Illustration to Colin Hawkins' Witches
Because endings are difficult.
Because it's hard to end without beginning again.
In September I'll turn forty. I should have evolved beyond caring, but I haven't. I should be philosophical about it, say something positive about wisdom and self-knowledge and how I'm looking forward to the next enriching phase of my life, but I'm not. I hate feeling unattractive. I hate worrying that what I wear might be muttonish. I hate that my hair has lost its shine and my skin's weathering. I'm dreading my friends asking me how it feels to be forty. The worst of it is of course that in a few years I'll look wistfully on this as my youth. I'm afraid of illness, ageing and death, my own and that of the people and animals I love. 2011 was a year of shocks and hard lessons and it's left me scared of what might happen next. I have lost too much, as have many of my friends and family; it has to stop.
However, it's traditional to say something positive at this time of year, so I'll tell you that I'm working on a new sequence, based on one of the Reverb prompts. There's a patch of grass in my imaginary garden that's covered with the snouts of emerging poems. I have a vague idea of some of their varieties and colours, but they'll probably still surprise me.
We keep growing, don't we. That's one thing good thing about getting older.
I'm taking some time off public writing and won't publish anything here for a while. Thank you for reading my posts and for your comments. I hope 2012 comes kindly to you.