I’m quoting Kim from Writing in North Norfolk. “I’m welcoming dVerse poets to Prosery, when we ask you to write a very short piece of prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of your choice: flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction.
As it’s a kind of flash fiction, we have a limit of 144 words; an additional challenge is to hit 144 exactly. The special thing about Prosery is that we give you a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in your story, within the 144-word limit. You may change punctuation but you are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the quotation.
We see Ole Tom with his bent shoulders and thinning torso We see his wind-weathered face and his thinning gray hair He sits in my living room strumming his guitar Singing the fourteenth verse of an old folk song He has a thousand such songs tucked into his head Along with the entire books of Matthew and Acts We see him as an ancient sage We look at him through the wrong end Of the long telescope of Time His mind is sharper than mine ever was And he shows no signs of stopping Each Christmas Ole Tom recites the Christmas story From the book of Acts, never reading, just expounding Amazing the congregation with his masterful memory He is the epitome of a wise man: Ninety-three going on thirty Never see him as old and never underestimate Ole Tom Turn that telescope around!
What fun to participate in dVerse poets’ invitation to Prosery. It’s a challenge to come up with a 144 word poem, but not when you have such a delightful subject as Ole Tom. How we loved him!! He will live in our hearts forever.
Do you have an ole Sage in your life? Count your blessings if you do… and consider joining the fun at dVerse Poets!
Were you able to find the “complete line from a poem” that I was required to insert as part of my Prosery? Which do you think it was?
See ya tomorrow. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Love, JanBeek
The older we get, The more ready we must be For our angel friends To leave you and me.
They ascend to heaven Where loved ones wait To greet them in song At the pearly gate.
When our hair turns silver And wrinkles show our age, We have to be ready To turn the eternal page.
The eighties are great; It’s a decade of reflection And a time to appreciate Every earthly connection.
But it also is a time When we look at this season As the winter of our years, And we search for life’s reason.
We look at life differently Than we did in our teens. We see through our experience What life is – what purpose means.
It’s not about what we can get, Or what riches we acquire. It’s about the love we give To the people we admire.
It’s about reaching out to strangers Who are falling between the crack. It’s about filling their needs – Helping give the things they lack.
Reaching up in prayer and praise I thank the Lord for all His gifts. As long as I have life and breath, I’ll reach out to give others lifts.
I hope you’ll use your senior years To do the same – to spread your love – Because we are blessed to be a blessing. For every day, I thank. God above.
My Prayer for You
When your time comes To say good-bye to earth, May the angels welcome you And your friends rejoice at your New Birth! Amen
Welcome to Heaven, Phyllis. I miss you here… But I rejoice at your Eternal Reunion. May all who were blessed by your presence And who entered the pearly gates before you did Be there to welcome you HOME. God bless you! Keep the light on!
Do we have an obsession with image? More concerned about the outside than the inside? As a nation… as a world?
Are you fed up with it? Do you feel it is robbing us of our sense of purpose and our wisdom?
These are some questions I gleaned from Scilla Elworthy, the elderly South African woman in the Ted Talk above:
Are you fully alive in your body? Do you have energy and attractiveness in your soul? Are you content with what is? Can you remove the mask, let the wrinkles show, and still like yourself?
Self-acceptance is a great, great gift!
Obsession with image is tiring… Yes, I believe that!
What makes you feel electric? Does the world see your energy? Do you have real aliveness?
Health, exercise, purpose, usefulness… those are the keys!
Many people struggle to find purpose in life. Scilla Elworthy said, “Most people fear pain and loneliness.”
We worry about what will happen when we are no longer able to care for ourselves and must rely on other people.
Dementia is a real fear for me. My mother was diagnosed with it before she died. My sister is in a home today – a nursing home – being cared for because she has Alzheimer’s. It is in my family. Is it in my future? I cannot dwell on that! I must live in the NOW and love myself so I can love others. The keys are:
prayer and meditation,
time in nature… being outside with things that are alive
What about death? It is inevitable. Approach it with curiosity. Think through it. Know that death is not finality.
