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!