soft landing

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Sculpture in progress - © Michael Stutz
I woke up the first morning in Santa Fe in fits of sheer terror. Hurtling towards the hotel walls, like a ship broke free of its moorings and caught in the wake of a giant wave, I had completely lost my equilibrium. The physical distress was compounded by the grim realization that I had a job to do and a show to set up in a couple of hours.

I pounded electrolytes and muttered an agnostic prayer and after what seemed like an interminable interlude finally managed to get my sea legs back, a bit later in the day. I can not ever remember experiencing such a terrifying loss of bearings except on one other occasion, I was eleven years old, in a funky dutch gable garret back in Syosset.

The first of two times on this trip that I hearkened back to Helen McHargue's beautiful ode to age and balance.


Walking straight.
A challenge? Who would guess?
The brilliance of our gyroscope -
Its praises unsung, is a quiet miracle.

I stagger now and list left-wise.
Loopily, my destinations reached.
But I see eyebrows raised…
My aura broadcasts “Oddball”

Aging brings gifts in its wrinkled basket.
Becoming invisible was an unexpected pleasure.
Different again - I’m sticking out.
Looking crazy, looking drunk.

What did you say? I can’t hear you either.
Whisper something in the good ear.
Something kind.

© Helen Branch McHargue 2013


Anonymous said...

How are you feeling now? You're scaring us! I love the McHargue poem.


barbara and nancy said...

Helen's a wonderful poet. You should hear the one she just wrote for Nancy...and perhaps you shall.

Are you O.K. now?