Sands of Time

Image result for withered hands

My run of good health came to an abrupt end a few of weeks back and I have been in and out of the hospital. The recovery is on but I have been left with a barely functioning right-hand that bemoans at the thought of heavy movement (Blame those IV injections). The thought of typing is painful but today is my blog's third birthday and of course, I wanted to butt in and wave a hello with my left hand!

And also leave something to ponder that has been doing rounds in my head.

This happened to me at the pathology lab I frequented for my medical tests. It was still very early in the morning, and particularly rainy – only a handful of us sleepily making our way pricks and pees. I was as far from dwelling on ageing as I peed in the cup as I am to landing on Mars, but I did!

The lowdown of what happened –

There was a lady, a very old lady seemingly unaccompanied who was there to take some tests.

She had to enter her details in the system before they could take her blood. It seemed that she was a little short of hearing, so they asked her for her details, ever so slowly – repeating every key word. Her answers were apologetic and laced with regret as she asked them to repeat their questions, visibly fretting over the "inconvenience" she was causing.

When I looked around the room, every person wore the same gentle, patronizing smile. The lab guys also somehow assumed that she will not know what a cellphone is let alone remember the number, and proceeded to mansplain it. They also preferred to overlook her remarks at the tests she had to take and just refer to the prescription.

Because she was old, and frail and apologetic?

She was impaired of hearing, but she was evidently of sound mind! Her answers were crisp and clear, her command on the language clearly showed that she was well-informed. But yet she was denied of this control and the basic level of respect. Worst part is that she probably constitutes the majority – almost all old people I have met look at themselves as an inconvenience!

It has never hit me so squarely as it hit me that day – of the constant babying of older people. And I doubt we realize we are doing it – we stay in the delusion of being understanding and helpful. But on the flipside, I know for a fact that if anyone speaks to me like that, it will be an incessant blow to my dignity. It's a casual ageism that I need to contain next time I speak to anyone elderly – especially my grandma.



Thoughts? I apologize in advance for not giving a prompt reply – my hand will take a while to recover.

Beauty & The Beast

Optical Illusion or ...?
Optical Illusion or …?

I recently finished The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and was so enraptured by it, that I also caught the movie starring Ben Barnes (Why was.HE cast??). I am still under the spell of the book – enchanted for life I think. For the uninitiated (and please change this status immediately!), the story deals with this young, beautiful man who wishes eternal youth while his magnificent painting (or rather, his soul) takes the brunt of time and age. The movie was a downer as it dealt more with the sexual debauchery that Gray descends into rather than the dwellings of mind that are so typical of Wilde.

Well… It raised a question. A very interesting question and I am hoping for varied answers.

How important is looking good and young to you personally? How much of your confidence or self-esteem is derived from your external attributes? I know, we wax poetic about our inner selves and what we feel, think and do blah blah is what counts. And I agree – in the end that is what deserves the spotlight. But isn’t there some tiny corner of our mind that really LIKES being beautiful and perfect on the outside? I know that corner very well!

I will be candid and say that I LIKE being relatively good-looking and feel lucky to have inherited the slim genes. All said and done, that bit of charm and flirting has really made life easy. Recent health issues played havoc with my face and I panicked! For the first time, I was self-conscious and lost my confidence, even though the world didn’t notice the imperfections. But I noticed! I saw every eruption and scar. And it disturbed me. Thankfully, I didn’t end up with a bunch of useless cosmetics (yay for common sense!) but I did start observing my face a lot closely and realized that this youth is temporary. Eventually, I may reach out for some magical youth serum and try to contain time. Maybe I won’t have the same paranoia about weight gain as fitness is what matters to me – diet and exercise. Again, maybe! I don’t know for sure.

Some of you may think of “how shallow!” Even I cursed myself for being affected by something external and so temporary. But it made a dent on me. I admit it. Hey! Even Beauty fell for the Prince – she was just friendly with the Beast he used to be. And then, I look around and I see inspiration. People who haven’t let their weight, their face or their bodies affect them! But I also understood that they had their moments of doubts and it was a long fight to accept themselves. Maybe one day I too will shake this self-doubt off successfully. But again, I don’t see anything WRONG in taking care of myself!

Although, I definitely won’t present my soul on the devil’s altar in exchange for eternal youth. 


So tell me, world. How important is/was your youthful perfection to you? Given a choice, would you – like Dorian – opt for eternal youth and beauty? Turn back the time for every wrinkle without affecting your experiences or is that wrinkle a souvenir of a life well lived?

My fastest ever post (eight minutes) was brought to you by Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is very/vary.

 Image Source

Hospice

Image: pixshark.com
Image: pixshark.com

If you are reading this… it means I am dead.

Know that I was not an old man,

Simply a rapidly ageing one. 

Out of control, I bumped into a disease

I wasn’t yet ready to meet and greet.

Yet became my constant companion.

A part of my life as true as the love

I hold for all of you, my dear ones.

 

Time then caught up with me quickly.

Still you tried not to notice,

The deep creases on my forehead

The new tremors of my hands

The sickly spots on my face

The last strands of my crown

The slowed pace of my stroll

 

There was so much to do and see.

Give my daughters to their husbands,

Play with my future grandchildren,

Hold my wife taking in our empty nest,

Prepare for a future just for us again.

Maybe buy a caravan to go places

Other than the hospital two miles away.

 

Know that I was just an aged body,

A young spirit not ready to leave.

But I saw my son coming to get me –

The one I held only for few moments

Before lowering him six feet under.

He gave me the strength to let go,

And wisdom to keep looking after you..


I witnessed a young man succumbing to health problems at the hospital. He lives on through his wife and two young daughters. Maybe I am trying to capture his thoughts… Abhra has us writing letters at dVerse. Head over to read a few more.

Blackout | Empty Recess

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Incomprehensible nods of his head,
Quietly daring to raise his voice,
He pushed through with his hand.
A childish old man –
….Just enough sense left,
He watches to see.
To scare this apparition away entirely.
Empty recess for a man,
A form of torture –
….A sermon to be looked down at.


With Kafka’s fine words in hand, I referred to Page 161 from The Trial. Was amazed at the output.

Today at dVerse, Bjorn is hosting Meeting the Bar where the theme is Blackout Poem. Grab a book-page, black out and type out the rest in order. Voila! Your poem is unraveled… Very very interesting!