I just posted invitations to my birthday celebration. I’ve invited around 25 people with whom I’ve been talking and hanging out with more than others this past year.
I recently wrote a new poem about aging, and it would be appropriate to post it here now. The metaphor is a blooming flower. Actually, I used this photo of yellow roses with the invitations. It is a photo of a bouquet that a class of students bought me on my first birthday spent in Busan.
To Bloom Again
The afternoons are warm
They invite surrender
One’s whole body seems to smile
Immersed in nature of such fineness and glory
Flowers spring forth
Yet—hold on a moment:
It is fall
The irony of the situation does not escape
Flowers are not supposed to bloom now
How should we take it?
To let austere concern reign,
Or accept and rejoice?
Oh, to bloom again in the autumn of life!
Who would not want to?
When you see rhododendrons glow with the pleasure
And daisies nod with delight,
Roses ooze splendor…
Who would or even could deny such beauty, growth and joy?
In that case, to heck with propriety and convention!
I’m all for reinvention.
Renewal—out of rust and decay—makes sparkling jewels.
I am sympathetic
For I, too, am blooming in autumn
Some may think it is funny,
And others may frown
Just because convention says, “No,” to that
We women especially are supposed to dry up past forty
We are supposed to look tired,
Give up our power and relent
“They’re not supposed to have strong opinions,
Show off gladness, wisdom and knowledge of years,
Grow and bud new hopes and dreams,
Accomplish new things, gain power.”
Yet, it does not have to be like that!
Busan, November, 2015.