|Lindsey at the Erickson Gallery, Healdsburg|
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made…
— Robert Browning: “Rabbi Ben Ezra”*
We are the best: I mean
we have the best, the best that we can have.
Just now it’s difficult,
but it’s been a hell of a ride, you know,
asking for more at this point amounts to
greediness — or folly.
After those rainy months
there’s a hot time ahead;
let’s make the best of it right now and here.
Our long parallel lives
converge in the reward
of this endless family around us
and the work that we’ve done —
whether or not anyone not yet born
knows or cares about it
at least it has kept us
from tearing at one another’s throats, all
these full and pleasant years.
Calm times and turbulence,
it all comes down to that:
anger, lust, passion, long silent moments,
love is using the other to make sense
of what can have meaning
but doesn’t, otherwise.
That’s just how I see it.
I can have no idea
what you make of love, marriage, life and death.
There never was any alternative.
Now, contemplation is
about all I can give —
Before too long, I think,
one or another of us, maybe both,
takes that walk over the ridge, just to see
what it’s like over there.
Our selves will just dissolve,
We know, like long marriage,
The possibilities are endless now.
— Healdsburg, May 11, 2017
*The first half of the first of 32 stanzas and by far the most memorable. I recall my mother quoting them, often, for some reason, when I was still just a kid, who knows why. I think about them now on my 60th wedding anniversary.)