"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crossing Over

It should be one hell of a moment
the kind where fireworks mark mandatory celebration
and the champagne cork knocks an eye out.

Naw, that's not right.
It should be an epiphany
that halts you dead in the tracks of your every day practicality
head slapping double take - back and forth,
yesterday and tomorrow no longer at odds
because the day has come
oh my friends, the day has COME...
when you have more past than future.

But there is no rite of passage in this slow decline
We move toward it, then past it
with nothing more than a nod to another day spent
the same way yesterday was spent
and the day before that
because we just don't know
can't know
the date or time
when our end is closer than our beginning.

If you knew you had reached the backside of the mountain,
the sun lost in the translation of topography...
the lack of warmth might be motivational.
But it's just another sunset
and there will be just so many more.

I've crossed over you know.
I don't know the exact moment I jumped
but I'll not live another fifty years,
and I promise to no one in particular
that tomorrow will be different than today
and stranger still, the day after that.

I was born in April,
born again in February,
and somewhere between presents and cake
the candles started burning backwards.


  1. Annie, I fucking love it!!!
    The top of the hill doesnt have to be the top, no need for stagnation on thr jurney.....


  2. Oh my...yes. That is the way of it. Although I try hard not to think about it...

  3. Happy birthday, no matter what. The flame is bright, I can feel its warmth, see its glow.

  4. It always amazes me the the things I discover that were always there for me!
    I try to "go with the flow". I am old enough to do what "I" enjoy!
    Your words are full of beauty.

  5. Well this is timely as I approach my 49th birthday this week Annie. I practise you know ... no don't laugh I do!!! Somewhere in the run up to Christmas I practise being a year older. I say I'm 49 in my head often enough that it actually feels like I'm getting younger instead of older because I'm already 49 in my head before I get to the day itself.

    I know I know ... weird.

    When I was in my early twenties I lost a good friend very suddenly in a car accident. It effected me deeply at the time and it left me a legacy of gratitude. I get to grow older merely by staying alive ... Johnny Mac didn't get that chance. He'd be 48 this year. He'd have laughed at my already 49-ness. I would have gotten my own back by making him eat lemon meringue pie and pretend to like it.

    There might be more shadow on the lee side of the mountain but there are nice things about the shade.

    Much love to you Annie. Did I mention it's my birthday this week? Shall I send you some pie? I've eaten so much my jeans are tight :) xx Jos

  6. Wonderfully said. An epiphany acknowledged and ignored, back and forth, from one moment to the next, for the remainder of life.

  7. "I promise to no one in particular
    that tomorrow will be different than today
    and stranger still, the day after that"

    well how cool is that?! i feel the same way, i gewt lost but i do shake it up, even when my knees knock.

    i am 64 annie, and that is bewildering to me. maybe twenty more good years, maybe only ten when i will wander however i wish. and yet....

    i like myself more, i walk away from bullshit faster, i'm glad to be kind, and i'm proud to be bright. all of this comes with its own set of candles, and the winds don't blow them out so easily.

    so happy transition for you, annie. glide. that is the word i want to tell you today.

    oh, and one more thing: another very good piece of writing xoxo


  8. Hi, Annie... always leave it to you to come up with these kinds of posts... remarkable...

    Regardinng rebirths during a life time(I feel a post coming out of this), I think it's like what you have stated... an epiphany... I've come go think of them as those 'monolith' moments... like from '2001:A Space Odyssey'.

    There are those 'WilcoTangoFoxtrot' (WTF) moments that happen... Maybe we call them realizations, or awakenings...

    I was watching something about The Holocaust last night. A survivor said that he changed his birthday to the date of his being freed by American troops from a concentration camp.

    I was going somewhere with this when I started... now I fear I've lost my direction... I will return.


  9. I like what I have left. Being born again...to never die. :)

  10. I love your wise words. So true. Time didn't kick my ass until I hit 50. THEN, the future/past thing knocked me on my ass. But now we know we must make the most of each and every day we have. I mean, hell, none of us is promised a tomorrow, no what our age, right? Love you, my Annie. xo

    "The clock talked loud. I threw it away, it scared me what it talked." ~Tillie Olsen, Tell Me a Riddle

  11. Irony is rushing to this point in our lives, only to find ourselves here wiser (in my case at times dumbfounded). Perhaps wishing I could stretch precious moments like taffy, hours into unending days.

    Then again maybe having reached this point we learn to appreciate every second in a day and try to make it last because we know there are only so many left and each is precious.

    Me? I'm going to live to be 103. I once read of a woman that age who beat off a mugger with her handbag and she had a walker to boot. I want to be that feisty and fierce, fighting for everything that matters no matter how old I am. (Hugs)Indigo

  12. ACK! I'm behind in the comments. But I have read each one and taken them in like feathers to my pillow. I appreciate all of you in my kinship here! Many of us have been along each other's journey for a long time. Thank you so much.

  13. This is an excellent poem, and yes, it reminds me, the clock is ticking --

    It's just the older I get the more I want to do, still just trying to learn to live

    Life is strange.

  14. I never cared for the term "over the hill" partly because I'm not much of a hill climber, but mostly because it infers that we peak half-way through life. I don't want to stop 'peaking' just because the years keep advancing. And if we're truly headed 'downhill' in later years, the going should become easier than when we were struggling to get up the hill. (And, hopefully, not too much faster!)

  15. and always the question is about today, this moment, how we are living it. and we try to answer by being present. try and fail and try and fail, the midpoint on our maps always moving to meet this moment.


  16. Wow... what a gorgeous, mind-blowing poem. Some of those lines just knocked me back in my chair, particularly the "somewhere between presents and cake the candles started burning backwards" phrase. Just...awesome.

    Happy Spiritual Birthday, Annie. It's the birthday that counts the most at the end of the day. :)

  17. there's not a lot in this culture that prepares us for growing older. human culture traditionally spread the love to the elders, but nearly all the love goes to the youth. we bask in it when we are young and see it for what it is later. the wisdom in your journey is thick in this piece. it's just another sunset hit me in the chest.

  18. life is precious, no matter how old or young.

    the poem's beautiful!

  19. Pure truth. Now is the time to decide how to live the rest of it not knowing if it is a day or another 40 years. "But there is no right of passage in this slow decline" Is it "right" or "rite"? I'm thinking about just deciding to pick a date, and create.
    My dad is 92. My mom is gone. I'm 45. Today would be a good day to say, "I am in the midst of my rite of passage." Just not sure if it is "right".

  20. Such powerful lines. Really touch my heart tonight.


Thank you for listening.