Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Anniversary of Peggy

Peggy’s birthday is coming up on May the tooth and I can’t let it go by unremarked upon. It will be number 94 which is remarkable enough.

There is an art to living and she has mastered it. If certain rules apply and need to be learned I don’t know any of them. Sorry, I only bear witness.

She keeps her creative juices flowing. Even with diminished hearing all her senses are on alert and in continuing dialog with each other. The daily malevolence brought to us in the newspaper somehow enters her psyche and gets spliced, chewed, alchemized, transformed and distilled into a poem. Typically some headline of folly or woe appears alongside a popped daffodil bulb or the orange cap on a dog-walker observed through the window. Matt Kemp may live on the same line with Immanuel Kant.

It is as if her interior landscape is a fertile field yielding a daily crop or an orchard with low-hanging fruit ready for plucking. Peggy has a thing for pods. Many have found their way into our rooms. She loves the seed-shell ready to burst. That is her perpetual state.

Her muse is on call 24/7. She has the toll-free number or in today’s parlance, the app. When I see a crescent moon Peggy sees it whole into the shadowed section of green cheese along with the cow jumping over and gossamer thread playing, hey diddle-diddle.

As for the influences whose voices have had her ear down through the decades I would list Krishnamurti, Carl Jung, Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens. I’m sure I’m forgetting some but echoes from their writings seem to infuse both her poetics and her guiding path… embrace of the unknown, acceptance of archetypes, reverence for Nature and the power of the imagination. After listing all this I can see it doesn’t come close to accounting for her full self which shall remain a mystery.

All this about her writing is not only to speak about the achieve of…. I mention it because her aesthetic is so much a part of her spirit as a person. There is a buoyancy well-known to all. Irrepressible is a fitting adjective. The risks she takes on the page are replicated in relationships as are her generosity and reception.

Peggy has cultivated the gift for halting time, not only in terms of her aging but in truly being in the present in so far as that is possible. She lives in the elongated now. She doesn’t dwell in past regrets or grudges and refuses to rehearse the eventuality of doom and gloom. The result is her reliance on her own resources to dodge the slings and arrows. Call it a faith or optimism. It is contagious. I thrive on a daily dose.  

We are now into our care-taking-giving period, our morning minion, rituals of running a bath, sorting of meds, small acts around dressing, preparing a table, all that I cherish as a new  dimension of  intimacy. It doesn’t get any better than to be fully met.


  1. Dear Norm, Once again I thank you for sharing your insight into Peggy's world. How truly beautiful she is and so is your appreciation of her. I love how you are embracing life as it changes and unfolds and the realization that all stages of life can be beautiful. It is up to us to make it so and you two do it so lovingly. Thank you for your friendship and sharing your knowledge and insights.

  2. Thanks, Alone, your appreciation is much appreciated.

  3. I can only hope to have my marriage last this long and be this intimate. 17 years and counting.

  4. Of course, it shall. You've passed two 7 year itches.