Word Virus Week 2
I’ve noticed several posts from introverts . . . not often heard from, and I share their feelings. Not so much changed for us, especially those who are retired, without demands from jobs, our children grown. Our needs are few and time alone spent happily. Some of us write. The change most noticed in my simple life is loss of hours at the gym, four hours a day, three times a week— two hours of pumping iron and nautilus, and two relaxing after, in the sauna and a whirlpool a and a sun room offering the light of summer in the darkness of these Swedish winter days. I fear I might gain weight it’s taken years to lose, and stomach muscles, the emerging six pack, my most favorite accomplishment. In return for this impending loss . . . and gain. I have gained time, three days a week with no agenda.
What to do?
I have begun to put my house in order. Wife does most of this except for office space which is my own domain, upstairs and down, where things accumulate and wait for future use that might not come to pass, a horde of notes and papers. I’ve not been good at throwing things away. You never know when something left from years ago might be exactly what is needed now—or not.
I have been given time to sort things out without a plan or need to finish by tomorrow, or the next day—an unhurried process, time to think, review, explore old notebooks saved for reasons long forgotten from as far back as the San Francisco sixties. It’s still not easy, throwing words away, but I make progress every day.
The Swedes have something that they call a death cleanup—Dӧstädning. Getting rid of things wife’s relatives won’t have to sort though and dispose of. Seems a good idea, a polite endeavor, but so many things I’ve treasured, taken home from places far away where I will never go again. Where will they go when I am gone? I should find homes for them, but who would want these objects? Posters from the San Francisco sixties, spearheads found in Eritrea, brass jars from India that once held water from the Ganges, a set of elephant opium weights from Nepal, a pound of coins from everywhere I’ve been, of value only to myself. I have a library of books I’ll never read again. The books are easy. Local library has endless need for words in English. It feels good to know they’ll be saved and read again. No need to keep old and photographs of people no one knows but me.
Passing On Before Passing On
Going through old photos
Long departed mother left
A dusty album full of black and whites
Approaching sepia with age.
Which ones to be discarded, or worth a passing on
To younger members of the clan
Who are these 1930’s people?
Youthful Mom and Dad beside their parents
Relatives and family friends I never met
Pose painfully beside a vintage car
Converge around a Christmas dinner table
Names now long forgotten
Nothing left behind these faded camera shots.
Before too long someone will look at mine
And ask, “Who’s that?”