These days The Byrds’s classic song, Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season), resonates with me and mine. We are at that age.
Our children are grown. They are where we were three decades ago—starting out, getting ready to conquer the world!
Ah, the twenties—the decade of invincibility, of possibility, of freedom. I almost, almost envy my sons.
My mom turned eighty this year (I lost my father two and a half decades ago), so I’m holding on dearly to every moment spent with her. The Viking’s parents are both in their eighty-ninth year.
Too many of my friends and colleagues are mentally preparing themselves for the finality of their parents’ lives. We are too.
When my father and my childhood best friend died (too young at fifty), the poem, Funeral Blues, by W.H. Auden brought me inordinate comfort. Here it is:
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
It’s a maudlin Monday.