Looking Dusty

Dust of Life
Today and yesterday and most likely tomorrow
are filled with the sweeping up of crumbs
remnants of life and living
never groovy, neat and tidy
as seen in magazines
Sunrise and high noon and very probably dusk
will be spent in a flurry of scrubbing floors
covered in scuffs and muddy paw prints
that resist the gleam expected from
surfaces clean enough to eat on
Time on the clock and calendar passes
the battle rages between us and
the far out dust and debris
in the end we return to that
we fought against
accepting our heritage.

This is my entry for the We’ave Written Weekly (W3) poetry prompt set by Kunjal on David’s blog, “The Skeptic’s Kaddish”. I am very aware of death. Lately death has touched many around me. And since I am not an island, death has looked me in the eye, nodded and passed by. As friends and family cope with the loss of people they love, I am reminded that death is ever present. We mostly dismiss the fact that these bodies were made of dust and that it is only natural that we return to dust. Perhaps being able to ignore death is what lets us savor the present… and still death winks at me.

61 thoughts on “Looking Dusty

  1. thanks for writing as you do, Muri – I cherish this one and at the end I disagree:I think living in the face of death freely, is what it means to cherish the present. Bowing respectfully,

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      1. indeed – even in a small 3x4m caravan there is no end to it; that what led me to change my approach a few months ago:I am not approaching cleaning from global standards/top-down like any more but bottom up – doing a little or one thing more than i absolutely have to/naturally would. It has made the world of difference – both in terms of how I feel about living in the space and what actual cleaning I get done.

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  2. The debris of a life we must accept the close of is overwhelming. So many of my peers are struggling with cleaning up homes and storage units of grandparents or parents, with a lot of tears, frustration (at the push of time to sort), and anguish over trying to figure out why this or that object were kept for so long. The disappointment of finding out that what was valued is valueless is there as well (devalued coin collections, furniture, china, etc).

    When I was facing homelessness, I offered up everything that I felt my sons might want to claim before I had to send the rest to Goodwill. I even found some things were valued by a niece, so she was glad to get something from my pile of outgo. This led to my “lightening my load” and to the assurance that anything valued by the next generation has already found its home. The rest may end up in a rummage sale or even a dumpster; with no sense of loss or pang of regret. I’m glad that I could make it easier for my family in doing this instead of forcing them to do it.

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    1. I’m not at that point of letting go but when my mother downsized we accepted some items that meant a lot to her and to me. Now my sister is dealing with her MIL coming to live with them and clearing out her home. Tough business that. I’m glad that most of my mother’s things were of no value (she had clothes but almost all of it was from Goodwill)!

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        1. Judy!! That is marvelous! I am so pleased to have another sister. But I need to know if you are another younger sister or are you deposing me as the eldest?? This is very important because if you are the eldest then it is your responsibility to hold everything together!! Hehe- I would love to foist some of the burden onto someone else!

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  3. “Dust of Life” was so very well done, but to me it was also a fine preamble to your explanation following it. I have been feeling sorry for myself lately, but then just today I read of the pain of Ailish Sinclair as well as others who posted this morning. I realize that we do live in a world of pain and sorrow connected to one of Joy and Happiness. It is then that I realize that often our poetic blogging is only a way of telling our hidden feelings and is only a subterfuge of our true life feelings.

    As for me, I get very quiet, holding it in, until it bursts out in a way not always connected with my true feelings. Sometimes sounding “too happy” and sometimes with an awful “put down”. But I do try to read and feel the sorrow or happiness of others in their posts and at such times, I try to understand the unwritten word or hidden candor. Ailish talks about crying while writing. https://ailishsinclair.com/2022/06/crying-while-writing-anyone-else-do-this/ Most of my tears are at night in a lonely empty bed looking up at a dark ceiling, and often come bursting out at three in the morning with a written word which is not often posted, but is placed in a “dead file”. At times under different circumstances they may see the light of day when the sad mood is passed. This is one of those hidden posts~! https://mcouvillion.wordpress.com/2021/02/10/depression/

    SAM

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    1. SAM I can say that you are not alone. in the wee hours of the morning is when my sorrows surface as well. Maybe because the dreams bring emotions closer to the surface… Your remembrance of Shirley brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. I do believe that love spans the gap that death carves between the living and the dead!!

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  4. “scrubbing floors covered in scuffs and muddy paw prints”…Welcome to my world! Your poem so succinctly sums up my life and here’s the irony, I think about the short time left to me to do these mundane things every day.

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    1. It does at times feel futile (the cleaning not the living)! Still I want to make the most of life. I often imagine that the dust is pulverized dinosaur bones from long ago… And that water having gone through many cycles might have been dinosaur pee in another time! It makes my cleaning a little more exciting!

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  5. I almost feel spoiled, knowing how many people my age suffer physically, while my health is still good.. Eight members of my family, of my parents’ generation remain with us, including Mom. They manage, by shining through the gathering dust.

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    1. Both our families have a longevity gene – and it seems we are doing something right as neither of us is decrepit. Sparky was musing on his former classmates he saw are the class reunion. He couldn’t believe how OLD many of them looked. There were a fair number with walkers and oxygen tanks!

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