Everything Old

A busy week at work, a stubborn cold, average temperatures below zero, and a committed desire to stick to a fitness regimen have left me (or at least my body) feeling old this week – creaky knees, sore wrists. (Even yoga left me sore – too much utkatasana.)

I watched some old movies this weekend – really old (like Oklahoma!) and just kind of old (like Kill Bill, Vol. 2).  And then there was the announcement of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Fellowship season and the realization that I am more than TWENTY YEARS past the age cut-off. Ouch.

And then there was the slow, rolling change I’ve seen in friendships. (It hit home this week for several reasons – nothing dramatic.)  I have always had friends who are younger than I am, people whom I adore.  I used to spend lots of time with them outside of work, but lately they have drifted to more time with those who have more in common in terms of where they are in life – having young kids at home, etc. It’s a natural shift, not a shunning, but it still just makes me feel old, kind of like a band you liked when you were fourteen – still know the songs, but have taken them out of heavy rotation or off your iPod.

But I uncovered one old thing that was wonderful – a 1926 illustrated copy of Anderson’s Fairy Tales on my bookshelves. It has both color and b/w line illustrations and many strange stories that most wouldn’t recognize as famous. (“The Bear Who Stood and Played Soldier”, anyone? “The Elder Tree?”) I have been having fun pulling out phrases from the stories and rearranging them into new poem-tales. (My favorite so far is titled “The Forest Hag Advises the Princess.” Hmmm, wonder which one I am identifying with at the moment?)

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We are about ready to make February an old month and move into the lion of March. Hopefully, the appearance of the sun will turn that old feeling back to new. Well, not new. But as close as one can get.

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