I want to let go of…

illusion and a habitual desire to not admit change is an inevitable condition of life. The signs of mutability are everywhere, constant reminders of the cycle of life. A morning look in the mirror while washing my face reveals minute morphing of my physical self. A look outside my kitchen window at the apple tree surprises with a view of newly dropped ripe apples, of leaves shriveling, yellowing. A glimpse of the night sky’s inky dome shocks a realization that I can no longer connect the dots of stars into familiar reassuring patterns because of my failing vision.

I have been avoiding activities that provide daily tests of a faculty which has served me well for sixty years – my eyesight. Thus it has proved shocking that I nearly bowled over a young mother toting her infant who attempted to pass me from behind my left side as I was walking an aisle at the grocery store seeking some needed product. Frustration and fear of losing a capacity taken for granted suddenly overwhelmed me. I was eager to instantly return home, to the safe and familiar environment where such forced reminders of diminishing capacity are minimized by movement patterns habituated by custom and frequent repetition.

The hardest adjustment for me is having to accept solicitous attention by family and friends in order to be able to cross the street without mis-steps, or to negotiate stairs and escalators in public spaces. A reminder by a companion to look at an object of interest I have to meet with a new kind of response, “where”. I want to let go of my illusion of independence and my fear of becoming a burden on others. After all, the reality is that dependence is an unavoidable life condition and ideas of independence are fictions.  I cling stubbornly to such illusions and in clinging to them become miserable when all indications point to realities I must accept. It seems that at all stages of life acceptance of what is may lead to more contentment than blindly insisting on maintaining the polite fiction of what was, might be, could be, should be. This seems to me my lifelong lesson to master.

From topic posted on www.redravine.wordpress.com – writing practice.  Thanks for the prompt, Redravine!

6 Responses to “I want to let go of…”

  1. lookingforbeauty Says:

    As we age, our incapacities creep up on us. More and more, I am having to create a new way of doing things, like climbing stairs or coming down them, I’m not sure which is worse. Feet no longer bend, no longer have the supple spring they once had. Hands don’t open jars or twist off garden hose connections. Having to ask someone to do something or do without is unpleasant – I’ve ingrained the Little Red Hen syndrome and sometimes it’s just not possible. I hate to say “I can’t” as an intro to any one of many activities I used to do without thinking.
    Hang in there.

  2. ybonesy Says:

    A glimpse of the night sky’s inky dome shocks a realization that I can no longer connect the dots of stars into familiar reassuring patterns because of my failing vision.

    This line especially moved me. As did the image of you bowling over the young mother and then rushing home to your familiar surroundings.


  3. pmousse Says:

    Each stage of life has its burdens and its challenges, but is as valid and as full of promise as any other. I think it’s okay to recognize the necessity of some degree of dependence; society tells us its not okay to depend on others, but really, when don’t we, in one way or another?

  4. Deborah Barlow Says:

    Thank you for this deeply moving and very honest posting. I resonated with so many of your insights. Eventual dependence is a huge fear for me too.

  5. suburbanlife Says:

    Kay – thanks for the encouragement. I have seen how you have persevered with considerable grace through some of your own tough stuff. You are like the little engine that keeps chugging along, no matter what and you accomplish a great deal! G

    Ybonesy – today i went veggie shopping with Kay and nearly got run over in the parking lot – at the last moment remembered to turn my head and saw the car that could easily have run me over. I was being my old independent self and charged ahead as if in full faculties. A lesson for today – one to remember tomorrow, i guess. Thanks for your comment. G

    pmousse – thanks for visiting and your comment. You are absolutely right – we are completely interdependent at all times of our lives – the balance of give and take seems to shift as one loses faculties. G

    Deborah – maybe a fear of being dependent is a fear of needs not being respected and met with patience and kindness, anyway it is for me a trust issue. On the other hand during my lifetime I have been very kindly treated by unexpected persons and and hope that trend continues as i grow toward increasing dependence. G

  6. QuoinMonkey Says:

    G, thank you for this post. A moving and honest writing practice. You are right (as you mentioned in your comment on my Letting Go practice) it was a demanding Writing Topic. I bet I could do it every day and still come up with more I want to let go of.

    There is something about the aging body that is scary to me. Yet I wouldn’t give up the wisdom I’ve gained from moving through the years for anything. I do take some comfort in the fact that birth, aging, and death are experiences we all share. We’ll all move through it together. Still, acceptance is so difficult. Thank you again for the Writing Practice. Beautiful.

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