Lavatriage

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Heart of a young parent
Inside a middle-aged host.
The floor may not be lava,
But your ankle sure is toast.


My dear 46-year-old husband did this to his ankle in the middle of our roadtrip to Montana last week. He was playing “the floor is lava” with the 6-year-old. There are many advantages to having your kids later in life, but occasionally your body decides to remind you that there are consequences for your foolishness.

The 6-year-old was the one who told me exactly how this came about. I’m glad she’s around to make sure no detail is left unshared.

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Signs of Surrender

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I watch from inside
as mortal becomes remains
finally, cede control


I am 44, and my multi-hued hair is turning from primarily dark brown to a sort of salt and cayenne mix.  Someday I imagine I’ll have some pinkish fluff on my head that matches the ill-mannered apricot poodle I also intend to have.  I don’t mean to dye my hair, unless I find some shockingly bright color appeals to me.  I suppose then I’ll have to dye my poodle to match.

Why such a morbid poem about gray hair?  Well, it’s not about gray hair.  It’s about realizing that I can’t control any of this, the riotous hormones, my once luxurious hair, the fluid shape of my middle.  I can only be kind to myself.  I can eat something because it makes me feel well.  I can take a walk because the outdoors sustains me.  I can see people, and write words, and spend several hours hand knitting a dishcloth, though my dishcloths have lives that are nasty, brutish, and short.  I can let go of the frustration of being stuck on the worst amusement park ride ever (Ride the MenoCoaster!  Money back if you don’t feel like screaming!) and just….slowly….breathe for a few minutes.

Just when that quiet wants to turn to tears, the school bus brings the circus back to town and saves me from a surplus of contemplation.  Maybe I should get that poodle soon, and teach it some tricks.

 

Forty-three

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in this middle age
I find a crucible of
molten metal me


Middle age is often an inflection point where a person decides, again, what direction their life will take.  I like this image of the crucible.  The metal has the potential to become something strong and beautiful, but must be handled with care lest it reduce its surroundings to ash.  Mine has not yet been cast, but I think I see the shape of it shifting underneath the surface.

(Coincidentally, element 43 on the periodic table is technetium, a transition metal that is radioactive and mostly not found on Earth, but rather in red stars.  Transition, indeed.)