Carrying things down the steps from the deck this morning I was reminded of a picture someone shared with me years ago.  It was of one of my college professors, Dr. Dwight Moore, from whom I was taught plant taxonomy and genetics.

Dr. Moore was in his seventies when I took plant taxonomy, and the course involved a lot of field work.  Much of that field work was carried out in the Arkansas Ozarks and we all used to shake our heads at the way Dr. Moore scaled hillsides, walking us into the ground, as he pointed out plants of interest. (And flirted with the woman 20 years his younger who had gone back to college after the kids were gone.)

In the picture I received Dr. Moore was walking down the steps from his front porch at his home in Rudy, Arkansas, carefully holding the railing and keeping his eyes on the steps in front of him.  He was 95.  I find myself doing those things at times and I’m twenty years younger than he was then.

There is a sort of inevitable failing that occurs in our bodies with age.  That failure affects different abilities differently in each of us – and Dr. Moore’s photo demonstrated that it occurs at different rates between individuals – but it is still inevitable and inexorable...and infuriating.

In our minds we are always young and rail against the loss of our youth.

We bud, and we are as green leaves basking in the sun, and then in the autumn of our lives we wither and as winter comes fall from the tree.  None of us are evergreen.

 

 

Nothing Can Be Done

Music by Larry Klein / Words by Joni Mitchell

 

“Must I surrender

With grace

The things I loved when I was younger

(Sweet embrace)

Must I remember your face

So well

What do I do here with this hunger

 

Oh I am not old

I'm told

But I am not young

Oh and nothing can be done

Don't start

My heart

Is a smoking gun

Oh and nothing can be done”

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Comment by alsoknownas on June 6, 2018 at 9:33am

Joni herself, now 74 has had a rough go of it the last decade.

Fame and fortune do not matter in the grand scheme. 

Comment by Rosigami on June 6, 2018 at 9:54am

I was recently reminded of what is coming. I'm currently starting the third week of an episode with vestibular neuritis. The first week I couldn't lift my head. Now, the debilitating vertigo has started to subside, but I need to walk with a cane across any area that doesn't have walls or furniture to keep me steady. Can't drive, of course. My doc tell me another week or so before all returns to normal. 
The BLP, at 67, runs circles around most of the young people I know. I hope to be able to catch up soon.
The thing is, I know that this is simply a reminder that the inevitable is on its way. I will do all I can to keep myself as healthy, active and independent for as long as possible. 
Despite the lingering vertigo, I'm playing a gig with our band tomorrow evening. All I have to do is get on the stage, sit down, and play. (We had a band practice a couple a days ago and it went fine. We had to cut two tunes that require me to look back and forth at my hands and the music, which made me nauseous. The rest of the stuff doesn't require me to look at my hands.) 

Comment by koshersalaami on June 6, 2018 at 11:03am

You can slow it down but not stop it. 

I can't claim it's not enough. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on June 6, 2018 at 4:22pm

Traveling today.. Had onnavigate as L drove through Atlanta. (I’ve driven in Phoenix Memphis, and other cities and Atlanta is the worst) so, just checking in.

i agree about vertigo. I have episodic positional vertigo. The attacks are infrequent, but awful. Mostly, I get dizzy from dehydration. Hydration helps.

Joni has had it rough. The album “Long Ride Home” is favorite Joni Mitchell album.

Monkey, I have a same age friend; good lines, trim figure, real blond. She remembers when she no longer got a second look. “I wouldn’t act on it. I just miss the notice”, was her complaint.

Comment by Steel Breeze on June 7, 2018 at 8:02am

...live for today...

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