Twas the Old Road

Twas the Old Road

With this last birthday the thought I’d been shoving to the very back of my mind became too large to ignore. And it is interesting how it expressed itself.

I still mourn the original triumvirate: Hotspur, Mr. Newguise and Miss Ninny.
And the following, but no lest majestic quartet: Zachary, Mr Teatime, Bartleby and Haru

The loss of Bartleby somewhat recently…

(and Babbage the savage cabbage–but he is with our daughter and has always been her cat–he chose her early on)

All of these were so close to my heart as to be like a limb or artery. They were with us in good times and bad. In many houses and places. They let us cry into their fur and playfully chased us around the house or slept on our arms, close enough to be a heartbeat. They were with us for at the very least 15 years and at the most 20. Twenty years. They went through college, graduate school, marriage, our daughter, good jobs, bad jobs–so very much.

And now with Bix (Bragadocious Illidari Xanadar the 1st) , Hugo Goldeneye, Charlotte Sometimes and Bastian Moon–  well with how long our furfolk stay with us–this is our last clowder.

And I find myself wanting more and more kitties because somehow that feels like holding off the inevitable. We have more time behind than ahead of us.

Winter’s darkness is fully present now, and in the Pacific NorthWest, darker than many places. I’m always lacking in Vitamin D and don’t remember often enough to take it. I have a light on my work desk, but I’m not sure it does much of anything except cause a glare on video meetings.  I know that some of this contemplation comes from Winter.

But some comes from being in my Crone era. Being invisible (as women of a certain age are). Not knowing my purpose now that I am not actively mothering.

And all the hobbies in the world–learning Japanese, refinishing furniture, making decorated boxes that hold endless things–will not stop the thought that it is nearly over.

This sounds horrifying and it is a little bit. It is frightening. But it also feels like it might be a relief. It has never been easy  to be me. How dramatic that sounds. From my violent and destructive  childhood to my variety of self harming twenties, to my 30s where I prayed I wouldn’t damage my child as I was never knowing exactly who I am supposed to be. I used to know when I was very young, but life became about survival, not dreams. I couldn’t finish my dreams because I’ve always been so very tired. I would get to a certain point and see the mountains ahead and just stop climbing.

I’m sure when summer comes I’ll be able to move these maudlin thoughts to the background again…mostly. I think though they will not be pushed completely away. I think this is how it should be? must be?

I’m not running toward or away. I’m walking forward as one must, because the alternative? That can wait a bit longer.

‘Twas the old — road — through pain
Emily Dickenson


‘Twas the old — road — through pain —
That unfrequented — one —
With many a turn — and thorn —
That stops — at Heaven —

This — was the Town — she passed —
There — where she — rested — last —
Then — stepped more fast —
The little tracks — close prest —
Then — not so swift —
Slow — slow — as feet did weary — grow —
Then — stopped — no other track!

Wait! Look! Her little Book —
The leaf — at love — turned back —
Her very Hat —
And this worn shoe just fits the track —
Herself — though — fled!

Another bed — a short one —
Women make — tonight —
In Chambers bright —
Too out of sight — though —
For our hoarse Good Night —
To touch her Head!