Friday, June 27, 2014

To Sum Up- Sometimes It Is More Than I Can Bear

It's quiet here just now. Jessie and Vergil have gone off to look at houses and Mr. Moon has gone to work. Maurice and I sit here on the back porch, listening to the birds chatter, Elvis crowing, frogs chanting.
I have to go to town to get ingredients to make the pizzas tonight. We're gathering here, the whole family, to celebrate Mr. Moon's birthday early. Pizzas are good because I can make everything from a vegan pie to one with all the meat. And those in between.

I feel weird. Don't I always get a little crazy this time of year? Summer, the birthdays.
Glen turns sixty on Sunday and I will turn sixty in a month.
This seems impossible. Quite simply not possible.
Sixty is retired and living in Florida because you're done with shoveling snow. Sixty is white hair and a cane. Sixty is separate bedrooms because she snores. Sixty is going out to dinner after church on Sunday. Sixty is shuffleboard and a gingerale at sunset. Sixty is a week's worth of pills in a container labeled S-M-T-W-TH-F-S. Sixty is you've lived your life now get of the way.

Sixty is not the new forty and anyone who says so is a fucking idiot. Sixty is sixty.

Of course, all of these things are true/not true.

Sixty is also still working and sixty is also still loving. Sixty is, I suppose, what you make it within the limitations of everything you have done and which time has done to your body, your mind, your soul, your heart. Sixty is younger than Keith Richards by a decade. Sixty is dancing to the Rolling Stones in the hallway with your grandsons, hands backwards on hips, arms out chicken-winging and butt-wiggling like Mick. Sixty is damn, I shouldn't be doing this, my knee's gonna blow. Sixty is making pizzas and a red velvet birthday cake. Sixty is regret and sixty can be renewal. I hope.
Sixty is as crazy as sixteen without the innocence but with the wisdom. Sixty is just a number but in the terms of human years, not an insignificant one.

Sixty can be exhausting and sixty can be a time of wonder at the simplest things, all-over-childlike again.
Sixty is tallying up the long list of those we have loved who are no longer here.
Sixty is knowing there will most likely be more babies to love, still yet to be born.
Sixty is avoiding mirrors. Sixty is looking at the one you love and loving him all the more for what time has done to him because you were there for each and every minute of the past thirty years and time has done it to you too and sometimes he still tells you that you are beautiful.

Sixty is forgetting shit all the damn time. Sixty is remembering shit all the damn time.

Sixty is having all the ages you've ever been inside you and oh, how they sometimes tussle, the two-year old still pouting, the seventeen-year old still panting, the six-year old still crying for her daddy, the twenty-one year old still holding her first newborn to her breast. So much to hold inside and yet, so much to have to try and learn and adapt to, as well.

Sixty is a mystery and sometimes I am scared. Not because it is that much closer to death but because of what comes between now and then. Sometimes even the good things can be frightening. The more you love, the more you have to lose.

And I am not sure why this melancholic brown study has come upon me on this Friday morning when it is so beautiful and I will see all my babies tonight and actually, all my babies at lunch too.
When I am still strong enough to carry grandchildren, to make the pizzas, to work in the yard, to bear the sorrows that come.
Perhaps I am afraid I am not up to the task of bearing the love which continues and multiplies and redoubles and expands to such a degree that sometimes I feel as if it might crush me. Is my heart big enough for it all? Is the sky?
Could that be it? Just the simple fact that all of this love, so undreamed of, so unexpected, so seemingly undeserved is more than I can bear? And not just the love of family, of friends, but love for these trees, these creatures here, the small shiny brown eggs I'm getting, the little tasks that make up life on earth which even in these days of technology involve water, fire, knives, brooms, soap, sunlight and dirt, the cat who wakes me with kisses on my face, the humming of the crickets, the pleading to the rain gods of the frogs, the floors of this house, the porches, way the trees and sun come together to make puddles of silver which shift and tremble, even as I do?

I do not know.

I am almost sixty and I do not know.

But the older I get, the more I do know that love is the engine which fuels it all from babies to sunlight, from pain to joy and I stand firm in that belief and am witness to its reality and power.
And I will do all that I can to hold it and recognize it and channel it until such time as it is no longer possible, until this vessel breaks and leaks it all back out to return from whence it all came.

Good morning.
Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I'm 64. and let me tell you, the 60s has been hard for me to accept. the face in the mirror, the being careful not to fall, the getting tireder faster, the forgetting shit, that the 60s is undeniably old. the selfie project is supposed to accustom me to my face and all it's wrinkles. so far it's not working.

    when my mother turned 60, she sat her butt down and declared she was old now and didn't have to do anything (not that she had been doing all that much anyway) and then she became old and incapable of doing anything. I'm determined not to be her.

