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Life Arts    H3'ed 12/29/21

Old friends, not bookends (a poem)

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I walk with you.
We talk while we walk
Through the snowy woods.

Good to get out and talk.
Two old men.
Too old
And too smart
To keep it in.

What a world we are leaving behind!
Thanks for the eggs.
Thank-you for feeding the chickens
Over Christmas.

So, (jokingly) when do you plan to pass on?
Oh, I don't know,
Maybe a few more years.
I want to see what happens.
After covid?
I want to see if we get a handle on Climate Change.
I want to see if things are going to shift.

I felt the same way about Vietnam.
I thought it would never end.
You were how old?
I was . . . 22.
I thought I would die before I reached 30.
So what did it feel like to you when Vietnam ended?
I felt like I wanted to keep living.
I went to college and studied Jung.

What about you? What
Keeps you wanting to stay alive?
(Long list follows.
I say, Wow.
He doesn't ask me the same question.
Instead we talk about Michael Meade. I sent him
A link to a Meade talk.
Meade is telling a story
About an old woman who lives in a cave.
She is weaving a beautiful tapestry.
Every once in a while she gets up
And hobbles to the back of the cave
Where there is a big pot simmering.
In the pot
Are all the seeds of the universe.
She has to keep stirring the pot
So the seeds don't burn.
While she is stirring the pot
The black dog pulls a thread from the loom,
Unraveling all of her work.
When she returns to the loom
And sees what the dog has done.
She frowns and collects herself.
Then she sets up the loom
And begins weaving from scratch.)

Dogs are medicine stealers, I say.
Yeah, they are, aren't they.
But maybe the dog is doing us a service.
What do you mean?
Well the tapestry is the world, right?
So, we're always talking about
How we don't want the future to be like the present
Because the present sucks.
Like the Vietnam days.
Yeah, like Vietnam.
So the dog is exactly what we need
And the old woman is the creatrix.
Yeah, the Great Mother
Who stirs the seeds of life
And gives us the world.

We are quiet for a while.
We come to the end of the path
But there is the start of another path.
Want to keep walking?
Sure. I'd like that.

(Article changed on Dec 29, 2021 at 10:59 PM EST)

(Article changed on Dec 30, 2021 at 8:20 AM EST)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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