A Gray Day Mood
The mood is sullen, like the tall leafless trees outside my window. Their bare branches reach upward toward an ugly gray sky begging for new life. The fog and the gray are like cold blankets of despair.
In many ways I’m like a tree. I sit on this cold gloomy day and muse about a youth that has faded with the gnarls of time and waste. It is true I spend too much time on a past that cannot be recalled, and such a day as this makes the process more morbidly cheerless and timorous in some vague way… Some of us are wired that way.
Yet I am not so unreasonable in thought that I forfeit the morrow that comes and will again bring blooming and gaiety to my disposition. Oh, never again will I be as jubilant as when a young man I read Locksley Hall by Aflred Lord Tennyson and that English poet’s immortal lines: “…In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish’d dove; In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…” It is quite a long poem, covering so much, and I won’t include it here. If you get a chance to read it, please do.
So, my love, the fair, always calm and constant Julie, is with me in these mindful turns and twists. She gives me the needed embrace to break the somber musings that I fear too often come to visit. My lovely lady, her genetic wiring so serene and different from my own, is the bright blossom in all my seasons.
Dreary wintry days can bring not the best of thoughts, but, as bromidic as it sounds, there is always tomorrow – or Spring, we can hope…until we run out of those!
Time is both the friend and enemy of all. George the cat strikes a lovely sleeping pose on the long sofa. Julie pecks away on her laptop in the loveseat across the room. Pausing, I stare at them, happy they are here in my life. Out the big window the skies are clearing and wondrous blue and sun brighten my mood.
Time brings change. Time brings hope. Time brings another second, minute, hour, day for me to ponder the richness and sadness of my life’s odyssey. The mirror reflects the face I’ve known for all the years, now with lines and sags, now with gray to the beard I shave. In that face I see the events that have shaped me. Some I cannot rinse away with the water splash. Some I wish to retrieve but are lost in memory’s fickle fancy.
Time brings beauty and glaring truth with its unrelenting pendulum swings. Time is everything in life.
George is now off the long sofa wishing to be fed. Julie is no longer pecking on her laptop keys. Outside, the sky is clear and the view across the canyon is breathtaking. Time will pass and I will break from writing to watch the Winter Olympics from Sochi.
All is pleasantly as Time would have it. Here am I as Time would have it – wearing my emotions on these red, white, and blue plaid sleeves.
I leave you with these bits of free verse:
I once looked at men like you,
Old men, frail and haunted…
That was when youth declared
I would live forever…
Life was moonlight promises.
So soon there was ecstasy and joy.
How hard it was to see then…
How easy it is to see now.
When did it get this late?
When did the tree sap harden?
Where is the gold I sought?
Where is the key I held?
Why is the day no longer long?
Why does morning come so late?
What is the mystery to solve?
What day the reckoning?
Portrait in Time
Young man, do you not see me
As once I might have been?
Is it the wrinkle, the sag of cheek
Time put upon me that you see?
Once I stood, perhaps like you,
With noble thoughts and dreams
A new bright morn might bring.
Time wore me down with its teasing,
Its ceaseless ubiquitous promises and
Its often delicious pleasures.
Time taunted and tempted me
With its guile and deception,
With beauty beads of love.
Time gave me its reins to
Run wild with the wind
Sunrise through Sunset and
Deep into bacchanal nights.
Time now leaves me here
On a mountain-top, better to
Have had those moments of joy –
Sad to have you see the
broken parts of me.
Young man, can you not see me
As once I might have been?
(Billy Ray Chitwood – 2/15/14)
Should you like to read my books you will find them on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. You can preview them, with the buy sites at:
http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA (IAN – my Independent Author Network site)
http://www.about.me/brchitwood (short bio sketch)
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