  2. The 60s can also be when you marry the love of your life and begin to live again. Jack will be 70 on Thanksgiving day and I am thankful every day that, finally, we are together. And I'm really excited that in a couple of years I've got Medicare!
    We're going to a rehearsal dinner tonight for a bride and groom who are 66 and 60, respectively. They shine with love!
    Love to all, an early Happy Birthday to Glenn, and kiss Jessie for me.

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  4. Anonymous strikes again!

    I look forward to the sixties, as long as they might resemble yours in some small way.

  5. This post is brilliant and wonderful and perfect in every way. Your truth is a triumph. And of course the love in uncontainable. It spreads out and graces us all.

  6. My Mom married at 60 a widow for five years. She went on to travel the country with my stepfather, they had a great time, she was married to him for 30 years. I hope can only hope to be that healthy, she didn't start to decline until around age 85. Gail

  7. I love this: Sixty is forgetting shit all the damn time. Sixty is remembering shit all the damn time.

    Your post was perfect and brave an honest, as are you, my dear Mary Moon.

    I love you SO.


  8. Here on earth in my 61st year, this is one of my favorite posts of yours ever.

  9. This is beautiful. I love when you write like this.

  10. Your heart is so big, it bursts out of your fingertips and onto this blog for all of us to be awed and inspired by it.

  11. you make it sound a whole hell of a lot better then the AARP does....


  12. jeeeeezus ... hope I'm still around when you turn 70. dang ... this post is making me feel downright sprightly! lol

    I'm 71 and living with a 17 month old and a four year old. The four year old will be going back to her Mother in three weeks.

    let's see when I was about to turn 60 ... 2003~ oh, lord! that's when my one and only son graduated from high school. I closed my small business and began traveling about the states in my van.

    Of course, I was/am unhappily married. He began driving a truck shortly before that ~ he's four years younger than I. computer jobs were scarce.

    oh, my .. I think you just gave me blog fodder ;)

    The thing about being 71 is the realization that yeah... I look like crap ... but so do a lot of other people ... at least I did have my moments in the sun of turning heads.

    so what. now I turn little bitty babies' heads... as you well know.. there's nothing like a grandbaby hug and their saying ... Gramma? I love you.

    hang in there... 60 is a milestone for sure ... but I had so much to close ~ my shop and get my son in college and find me a way to travel that I really didn't think about it except I couldn't get Park passes until I was 62 and wow! free entry and half price and great stuff.

    always enjoy reading your posts, Mary ... ;) you've made my day many a time...

  13. I'm 58 now, but I'll be 60 next year. That used to be such great fun. When I was 15 going on 17.

  14. This is an awesome post. I am turning 58 soon and while intellectually I know I am turning 58 and sometimes my body feels 85, I can't really wrap my being around being so close to 60. In some ways I feel 15. This aging is such a strange phenomena and yet when you are our age, you can't deny we are getting up there. You have an incredible life story and generational lineage. If I were you, I would feel mighty proud. I am proud to know you the little that I do. Sweet Jo

  15. Wonderful writing, Mary Moon. Your voice is so clear in this post. x0 N2

  16. Ellen Abbott- I am glad to hear your honest appraisal of your sixties so far. And yet, you always seem to be doing and creating and starting something new and I love that! I have thought about doing the same as your mother did- saying, "I am sixty, I am old and tired," but I know that would be the end of me.
    And, I don't know as I could do that.

    Jan- So true, so true! Thank you for reminding me, dear woman.

    Elizabeth- Oh, I am sure you will still be the very powerhouse you are in your sixties that you are now. And who knows? Maybe things will be, in some way, a rebirth of joy for you.

    Angella- You are just the sweetest woman. Thank you. For being a part of my life and so much more.

    Gail- Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful? To be so engaged and strong until that age?

    Ms. Bastard Beloved- You know how I think. I love you.

    Denise- Thank you. It came from my guts.

    Chrissy- Sometimes it just all happens right.

    heartinhand- Whoa! Thank-you, lady!

    Mrs. A- I don't know. Those AARP people sure like fine and happy on those tropical beaches they always seem to be standing on, arm-in-arm.

    Carolyn- You are certainly busy! And your sixties sound as if they were very productive.
    Thanks for commenting, honey.

    vfh159- Funny how that works, isn't it?

    Sweet Jo- It IS somehow comforting knowing that my children will carry me in their cells, and so on down the line until no one longer does. I am very, very, VERY grateful to have had the life I've had so far. I don't know that I can say "proud" because so much of it has just happened to me. Just come along and there I was and things unfolded. You know?
    As I say so often, I am the luckiest woman on earth.

    N2- Yes. I think it is.

  17. Great writing and thoughts. I am not quite there but getting too close. I want to not stop but keep going for as long as I can. Every day can be an adventure.


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