Sunday, July 4, 2010

Me Then and Now

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This poem was written in the year 2000. Since then I have aged in a multitude of ways. I am confined to a wheelchair, have been ill any number of times, am in pain much of the time with all the problems associated with pain control. Am I happy? Yes, almost always, blessed with children who not only take superb care of me, but who are also delightful company. My only sadness is mourning my dear Otto. I love my new little house and am enjoying redecorating and furnishing it. I am surrounded by music, both live, due to my talented son Otto and beloved daughter-in-law Kristin, who live just acrosss the street from me.

I THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS MINE

I thought the world was mine.
I thought that I could swim in any ocean.
Clouds below were my familiar landscape.

How could I know that wings that carried me
would be landlocked, horizons shrink and borders close forever?

Generals
Presidents
Oil executives
I object!
It’s my life that you circumscribe.
I miss my world!
Your oil is running short; so too my years
and I am bitter with thwarted expectations.

I know that somewhere children starve.
Their eyes rebuke my selfishness.

But oh! I want my steaming jungles, jangle
of unknown tongues, smells of roasting coffee,
lights of a city never seen before that mark
a thousand homes in each of which
I live a lifetime
for a moment.

Phyllis Sterling Smith revised September 11, 2000

26 comments:

keith hillman said...

It's so good to see you back Phyllis, I've missed your contributions so much. Your poem is so poignant, so thought provoking.Keep smiling, just as you are in your picture!

Greyscale Territory said...

Living a lifetime for a moment! That is such a beautiful thought!

Like Keith, I am so thrilled to see your wonderful ideas again! I have always enjoyed your journeys!

Have a happy week!
Namaste!

anthonynorth said...

Always a pleasure to visit. So much wrong, but we must always retain that optimism.

Nara said...

It's amazing how much your poem still fits the circumstances. I can relate to that feeling of shattered illusions.

I'm glad you find happiness despite the trials. :)

Rinkly Rimes said...

With your approach to life I'm sure you bring happiness to all those around you even though you may not always find it yourself. Like the others, I'm pleased to see you back again.

oldegg said...

Ten years and we still haven't learned much have we? What a blessing it is you have your loved ones so close to you.

Understanding Alice said...

hey granny - i really liked this - the tension between our me and the me the world fences us in to be.

Just to warn you, you are getting spam - that comment above old egg is NOT a real comment its a link to some sort of porn site - i get spammed with them too.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Even without your intro, I'd have felt your pain and anger in this piece. I've started grappling with how difficult aging is -- I can't imagine being where you are. And yet, I hope I make it that far (and as nicely, too).

Linda Jacobs said...

What a wonderful attitude you have! Your poem expresses such truth about living. I especially like the line containing "jungles, jangle"!

Marianne said...

You've been in my thoughts for quite some time, on a daily basis sending greetings and hoping all is well... relatively speaking, eh? have missed you.
Many gentle hugs to you.

Divaa Divine said...

Granny this was an exceptional read ! made my heart melt!


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bunnygirl said...

I can so relate to this. We're raised to believe the world's our oyster, but in truth, there are many forces - both natural and unnatural, who deny us the privilege.

It's great to see a post from you!

Maggie May said...

We are all living in the confinements of our illnesses/conditions and it is very frustrating and sad at times.
However, apart from missing Otto, I am pleased that you are mainly happy. It is attitude of mind that helps us to overcome our limitations. Bless you in your new home.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

linda may said...

Ah Granny what can I say. You have lived your magical life and seen things around the world that others envy and you have lived a life of great love. I am so sorry that nowadays you are unable to do that still. We are all part of the cycle. If you were finished with already you wouldn't be here still my darling. So there is more to come.
There will always be things wrong with the world, if one problem is solved another always takes it's place. I know that does not mean we should excuse. We are all only human.
Wonderful post and poem. Love You.

王名仁 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

葉瑞 said...

在你一無所有的時候 是誰在陪伴你 他便是你最重要的人............................................................

nonizamboni said...

Dear Phyllis--glad you're still able to see the beauty and feel the love in spite of all you've been through. Sending you all good wishes and a hug. You are always in my thoughts, dear one!

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

Readiness is all.............................................................

Shyam said...

Dear Granny, you are just so amazing... I love your writing, it's always beautifully phrased, whether it's a poem, a short story or just an anecdote. Your children and family and friends are so darn lucky to have you! I hope you will soon feel better, I'm terribly sorry to hear that you are/have been unwell...

anthonyjensen張anthonyjensen欣虹 said...

多謝美味的心靈雞湯................................................................

楊儀卉 said...

大家隨便說,說什麽都好,就是請不要惦惦............................................................

Lanie said...

I can relate to this poem so much. beautifully written

Winifred said...

Nice to hear from you again and pleased you are happy in your new home.

I do love that poem. Very thought provoking.

Take care.

Lisa said...

A life well lived and through your words I can feel the grace and passion that you lived your life. How nice to have the support of your loved ones in your life.

Marsha said...

we live a lifetime for a moment....I like this a lot. I've had a few amazing moments scattered across the lifeline. I want more of them! thanks.

Dee Martin said...

Dear Phyllis, I too have begun to deal with the body not being able to do what the spirit wants. I hope I will handle the changes and frustrations as gracefully as you and remember how many are so much more unfortunate than I.