Posts Tagged ‘ageing’

The Ageing Process

January 6, 2016

It’s a terrible thing to behold!

Photo on 21-11-2015 at 20.38

Intergenerational Warfare

September 2, 2011

We have an ageing population. This means that it has become fashionable to hate the young.

Behind the Glass

October 7, 2010

They drip with elegiac elegance
Shrewd and secretive
They keep themselves hidden
Small and self contained
As postage stamps

Arranging and rearranging
Themselves as the rain
Beats against the walls
Of the nursing Home
As beyond the French windows

The sea foams
Lumbering and sorrowful
And the ancient ladies
Measure out the years
In false teeth and glass eyes

In long afternoons
In musty, old-fashioned rooms
Agony – it drips, it thickens
The edifice collapses
Coming undone, unravelling.

Invisible, the pagan heart beats.
Those lavender ladies seethe
They can barely speak
But at night the dead awaken
And the blood pounds beneath.

Mona’s Ghost

September 10, 2010

Did you think I was Mona’s ghost?
I ask the shadows. Hiding in closets
In the cracks in the ceiling
Trapped between panes of glass
The cat runs from those invisible demons
With a sudden, startled yowl
The ghost has trodden on her tail
The scent of violet
Mingled with the musty stench
Of the old woman
Who lived here before me

Mona’s ghost walks
From room to room
Scattering petals as she goes
Will I ever be rid of her?
No, because she is not the woman
Who lived here before me
Because, quite simply, she is me
And she always will be
Until I am plucked from this planet
Suddenly. brutally, unceremoniously
But not all together mercilessly

Rage, Rage, Rage

January 27, 2010

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night, Dylan Thomas

Nobby is stoical.  He is stubborn and he can sometimes be downright awkward but he is my friend, my companion.  An unusual friendship perhaps for he his ninety two and I am in my early thirties.  I am not friends with Nobby because he is old and frail and dependent upon me for everyday care.  I am not his carer.  I am his friend. And I am not his friend because I pity him.  He is still lucid and fully in control. Some might say he is too independent for his own good.  Nobby is endlessly fascinating.  He has a bottomless pit of stories to tell.   His boyhood in the ‘thirties. His wartime experiences.  The hardship he experienced after the war.

The elderly have something to offer too.  They are living, breathing, walking history. In a society obsessed with youth it is easy to forget this. People make assumptions about the elderly.  They are ‘past it’. They have lived their lives and have no more to give.  We are wasting what could be a valuable resource and we may one day come to regret it.  Because the way in which we treat the elderly now sets a precedent for the way we will be treated in the future.  And if the way the elderly are treated now is anything to go by we should be afraid. Very afraid.  And there are two certainties in life: you either die or you grow old.  Remember that.

Topical too. Who woulda thunk it?

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