What’s your legacy?
It’s clear, at this point if I don't do something,
my legacy will be lots of boxes filled with mementos.
At my daughter, Dana’s suggestion, that I create a blog of all my writing and at my daughter, Danielle’s suggestion that Larry and I put our music and poetry together and create podcasts, I begin to dig into those old boxes and become overwhelmed. What am I to do with all this stuff? Maybe it’s the discovery of an early menopause poem that’s gotten me to thinking. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and decide to just let the kids dig through it after we’re gone. Whose responsibility is it to create the story, the legacy of one’s life? Let everyone pick what they want and create whatever story they want? And what’s left ends up in a garage sale, or at Calvin Kinnet’s, the local antique/junk dealer. Frequently I peruse his recent acquisitions and ponder the story no one wanted to tell. In the nineties when I read Carolyn Heilburn’s book, Writing a Woman’s Life she wrote about the importance of writing one’s life in advance of living it. I took her serious. I was in my forties and I wrote about how I saw myself as a writer, an artist, a mother. This mission is what drove many of my writing practices. Now, that I am 67 it’s time to revisit that mission. And what better way than looking back, digging in those boxes, and then looking forward to define my future. At 66, Heilburn said, “Aging's just another word for nothing left to lose.” In the same way that everyone has a story to tell and it’s important to give it a voice, it’s important that we mine those stories for the legacy we have to pass down and I’m bound and determined to not shove those boxes back under the bed.
Bound and Determined
I was in the throes of missing another cycle. Is that what the roll around the middle is really about as the tight skirt is more difficult to zip up and I wonder why I wore girdles at the beginning of puberty when menopause is when I need them but have out grown the desire?
The roll creases my jeans, now that I have moved into women’s sizes. Just last week when I called my mom long distance she told me she found a new brand. It was information I welcomed but didn’t want to receive.
I was bound and determined I would never have her big hips or her roll around the middle but not bound enough to eat less or exercise. Bound enough to look in the mirror, though, to change my pose to see if, per chance, it had gone away.
It’s a slow coming that takes me on to the “I don’t care” and eating more greens as I begin to shop for looser fitting clothes and more sweats and practice asking for exactly what I want and make buttermilk coffeecake even when all the nuts sink to the middle. Do you think I should stir the batter? ©1993
A Bound and Determined Crew
Danielle, Dana, Me and Donnie