Thursday, September 10, 2015

Getting Old

image by buttkus

Getting Old

“Unless you know where you are going--
it’s damn hard to get there.” --Earl Carpenter.

How are you?

Earl: Well, I don’t know exactly how to answer that, except to say
that perhaps as I travel through life, as I encounter problems,
somehow I solve them. When I truly consider my stultified intricacies
of tension at the cosmic level, fully realizing that my prototypical
zygotes & scurrilous soma-tomes inhabit a primordial lagoon where
impulse relates to omnidirectional drifts that isolates them from an
inexplicable exogamy--you know, looking at my little life from a purely
esoteric point of view, I must arrive at the conclusion that yes, I’m
actually feeling much better than I did before I got to feeling worse
than I do now.

How do you feel about getting old?

Earl: All of us, & I mean each & every damned one of us, must accept
the inevitable fact that nothing in this world remains static. Yesterday,
it seems, the Old were once Young too. So harsh as it may be as a
fact, the Old have to make room for the New. I laugh at those crusty
duffers who refuse to accept their old age, searching for the fountain
of youth, making bargains with the devil to gain the appearance of
youth, dying their hair, having plastic surgery, discarding older spouses
for younger ones, jogging, cycling, hitting the gym; just making fools
of themselves--climbing a mountain then having a heart attack, doing
a hand spring, then breaking an ankle, moving heavy furniture, then
hurting their back, deluding themselves, playing games, while every
moment moving closer to the edge.

Come on, the law of Nature dictates that the old must step aside, get
the hell out of the way to make some room for the next generation--
but it would just be stupid if old people did not pass on into oblivion.
We do have the wisdom, however, to realize that our time on earth
is but a short, albeit interesting privilege.

I’ll tell you something though, I will never let my apprehension regarding
death to drive me into such a state of desperation whereby I would
suddenly embrace religion. I have read the bible, the koran, the teachings
of Buddha--& there are no answers, no solutions in them. No one ever
gets out of life alive, but I do believe we do get out fully intact as souls.
Your spirit is a form of energy, & energy can never be destroyed--it just
changes into something else.

So, grandson, my sage advice is just relax, & completely inhabit every
moment you have, paint a picture, write a poem, catch a fish, go
hunting for your food, hike blissfully into forests, stand up to your
knees in the ocean. Christ, each of us must face the sting of death
at the end of our days, & jump off into some other dimension, the
unknown. Death is merely a doorway, a portal, a transition, & when
it is your turn, come & look me up so that we can continue our

                          Death, I fear not your 
                          sting, for God resides within, &
                          the Universe beckons. 

Glenn Buttkus

Earl Melbourne Carpenter (1898-1988) was my grandfather.

Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub


Mary said...

Well, Glenn, my beliefs about religion are different than yours, but never mind that. Smiles. I do agree that everyone gets old, and that is inevitable. We have to live each day, embrace each day, get as much out of each day as we can. We can't just watch the clock tick year after year. We have to use the days we have. I like the idea of inhabiting EACH moment we have. I think it would be good if we could remember to do this several times a day, just to keep ourselves on track! I like this, Glenn! (And like your grandfather's quote.)

Toni Spencer said...

What a wise and aware man! The quote is most excellent. My great grandfather was a card...once, we caught him trying to see up the skirt of a nurse at the hospital while bending over. he laughed at us and said, not until they seal the casket lid will I stop looking...So much we can learn from these wise folks that often society wants to push aside when they are no longer young. Good thought at the end.

X said...

Ha. I would not mind continuing the conversation with the man . I would certainly enjoy what I consider to be his down to earth beliefs . We may be different but that is alright with me. In that first part he gets rather poetic with his science talk and scurrilous soma tomes. Ha. But in the end I think he is wise counseling on enjoying life and its vast experiences.

brudberg said...

Ha, that's one wise man.. What's for sure is that you get older, and the alternative is worse. I think you can believe whatever, but do what makes you good. Nice conversation man.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A wise man, your grandfather. I love that he saw something in various belief systems, and knew "our souls make it out alive". He must have been wonderful to talk - and listen - to.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Love that quote as well as the poem which you wove :D

Kate Mia said...

Oh Glenn.. you FEEL i WILL love this one..
and relate to every syllable like it is my
own.. thanks for insuring my visit
and this is the first one i visit
as i always gauge how much
freedom i can get
first by reading
you hehe!..
hey those
who survive
find ways to do it..
hehA!.. but anyway
as i sit in the rows of
Southern Baptist Gospel
Singings where all is left
is grey hair rows.. with me
slowly greying.. not quite
as fast.. as i've learned to
live instead of hope
to die and
go to
heaven or what
not with pearly
gates and
clear gold
floors.. i feel
so sad that these people
do not and seem to cannot
understand that the only heaven
is now.. and i mean my GOD is all
this beauty for nothing.. and just
a dream.. HELL NO.. this is heaven
as dream now.. for those
who see the gift
of NOW
as IS
heaven no
different than my
cat who is the sand
in midday SUN or
in midnight
moon liT
as blades
of ONE..
or all our ancestors
dancing naked around
campfires forevermoreNOW
oh life.. oh life i love you
now.. oh feelings.. oh feelings
i hug you now.. oh people
oh.. people cannot
you 'see' me

Victoria said...

I would have liked to have met your grandfather and I know now where you get your erudite DNA and your life view. Lots of wisdom in this--I find in my own aging that while my body "gets it," my mindset and spirit doesn't--I still feel young. Though I've acquired the rather sick habit of reading the obits and calculating the percentage of those my age and younger. Yikes. It's a bit scary here in NV where, formerly, smoking and drinking were the norm. That has changed.

Anonymous said...

I love this, and I love how you read it with so much feeling and expression, and honesty. Thank you for sharing it.

Truedessa said...

Wow - I just love this conversation so deep on so many levels.
Death is the doorway to another dimension..I believe this with
a "true" heart...our energy transformed into something more.
Paint a picture, write a poem and hey why not even a song. I
have missed reading your words. Just wonderful and we are all
getting older each and every day.

kaykuala said...

You've been very lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity of a dialog with your late grandpa,Glenn. It had been most educational. Thanks for sharing!


Grace said...

How lovely to have this conversations and embracing death as just another door, another portal ~ I also like that you are not desperate to just become religious ~ We must enjoy the most of life in every way ~ Good one Glenn ~

Sumana Roy said...

i like this philosophy of old age...utterly true..and felt a little guilty while reading about "....dying their hair,.............hitting the gym;" :) a wise piece of conversation...

Anonymous said...

There is so much to love about this piece. Your grandfather's answer to "How are you?" is priceless and really rocks the prompt as far as eluding to his character. As far as religion is concerned,I do believe it is made more complicated because of our human need for structure...when in the end, it could be as simple as this.

"Your spirit is a form of energy, & energy can never be destroyed--it just
changes into something else."

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Was this a transcript? A fantasia? Either way, a mesmerizing read.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Was this a transcript? A fantasia? Either way, a mesmerizing read.