What are the gains of growing older? We can speak out! Dare to speak up about those things that we think are wrong! Stand up for those things! Make a contribution by making a difference – by being true to ourselves.
Know that with age comes wisdom. Wise, experienced leaders are a gift to the world. As we age, we can be that older, wiser person who sees beyond the horizon. The world need us!
But age and wisdom are not synonymous. Wisdom does not come automatically. We can’t live in a foxhole and gain wisdom. We need to go out and risk adventure. Risk rebuke. Risk the world hating you. We need to be true to ourselves as we lift our heads to what is happening around us and seek the solutions to the challenges we all face. We can’t be ostriches with our head in the sand.
A friend of mine said she has decided that the best way to avoid dissension is just to avoid having an opinion. “I try to remain totally objective – with no opinion expressed. Opinions just garner arguments,” she said.
We can’t let ourselves live in that kind of fear! Avoidance invites stagnation.
“Whoever is free from all fear will always be safe,” Scilla Elworthy said in the Ted Talk above. So, we must let go of any fear we have of speaking out.
What do you care about? What’s your opinion about aging? Let’s hear it!!
I’m not afraid of growing older. Just don’t call me old!! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
This list of wisdom gained through the ages is beautifully done. I know you will appreciate it as much as I do. Click on the word “ages” below and tell SJ at “Change Therapy” how much you appreciate her blog, too.
“Throughout the Ages Age 6: I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.” Age 7: I’ve learned that our dog …
Have a great Sunday afternoon, my friends. We just returned from a wonderful worship service outdoors on this beautiful day. It was predicted to be cccccold – and we were told to dress warmly. But, God is good! It was a comfortable morning in the mid-60s with the sun peeking in and out of clouds.
I video-taped on my phone some of the special music with Jim, Jaime and George singing; Jaime on the keyboard and Jim playing his saw! And of course, I recorded the sermon in my typical poetic fashion. Will share them with you later this afternoon. Come on back!
Every time Bob and I see someone who is driving like they don’t have a brain in their gray and wrinkled head, we comment to one another, “Too many birthdays!” We’ve been doing that for years. And guess what? Now we are they!!
Well, at least HE is they! At 81 (he’ll be 82 in December), Bob is 5 months ahead of me. He’ll always be older! I can smile in the rear view mirror, wear a hat to cover the gray, and pretend I’m still a young chick! Heck, age is just a matter of how you feel, right? HEALTH is everything! Love is essential. God is good!
Yup, today is my birthday… and for the next 5 months, Bob & I are the same age. No way!!
The hair may be gray, and the face has a few added wrinkles with “too many birthdays,” but age is a matter of the MIND. Right? If you don’t mind, I don’t mind!
Just don’t call me old!!
Tell me I’m “bee-YOU-tiful” like this card I received yesterday from Bob’s sister! (Thank you, Bonnie)
And pick a few flowers from your garden to decorate your table… like my neighbor, Sue, did yesterday. (God bless her)
Keep singing and dancing (ya gotta keep movin’), writing and blogging your thoughts, dreaming and making those dreams come true, living your passions, and you’ll never have “Too Many Birthdays” – no matter how many years the calendar tells you!!
It’s time to open presents, sing the birthday song, blow out a few candles (don’t try to count them!) and praise God for the years he has given me “Too Many Birthdays!” I’ll take ’em all – gladly!
Have a Fabulous Friday! I’ll see you tomorrow and tell you all about my “Happy (not too many) Birthday!”
Come on, friends, sing along. I’m listening!!
(When I get old, I’m gonna wear more purple… Just don’t rush me!) Love, JanBeek
It’s already past noon here. I really needed that Monday morning coffee!! It was a really different kind of Mother’s Day yesterday.
We couldn’t travel to see our son and family in California. And they couldn’t come here.
