Sunday, 2 January 2022

Leavetaking: reflections on turning 50

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When I was young...

Once when...

I remember...


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

reaching for....return?

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

for life!


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

                or withdraw

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

to imagine...

                to touch...

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,

I want...


Written and performed by A. Maie 

at The Performance Space, Wednesday 16th July, 1997

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