A New Old Spring

by Bea Garth, copyright 2008

Here it is spring at long last. The beginning of May; the reminder of promise. So many things seem more possible now despite it having been muggy and over-caste with no shadows earlier today (or should I say yesterday?).

The weather has been yo yo-ing around. Hot/cold, hot/cold. This after a very warm day on Thursday helping to clear excess live and scrub oak and elderberry branches from around my mother’s rustic pool here in the woods above Los Gatos, CA. My body spoke today; do nothing! I was so tired. Despite the fact there were at least two events I really wanted to go to with friends I wanted to see. Am hoping tomorrow on Saturday I will be on “go” again and still have time to apologize to a couple of friends as well as focus on my sculpture.

As it was today (Friday) and tonight instead of going out I vegged and poked around and made myself an interesting new dish — a pizza using “sotta” as a base — a bread made from chickpea flour. Worked out pretty well actually. But then I ate too much of course since it was so good and I just had me, the computer and some sci fi on TV to entertain myself with. I was not energetic enough to do the dishes not to mention be creative. Now hours later I just had some papaya with nonfat yogurt and feel better–especially after a talk with an old poet friend late tonight.

He was telling me how he is going to quit poetry and start skateboarding again at age sixty one. Ha! I say. No way is he quitting; he is just reinventing himself, allowing himself to breathe without attachment. Its great though that finally he wants to be more active. Just hope he doesn’t hurt himself. He has made his little house into a kind of prison it seems at times. Mind you a prison filled with beautiful poetry and music but still a prison since he rarely gets out except to go to work. This is never good for great lengths of time and plain dangerous as one ages.

For myself I am hopeful this spring. Life is getting better overall despite having been ill February and March. Despite it also taking a while to gather my energy in April, I now have three new sculptures I am working on — a large diptych plaque wall piece and a couple of paintings in the works–as well as a slab sculptural piece I am perfecting and will dry out slowly very shortly.

I think of my friend and see what he is doing. Perhaps for me it is somewhat similar. I am not ready to commit to anything or anyone right now but my art plus finishing a remodel of a cottage I am in charge of. This is new for me since in the past it seems I was always WITH some guy. And now I realize it may be causing some chagrin with my friend since I am pretty certain he’d like me to commit to him. But that really isn’t possible. I do love him but not as a partner–just as a friend and comrade. Our personal habits are just too dissimilar. It would take about a week (if that) and we’d be through.

In some ways I too feel like a young adult rather than someone approaching sixty. I am trying out my individuality after all. Part of it is rough since I really am used to being with someone. The loneliness can be daunting and sometimes rather mind numbing. But now I am learning that is what friends are for–to reach out to. But then with friends I am not bound to them by some unwindable thread as I was with my Special Someone I always had even if that someone changed from time to time through the years. I am now tired of the drama and the judgments and the coddling of temperments getting in the way of my creative time. Life is difficult enough after all.

Meanwhile too by dating and visiting or chatting on the phone rather than committing it seems I am learning more about people as well as about myself than I did in the past. It really is very interesting actually. I have no idea how long this will last but here it is for now–a breath of fresh air to explore this new springtime of my life where soon I will be fifty-nine.

Note: image above is called “Girl Under the Tree” by Bea Garth, copyright 2005

Categories: personal essay by Bea Garth

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