Fleda’s Blog

My Wobbly Bicycle, 153

Posted by on Sep 19, 2018 in Featured | 8 comments

  1. Well, I just haven’t. I haven’t posted in a long while. There’s been a great deal of caretaking around here, although Jerry does everything he can. Yesterday I saw him dragging the dirty clothes basket along behind his walker, making for the laundry room.


  1. Have I lost focus? Once I wrote about cancer, but that subject, thank whatever-gods-may-be, is worn out for the time being. I have thought if I use what precious writing energy I have on a post, I won’t have anything left for the poems and essays.


Yes, but of course energy begets energy. And when has not having anything to say stopped the words? They come out ahead of consciousness, sometimes. They know what they want even when “I” don’t.


Aging. Aging and the writer. That subject should keep me busy for a long while. Today the subject is caretaking. There are probably two dozen good blogs about caretaking out there. And books. You don’t need to bother with this blog. However, I hope you do.


Breathes there a caretaker with soul so dead that he or she doesn’t sometimes flare with internal anger, doesn’t watch others head out on mountain biking trips and feel jealous? Who doesn’t fantasize living alone, eating toast over the sink instead of bothering to get out breakfast stuff? Who doesn’t stare long minutes out the window at the turning trees?


There’s no point in trying to balance that with heart-warming tales of the blessings of sharing hard times, of having a long-time mate that you love, no matter what. The deepening of tenderness and closeness when it’s down to brass tacks. No sense balancing at all. It’s not one or the other, but both.
(Above poem is my 100-year-old father’s favorite. Thought you might enjoy it.)


Things have turned mysterious. First there was Jerry’s hip replacement, then it failed, then it was replaced again. For a short time there was no pain. In the last couple of weeks there is a lot of pain in the area of the sacrum. He’s had steroid injections. No help from that yet. We don’t know exactly what’s pressing on what, but after two major back surgeries, plus the hip surgeries, is there any wonder something’s pressing on something that it shouldn’t be. Can this be remedied? I don’t even know what we’ll have for lunch, much less what will transpire tomorrow.


Meanwhile, Jerry’s just celebrated his 78th birthday. We’ve had to give up our Alaska cruise, which was to be our present to each other. Note to reader: buy trip insurance (we did). We drove up the peninsula to look at trees and gorgeous water, the way old people do, and stopped for lunch along the way. My sister and brother in law picked up dinner for the four of us and brought it to our place.


My children and grandchildren travel all over the place. Kelly’s family was in Croatia this spring. Scott’s in Italy right now. Interestingly, I have always been pretty content with a computer, paper, pen, trees, crickets, and water to swim in. I prefer our lake but I can make do with the Y.  There are all sorts of explorations, both interior and exterior. I lean toward the interior, anyhow. The interior has its own cathedrals and canals.


In less than two weeks, I’ll have arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus that has tormented me for almost six months (took a while to diagnose).  I’ll be glad to get it fixed, but there’s Jerry, unable to help while I’m hobbling or whatever I’ll be. I mention this because this is how it is when you get old—people’s ailments don’t conveniently take turns. They sometimes come on simultaneously.


Meanwhile, I’ve written a couple of essays I’m happy with this year, and more poems, good and bad, than I usually admit to. I tend to pretend I’m a total wuss as a writer. It seems to be my way of clearing the decks for the next thing.


AND, the book I wrote with Sydney Lea, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives, has just come out in paperback from Green Writers Press in Vermont. It has a great cover and a new chapter on politics. It’s gotten great response from people who’ve gotten hold of it. I ought to have a book launch!  This needs to be another blog post—the need to publicize when you get older and basically all you want to do is write.


My Wobbly Bicycle, 152

Posted by on Jun 27, 2018 in Featured | 1 comment

Four years have been swept away in the twinkling of an eye. This is odd, you know, since I seem to have been here all along, writing posts now and then, pontificating and musing and drolling and trolling. Nonetheless, one day a few weeks ago, I looked around on my website and found a vacuum between 2014 and now. Apparently I have been in hibernation.


My web guy, who designed and takes care of my lovely site basically as a favor these days, his interests being elsewhere, was as mystified as I. He tried to pull it back. Did you know there’s a program that can find old versions of things posted? You can take back the past. Yes, but it’s a random capture, and not much was captured. He was able to mostly rebuild my home page and he’s put back in the books that have come out since then.


Apparently the server he was using had failed to update its security and there was a hole in the dyke. Through it poured the return of my hair after chemo, Jerry’s two back surgeries, his hip replacement and the ensuing miseries, my studies of Black writers in preparation for interviewing Nikki Giovanni, and so on. I DO have these in Word files, but rebuilding the posts is more work than I’m willing to do. After all, what am I, famous or something? After my death, maybe some diligent and earnest graduate student can retrieve them from the Cloud, if he or she is desperate enough for a dissertation topic.


This all makes me think. Everything makes me think. I am stuck at home while Jerry serves his three-months’ sentence after “revision”(that means it failed the first time) hip replacement. So instead of  hiking or getting anywhere-the-heck-out-of-here for a while, I am thinking. That is, I am thinking between/during grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning up and washing and folding and cleaning the litter box and helping Jerry bathe and dress, driving us to appointments, taking my father to appointments, and doing stretches to help my tendonitis (any wonder?).


As the glorious northern summer rips by at warp speed, I am thinking of time and the perception of time. Where did the four years go? Were they an accumulation of dots along a continuum, of blog posts, or books? How narrow.  Humans, in spite of our huge intelligence, have a truncated range of sensory perception compared to most creatures. Then we close even that in, to fit our preconceptions. It’s big out there.


So, I am thinking about the width and breadth and depth of those four years, that still exist and no longer exist, depending on how you look at it. The older I get, the more complex things seem to be.


Wally’s nugget for today: “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”