“And regrettably, by 68, one is both seriously uninterested in a vigorous debate on the existence of evil, or even worse, a pep talk. So what does that leave? Glad you asked: the answer is simple. A few very best friends with whom you can share your truth. That’s the main thing. By 68, you know that the whole system of our lives works because we are not all nuts on the same day. You call someone and tell them that you hate everyone and all of life, and they will be glad you called.” (On Turning 68 by Anne Lamott).
Conversely, if I make 68 I want
to become esoteric, downright arcane
embrace vigorous debates, on the existence of evil
give pep talks at lunchtime, with the very few best friends
we share truth with
maybe strangers, maybe stragglers, whose stories we do not possess
drinking when you’re not supposed to
painting your toes, watching swimmers
emerge from the cold lake, run to dry off.
I want to be intimate at inappropriate hours
not caring whether sunlight blasts my
less than perfect dermis and give up wanting a little less
to fit in or meet goals
to contemplate why women hurt other women
or the absurdity of dogs and their owners
and punctuality in relation to dinnertime.
I want to talk to you at night
until our throats hurt from sharing
not wipe away with words, that ink stain spreading
across your eyes like a smile
but inhale it and recall
entertainment betrays not because it swallows intellect
but because it invariably kills its gays
“so write that book!” You say –
“where no gay dies, and Radcliffe Hall were she alive,
would delight!” As I remain enchanted by
the fullness of your lips, belying
every cigarette you smoked, the bridle
wrapped around syllogism
as a flower after frost
will be that much more suffused
as if light and rapture clasped hands
it is never, truly enough.
14 Replies to “‘Enough’ (on Anne Lamott turning 68)”
This is a joy! I hope you do make it to 68 and beyond, and get to do and have all that and more. Perhaps some practice would be in order, as Mary Oliver suggests at the end of her poem, “Warning”.
“But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”
Hmm . . .
“or the absurdity of dogs and their owners”z
You are still a great weaver of words, Candice.
Ah! Busted! I should have described those who spend a king’s ransom and live for their pooch. Talking extremes my friend, not typical dog owners. 💜
Oh she is just too brilliant I adore her it’s uncanny how fantastic she is.
I like the idea of practicing 😸🤣😸🤣😸
Yes, she is, and that one is one of my touchstones.
I thought you might. 🙂 <3
Love this! You said it beautifully! xo
This makes me actually want to live that long, haha. I remember when Lamont said “If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans” but Yes, let us be arcane together well past 68! ^_^
I do hope you make it, Candy
Omg yes! I think I’m superstitious hence the “if” but remember our pledge so you must
Excellent and if you find out why women hurt other women…please let me know.
DITTO because I have yet to discover that answer and really want to know too!
Thank you so very much dear Carol
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