On we go…

*

One down in the string of winter holidays if we don’t count Halloween in our race to 2023. Turkey Day was nice. We skipped the turkey and went straight for our personal list of comfort foods… Kimmers and me, Rita and a friend. Easy to make, satisfying to eat. We raised a solemn toast to all those displaced from their homes and traditional lands so that we might enjoy the bounty of life, and thanked whatsoever gods there may be for the gifts.

Our unseen and much-maligned fellow travelers before us paved the way for the societies and civilizations we now take for granted… while they became invisible as a people. We did that. We disappeared them. I’ve been thinking since Thursday about what it means to be invisible, undetected by the world’s radar. My body has almost recovered from my fall in October, but my spirit will never forget the cool detached appraisal from that impeccable young woman as I lay there like a bug on the sidewalk. She made eye contact but never saw me, and went on her way without a second thought. That’s invisibility… when someone or something simply does not exist you’re under no obligation to give weight to it. I’ve tried several times over the past few days to wrestle a feeling into words, but I couldn’t get a handle on it until a story this morning spelled it out: A thing unseen never has to be dealt with.

So true. In a flurry of pre-New Year housekeeping a while back, I sat here and wrote down some honest thoughts, and then before I could change my mind I hit SEND. I did hear back from the person it was sent to, but nothing I said was addressed beyond “hello.” That’s invisibility and it feels like being canceled. I’m getting used to it out there in public… my white hair and wrinkles announce my lack of viability and visibility everywhere I go… but I’m not so familiar with it yet from people I once knew. Such a strange disorienting sensation, and one I apparently need to get used to sooner rather than later because it’s happening with startling regularity at this point. When you say or write something, attempting to keep life honest and real, and not even an echo comes back… do you still exist?

It’s the dilemma of every older person I’ve ever known. Am I still here? Does anybody see me? Does anyone give a flying fvck? Honest answer: No, the world does not care, get over it and fix it yourself. My inner voice, which becomes louder year by year, has been telling me to go where I’m celebrated, rather than stay where I’m merely tolerated, and I’m sure that’s a solution to keep in mind. I only know that if it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.

*

The world is so full of anger it keeps us off balance. I talked with someone yesterday who’s running primarily on anger fumes right now, and for good reason. We both know we can’t stay this rage-engaged forever, but sometimes it gets shit done from the inside out, where it matters most.

*

*

We are saved by those who tell us the truth… those who come to us bearing gifts of love and grace and an easy transparency that says “I got you.”

Thankful. So thankful.

A special thank you to my husband as we embark on another cold winter, with its lack of sunlight and sometimes unfriendly weather. I’m forever grateful he knew what to do with the grubby old cardboard box full of broken pieces I brought him.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruthie Burkman is
    Nov 27, 2022 @ 12:35:36

    This hit home. I remember my mother becoming invisible. I took her shopping and when she went to buy a few things the young woman at the register looked right over her to ask the man behind her if he was ready to check out. I let her know my mom was already there before he walked up. She knew that, but like many assumed the old lady could wait. It’s happening to me now, more and more. Sometimes I let it pass, sometimes not. Occasionally I say something funny, someone young will look surprised, and I realize they just see an old woman. I forget I’m not young anymore, and not expected to know, or understand certain things.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Judy Smith
      Nov 28, 2022 @ 07:41:13

      “I forget I’m not young anymore, and not expected to know, or understand certain things.” It’s the deepest sort of rudeness, Ruthie, coming from a place of ignorance and short-lived bliss. If someone doesn’t give in to the urge to shove them in front of a bus, they too will get old. And then good luck talking Karma out of their just rewards.

      Like

      Reply

  2. murphyvillefarms
    Nov 27, 2022 @ 12:27:11

    Beautiful, I feel your pain yet I know the love that shines within your heart. Not everyone looks the other way, I would have lifted you up and brought you home, that’s what I’d do with a smile in my heart. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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