Monday, April 29, 2013

 Words to the Wise

Letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, essays, stories, letters--
The circle leads us round and round, sometimes fast and others slow.
We fling about these products, not always wholly aware that they are nothing
Without the thoughts, ideas and the deep well of imagination we carry inside.

And where do those all come from, I ask, knowing full well the answer--
From the brain, that wonderful mass of convoluted tissue, not beautiful,
Nor is it particularly impressive or resplendent in shape or size.
Yet in this grayish blob are the elements that compel us to write.

I am seventy-five years old. I thought I'd always be the woman who worked hard,
Who tackled difficult tasks, ran businesses, gardened, and backpacked in the high Sierras?
Oh, I knew I'd slow down some, but where did this sudden halt come from?
Whence these strange words and phrases that come into my thoughts unbidden?

I'm still mentally competent, of course I am. That is evident in my writings if not my activities.
But when I'm engaged in some silent task, such as making a morning cup of instant coffee,
It seems as though someone in the background, turns the knob of some ancient radio,
Allowing a short burst of words and then as quickly turns the sound down again.

It isn't as though I can remember these phrases. By the time I pick up a pen to write,
Already the phrase has faded. I thought about a recorder, but speaking aloud would do the same.
And so I live with this strange other world. I suspect such mental events are the basis
For illnesses where voices command action or where God delivers messages to willing listeners.

But for me, grounded as I am in the sciences and psychology, they represent mental processes,
Maybe deteriorating processes, in my brain--my much-prized brain--that has led me
On a merry chase for reason, for beautiful scenery, for interesting companions,
And more than anything, for a life worth living. If something fades away, let it be all my regrets.

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