Aging

The Life-Or-Death Round-Eye Clutter Buster

December 29. 8:00 a.m. My daughter informs me that Omar, the Painter, will arrive on Wednesday to paint my room.

“My room” is yellow. I’ve been here for three years, temporarily. The encampment – a tale of unfaithful former spouses and boyfriends – is the subject for another day.

It is now 1:15 pm.

I’m hearing voices. “Why don’t you follow the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Japanese Method”?

I have developed the Life-Or-Death-Round-Eye-Clutter-Buster Method. No Zen. Not an ounce of organization.

Simply stated, “What would happen to this [book, knick-knack, scarf, Nixon T-shirt, golden sealing wax, or collection of 351 #2 Ticonderoga pencils] . . . IF I WERE DEAD?”

I picture my daughters, one holds the plastic popping Santa I’ve had since 1968. The other, waves a scarf an old lover bestowed upon me after his visit to Paris, with another woman.  At their feet, the cast-iron popover pan, bequeathed to me by my father [DO NOT EVER use soap and water].

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All right. I’m dead.

And so it goes. Today I died a thousand deaths.

 

Rudy | Deer Bones

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts containing random insights into the seasonal saga. This is #14. It’s Monday, so it concerns the soul. And, as the others, is not in any particular order. But will be when pigs fly.

 

Deer guides, mentors and spiritual advisors serve the herd. An exception was made in Rudy’s case, as his parents sought the Peerless Elder Greer for their calf.

Elder Greer’s mentorship included the rudimentary skills for success, with one exception: Literature and the Arts. In his later years, Rudy would recall his exposure to The Deer Lay Down Their Bones, the poem from Robinson Jeffers, as a pinnacle in his life.

 

Robinsonjeffers

Robinson Jeffers

“I was young, yet I learned that aging is not for the faint hearted,” Rudy said. “Growing old takes courage and bravery, to face the end.”

The poet tells of climbing up a winding path to a crevice, where he is overcome by the smell of rotting flesh. He looks down and there, in the midst of ferns and a gentle stream, lay piles of deer carcasses.

“I understood that the place was a refuge for wounded

deer; there are so many

Hurt ones escape the hunters and limp away to lie hidden; here they have

    water for the awful thirst

And peace to die in; dense green laurel and grim cliff

    Make sanctuary,”

 

Elder Greer’s words would stick to Rudy like the velvet on his antlers:

“Would that all beings could have sanctuary. In life as well as death.”

 

Amen.