We couldn’t fly to see our daughter and family in Switzerland. And they couldn’t fly here.
We couldn’t even go into the Madison Valley Manor nursing home to give our friends there a hug.
BUT, we could go and see our dear Elaine Forsberg through the window! And the CNA came to the door and took my balloons and delivered them to three dear friends there: Elaine, Phyllis and Kitty. The latter two couldn’t come to the Sun Room to greet us at the window, but Elaine did. Yay!
It’s a sad sign of the times when this pandemic keeps us from the warm hugs that brighten our days. We will never take those hugs for granted again!
As a group of family and friends, we gathered outside the Sun Room window and sang “Happy Mother’s Day” to Elaine.
Elaine’s son and daughter-in-law, her daughter and son-in-law, and a few grandkids and friends braved the gray, cold, windy spring Montana day to cheer her. It cheered us, too.
“Whatever you bring into the lives of others comes back into your own.”
My mom always told me that. Did you hear that as a child, too?
That smile was worth a million bucks.
If I coulda done so, I woulda delivered a basket of tulips to each of the Manor residents… and I’d send a basket of flowers to each of you, too. Thank you, my blogging friends, for visiting JanBeek today. I hope you had a memorable, happy Mother’s Day.
Our daughter, DeAna (who lives in Switzerland), called on FaceTime yesterday. She and her “Mother-in-Love” Denise were having a glorious Mothers’ Day. My son-in-law, Andre’ and three grandsons made a fabulous dinner with a beautiful dessert for their mom/grandmama and even cleaned up all the dishes afterward!
DeDe and Andre’ are going through some tough times right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken away their jobs. They are weighing some difficult decisions about their future. I keep them in my daily prayers. Thank God for the Internet so we can stay connected.
Ty and Monika called us on one of those social media apps (FaceTime or WhatsApp …) and we had a wonderful chat. Their lives are kinda topsy-turvy right now, too. I hope you were able to talk yesterday with all the people who matter most to you, too.
It must be especially difficult for people like Phyllis’ daughters, Lisa, Avis, and Julie. Phyllis is one of my dear friends at the Manor Nursing Home. Her daughters are scattered states away from their mom – – – and unable to visit her right now. My heart goes out them.
There was a beautiful blog written about that very subject yesterday:
Yes, God loves Vintage He’s into restoration Strips away the old
Finds the rust pockets Things we never knew we had Old is gone; new’s here!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.”
Does that mean we need to discard the old and buy the new instead?
Not necessarily! God is into restoration, remember? Some old things are priceless!
There are some aged ones who are wise beyond imagination. They deserve to be heard! (Well, this grandma isn’t really aged… is she?)
Wizened aged ones deserve to be preserved and appreciated . However, I learned that my grandmother’s old Victrola was worth much more in its original state – before I had it restored!! Preservation and restoration are not always one in the same.
But, I believe every soul is in need of constant restoration. Just as we need to remove the rust from the old cars to restore and preserve them, we need to remove those rusty spots from our hearts. You know what they are:
God can help us replace the rusty spots with:
I’m like Vintage wine. I think I improve with age. God grants me wisdom.
“But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Gratefully, the old scripture, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient copies of the Torah or the Tanakh were not discarded. And as scholars are busy writing new, modern translations of the Bible, we still have the old language. It sings to me and rings true, and teaches me to study and keep learning. When I come to an archaic word that escapes me, I use http://www.dictionary.com and I increase my vocabulary. I may be vintage, but I am a life-long learner… constantly renewing my mind and seeking to learn.
Upbraideth: root word: upbraid to find fault with or reproach severely; censure
Like this wise, old owl, let’s keep our eyes open to new opportunities. Let’s keep our minds open to new learning. Let’s keep our spirits open to renewal. Let’s keep our hearts open to restoration.
I may be vintage, but I’m not old in my eyes. My mind and spirit and heart are ready for daily restoration. How about yours?