve had about 44 inches of snow this month, so I could be grim! But instead my thoughts turn to some old friends, some of whom are old in years and some of whom I’ve just known quite a while.

I just found out that I may be going back to Phoenix on a yearly basis to help hand out disability journalism awards again. A friend lives there who I’ve known forty-five years. She volunteered to read to me when I was in grad school and she was in undergrad. We went our separate ways but Facebook brought us back together.  Shared interests in ideas, nature and reading keep us in touch.  Next time you volunteer, think of the friend you may meet!

A friend whose office was next to mine for fourteen years at work is bringing over dinner before a book club tonight. How good it will be to eat someone else’s cooking and share news/gossip with her. Another friend we asked to join us is still working so didn’t have time for such foolishness.  Next week we’ll take an hour and a half and go visit another friend who is dying, but still enjoys seeing animals.  Nothing like surviving a stressful work environment together to make a friendship!

Preparing to lead a book club discussion of Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf made me think of the friend who dressed up and brought appropriate props for every book discussion she led.  I’m just reading a Jane Kenyan poem to set the mood.  The book is about the friendship between two elderly small town residents.  Spoiler alert: A sexual relationship doesn’t happen until about 82% into the book, but of course nosy neighbors suspect it long before that. Some friends are made by living near each other and trading snow rakes for cookies!

Warm thoughts of old friends have me warmed up enough to go outdoors with Luna. I’ll leave you with the last stanza of the Kenyon poem, “Let Evening Come”:

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.