When I was young...
When I was young I remember once...
I am an aging woman
A woman of my age
I know my age, not only in my body
skin thinning, separating from bone
but in my attitudes, expectations, biases, fears
I fear my increasing vulnerability
My body once so sure, secure
is no longer
My body once had the energy of...
now it tries, but it knows better
I fear my mind is separating from my head
No longer content with the present, the mundane
it yearns for something more
Return to what?
My mind and body are aging together
acknowledging scars, memories...of an ordinary life
putting them to rest
Yet my heart...spirit...
it still dreams, hopes, yearns
In my 50th year I am entering my leavetaking
That period where the world is moving too fast
changing too quickly
I can no longer keep up
I no longer want to keep up
I see the same play, different players
the circle goes round and round
And though my white skin reminds me of the sins of my fathers
I see those same sins in all peoples, all colours, all ages
And I am beginning to wonder what it means to be human.
I now know why those further along than me
sit and watch in bewilderment
it’s not that they don’t understand
they understand too well...
and why they and I are increasingly drawn to young children or nature
a time before, a time when...
I no longer want to see the world of mass images that lie and confront and hold
promises that can never be fulfilled,
so that I am never content,
and in the end no longer trust, or feel, or hope.
I want something more.
But I am an aging woman
in her 50th year
In my 50th year,
I want to be whole.
In my 50th year,
Written and performed by A. Maie
at The Performance Space, Wednesday 16th July, 1997