Old Roads, New Eyes

I’ve traveled this road, route 27, through Sherborn, Massachusetts for many, many years.

A quarter of a mile up the road is The Sherborn Inn where we had my mother’s 95th birthday party in 2000.  She lasted two hours with people coming up to her–kissing her, hugging her, saying things she probably couldn’t hear and then she pulled the plug:  she flagged down on a friend of the family from her wheelchair and motioned him to lean down so she could tell him a secret.

“Get me the hell out of here, ” she said to him.

About a tenth of a mile from this stone house is the intersection of route 16 and 27.  Take a left and you’ll travel the hilly, tree lined road to Wellesley where I once lived and where we waked my brother and father.

A friend told me the other day, “You’re thinking about age more than usual, aren’t you?”  He reads my blogs.

Yes.  Another birthday gone by is one reason.  My brother’s birthday is the 17th of February is another.  He would have been 67.  The world’s problems and anxieties–all made my very own for god knows what neuro-psychiatic reason–is another suspect in the time watch chronicles.

I drive the same roads on my way to this appointment or movie or that museum or store, but the old days are in the passenger seat, strapped in and chiming in non stop.

I’ve asked them to move over a bit to make room for my purse or camera bag but they refuse to adapt.  Lately, I’ve been forced to just dump everything on their lap and tell them in my sternest voice,
“For God’s sake, Be quiet!”

I can’t be trying to see these old roads with new eyes with them nattering on every damn minute.

It’s like talk radio and cable news, I swear.    I have in effect said to TV talking heads and commentators, liberal and conservative, alike:

“Get me the hell out of here” and then I turn on Turner Classic Movie channel.

I’ll deal with the past in my own way, OK?  Some days it requires a remote control and, others, a loud voice that sometimes shrieks.

©Pat Coakley 2009

PHOTOGRAPHS CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSIO

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7 comments on “Old Roads, New Eyes”

  1. i read this like it was a most delicious casserole with layers of melding taste sensations that is so good i take several helpings, i also live now in the same place, the old family town i grew up in, which i returned to after years of career focus/traveling/highscale corporate adventure to a smalltown girl, and found to be the same way, pat. the landmarks, the houses where this person was or that thing happened, its amazing, and yes sometimes its good to get away and find other voices in the wind outside of your ear but its also good to come home where the heart is
    and also in a way we are timeless so we cant really count on time to be anything we could understand fully so we keep on because ‘the time is now’

  2. oh and also i love TCM!

  3. I think that we sometimes get so caught up in the past that we forget to be in the moment. The here and now. The past is a tar baby that if we get too close to it, we get covered in regretfully icky goo.

    I’ve been thinking about you and how you’ve plunged so deeply into your photography lately. I take it as a lesson and example for myself, to focus, on being productive and exercising my creativity more.

    As Omar Khayyam once said:

    Dreaming when Dawn’s Left Hand was in the Sky
    I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
    “Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
    “Before Life’s Liquor in its Cup be dry.”

    And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
    The Tavern shouted–“Open then the Door!
    “You know how little while we have to stay,
    “And, once departed, may return no more.”

    “Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
    The Winter Garment of Repentance fling
    The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To fly—and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.”

  4. Tipota, Oh, how wonderful that you totally get this time travel whatever you want to call it. I think thinking about being “timeless” is what I’m going to try and do today. Thank you, as always.

    Razz, what a terrific quote and may I say if I ever need “Tavern” poems, you’d be my first stop! There’s not many who could have lived the life of “all the dumb things” and come out quoting “Omar Khayam”. You’ve raised the bar, no pun intended.

    Also, so interesting creativity and focus. I am thinking about writing more about it. What I can say for sure about my recent photography focus is that it has benefited from fear…who said. “there’s nothing like fear to get your attention?…But, the dailiness of doing the blog has been a focusing agent as well. Studies say that when you are happy in life (as you are) your creativity can be free to roam and think in all sorts of directions, but fear allows you to “focus” on ideas. I’ve got the focus thing down. You’ve got the creative part down. I’ll loan you some fear and you can loan me some contentment, and we should be lights out in the coming months!

    Thanks, as always, for your crazy combo of Aussie Renaissance Man.

  5. Fantastic write up. Well put. I have a lot of “Get me the hell outta here!” moments. Sometimes we just feel like getting away and being alone, doing what we want to do. I’m having a whole day of that today. Doing my own thing, what ever I want. Ah…

  6. As creative ” seeers ” of things, all things, subtle ones, hidden ones, overt ones, it’s hard not to be affected by landmarks of our pasts and our emotions.
    Dates, anniversaries, smells- they’re all triggers.
    At 95 your mother earned her stripes of demands. Maybe she always had them and exercised them, but at 95, she knew. If not then, then when?

    I knew a feisty 94 year old who saw the passing of multiple losses in her life and still had the twinkle in her eye when she talked to you.
    Once, she asked me seriously if I knew what Shakespeare said.
    Which quote was she referencing?
    Her own version which simply put was :
    ” Ahhh, Shakespeare said, F–K em all, big and small “.

    I hope we get to say what we want and how we feel, before our 90s.

    And to echo Razz’s observation, your work has been steady, vibrant, intense and more serious.
    So are the times.

    Just remember Shakespeare.

  7. Hey, Bon-Bon, I’m busing being “timeless” today which was Tipota’s suggestion and I find it a cozy one. Plus, the market is closed! That’s a good way to feel timeless in my house. Love your abbreviated Shakespeare! I shall remember it. Thanks, as always. (I seem to be just grateful today for any and all kindnesses)


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