For this author, creative endeavors have been sorely tested by motherhood. But also transformed, and in ways she wouldn’t have imagined – couldn’t have, without her life “rewritten” as it has been, by her children. So linger here, to read all things weaverly, writerly and motherly.


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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trifecta Weekly Challenge: ENIGMA

She didn't want to become an enigma. The old lady shuttered in her house now that she couldn't drive, rarely seen except at twilight when she would pace, through her dirty windows. She could imagine just that, how she looked, shrunken and bent and shadowy until she actually pulled shut the old wood shutters.

She knew the enigma of the aged, before she got this old, having watched in all these years other generations die away on the street. The last of them before herself, had been Mrs. Canister who used to live on the corner, and for years was only seen to let her dog out on a rope. She always wore a faded blue kerchief, and eventually wasn't even seen driving her rickety rusty sedan up to the grocery store. By the time she died, her house was peeling and engulfed by weeds.

It was an early spring, but already her own grass was encroaching on the house. So were the weeds. When she was able, she would have on a whim run outside and ripped them up by the fistfuls to toss them back into the woods. Now she could barely pull up her own socks let alone pull up the most superficially rooted weed.

She would spend the day calling newspaper ads for someone to come and cut her grass. To weed the driveway. And she would open wide her slatted shutters to let in the sun. And hope that once she was gone, her children wouldn't do what Mrs. Canister's had done, sell the house to be bulldozed down to its original earth, once potato fields that she herself could actually remember. She could remember digging a hand firmly into the earth and pulling out a potato and boiling it for dinner.



Libby said...

I think you have really captured what it is to grow old... This was really moving.

Arlee Bird said...

A sad statement about the retreat of the aged. When memories are all that are left, the days become toil.
Nice writing.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Lynn Proctor said...

this is so sad and so true--lovely

Jester Queen said...

The end is so poignant, when she remembers what it felt like to reach into the earth and pull something out. She must be thinking about her own impending return to earth. Lovely.

Jennifer Worrell said...

I loved your story...the imagery of our eventual return to earth was really cool--well-written!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, your story sounds just like the lady who lived on the corner. Her jackwagon of a grandson came and hung out for a few months, but he was just a mouth to feed and didn't so much as pull one of those superficially rooted weeds.

Anonymous said...

You portrayed the isolated old woman well. It makes me sad when old age means loneliness. It seems families have become so disconnected that this is more common.

terry said...

I so know where this post is coming from, well done a good post

Anonymous said...

Dropping by from the Ultimate Spring Blog Hop Event to say Hello and wish you a very Happy Mother's Day :)

Cheryl at The Lucky Ladybug

November Rain - k~ said...

Age, aging, aged, returned to the beginning again. I'm glad I came back by when I did, this was a nice catch to find in the woven words.

Kathy said...

This is such a sad story, but happens all the time. It happened to my own parents. They died and their house was bulldozed away. Brilliant write as always. I have given you an award. Please stop by and pick it up when you can!!


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