Saturday, January 20, 2018

A gradual subsiding

I am watching now, my brain, as it ages,
and noticing how some days
it seems to want to kick back
and take in the wholeness of things; to revel in the play of light,
the scent of green,
the texture of the paint;
while on other days it seems to grow crisp,
arranging, organizing, rejoicing
in the thrill of accomplishment,
attuned to every detail as a function of the task.

But always, in a corner,
hangs a blanket with a mind of its own.
And certain topics -- computational,
political, mathematical --
always seem to want to hide behind it.
And I'm seeing now,
as I examine the blanket more closely --
its dull pink woolen scrape against my skin --
that I've always assumed (or excused) it
as an aspect of my gender.

So now that we seem to have
so much more flexibility in that area,
I wonder if the blanket was imposed or innate.
I've just assumed it was intelligence
that carried me away from the patterns
of behavior assigned to my gender,
past the proscribed femininity of my sex;
that the part of me that questions
and is curious was male,
and the placid imprecise was the female.
But now, as I stare at the face in the mirror,
that grows more placid and imprecise --
and yet less feminine -- with age,
I have to ask: must losing our edge always imply
some descent into dullness? Is it really a loss?
Or might it be considered
a gradual and grace-filled subsiding
of the boundaries, impediments to wholeness and connection?

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