“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

and declared

it is never, truly enough.

14 Replies to “‘Enough’ (on Anne Lamott turning 68)”

  1. 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.”

  2. Hmm . . .

    “or the absurdity of dogs and their owners”z

    You are still a great weaver of words, Candice.

  3. 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. 💜

  4. Oh she is just too brilliant I adore her it’s uncanny how fantastic she is.

  5. 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! ^_^

  6. Omg yes! I think I’m superstitious hence the “if” but remember our pledge so you must

  7. DITTO because I have yet to discover that answer and really want to know too!

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