Two Different Rivers of Aging

This week’s blog post is made up of three poems written by one of my first blog readers who also provided a comment. We became e-friends sharing the similarities and differences of our lives and our Engaging with Aging. We both worked in the health care field, but in very different ways. She is a young ager, I am old. We both share multiple challenges in our daily living. I with the accumulation and progression of my normal ARCs (age related changes); she with those deriving from painful, progressing peripheral neuropathy.

We both enjoy writing, but she has talents in the art of poetry while I am limited to prose. In this blog posting she has agreed to share three of her poems with EWA’s readers. They each resonate with me and I hope they will with you. Do send your comments to let us know.


This boat I’m living in
keeps springing leaks,
one hole after another.
I patch one and another
appears, almost immediately.
Meanwhile, I try to keep
the boat dry:
patch, bail, patch, bail…
I’m working as fast as
I can, but I fear we’re


The Hoarder
95 1

Moving like a habitual hoarder
along a narrow space; bounded by
stacks and stacks of old thoughts,
old ideas, old plans, old ways of
coping. One false move and it
will all tumble, bury me in rubble.
Why do I save this old debris?
Call in the dump truck!
Haul it all out!

Make room for the new!


95 2

If there is movement
there can be

These days my body
doesn’t care to move fast.

I only hurry when
to conclusions.

Must practice patience.


Julia Helen Tracy

13 thoughts on “Two Different Rivers of Aging

  1. All three poems are very perceptive, though I would say that “The Hoarder” resonates the most with me. When I do a NYT crossword I become aware of the huge pile of extraneous facts floating around in my head — much of it ancient pop culture stuff like the name of a co-star on a tv show from the 1950s, or a smattering of words from a high school German class that I never used, or the title and plot of a book I read in elementary school, or the lyrics of songs I liked in my teens. Happily, there still seems to be room for more….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All three poems spoke to me, but I really wish I *could* locate a dump truck to haul away the debris that rattles ever-more-randomly in this aging brain. Thank you for the smiles of self-recognition!


  3. The poem about walking among stacks of books resonated loudly–mine are real, some unhappily unread. I’m down sizing after too many years and delays and find myself surrounded by beloved books and keepsakes that must go, but not with me.
    Also, I get my exercise jumping to conclusions.


  4. I loved the poems and can truly relate even as a “young ager.” The thoughts also apply to my youngest daughter who, even though her “boat” is young, strong and beautiful, still is filled with attitude stacks that do not serve her well and springs leaks from time to time. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Doris- such a pleasure to read your blogs. As a young ager and having helped my parents age, you have opened many thoughts and reflections.

    As a nurse and a former graduate student of Deos, I do feel a connection with you. Warm regards ~ Katherine


  6. Thanks for sharing Julia’s poetry.  Each of the three was moving and unique, yet seemed to share a common theme of learning to cope.  I saw a thread of self-awareness, resourcefulness and resilience – both of body and mind in all three; plugging holes…clearing a path…continuing to move – albeit slowly.  The imagery was clear through the wording, yet the images selected for each made for an even more vivid picture.  Bravo!


  7. Pingback: Two Different Rivers of Aging — Engaging With Aging – Mlleshopping

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