Stumbling Toward Seventy

Stumbling Toward Seventy     —by Jinny Batterson

I was young once, I remember.
I thought I could bend the world
To my whims, which were intense
And as variable as the winds.
I journaled, wrote poems, love songs–
All long since discarded and forgotten.

Half a lifetime ago, I resumed
Journaling. Instead of teen
Crushes and worries about clothes
And driving privileges, I wanted at first
To be a good mom, a good provider.

Over time, my journals privately chronicled
Changes in landscapes external and internal–
Travels, pet peeves, inspirations, grudges
Reluctantly let go. Nest emptying, career changes,
Graduations, retirement, births, and, distressingly, funerals.

Now I blog, a bit more publicly. Few listen.
If the world does not seem to honor
My wisdom and maturity, perhaps I realize
That others have wisdom of their own,
And that age and sage may rhyme,
But don’t necessarily coexist.

Stumbling toward seventy, I recall
Long-ago advice from parents, teachers,
Mentors. Back then it seemed silly.
At this stage of life it makes more sense:
Steady, now, steady.

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10 responses to “Stumbling Toward Seventy

  1. “All long since discarded and forgotten.” I wonder if you ever revisited them and let these times come back to you in vivid colors. Even if I ever throw away a physical being, I make sure to keep a piece of it in me.

  2. I am right there with you – stumbling into 70. I saw on my shelf a copy of “when I am an old woman I am going to wear purple.” I might say “I am so glad to be an old woman who wears my gray hair in a ponytail and am not at all concerned about what “they” say! I am also excited to discover your wealth of writing.

  3. Jinny, I too am stumbling toward 70, attempting to carry the weight of wisdom and ignore-ance, and on my way I am imagining the awkward moves of my past and present as dance steps in a journey toward grace. Thank you for sharing your poetry and heart with those of us you know and those you may never meet. May your courage continue to rise to give voice to what is true for you.

  4. I like this a lot. Glad I visited your site.

  5. Willem Larsen

    Love it! Age and sage.

  6. Jin, So glad we are mellowing as we age.

  7. I like your poem of today. Also enjoyed reading a few previous short tales. Glad you had a good trip to New Zealand and Australia despite the airline snafu.

  8. Jane speaking english with Japanese accent

    Jinny, love your poem, and your enthusiasm about life. Waiting for your next visit to China.

  9. From your former neighbor, I was delighted to “stumble” on the first poem entitled “Stumbling Toward 70”. As one who’s passed that milestone, I try daily to impart wisdom to younger minds with little awareness from them that anything is registering. But, I tell them anyway.

  10. Gloria Godwin

    Steady now, steady now…passion is still good at any age! I still value you even if we diverge approaching 70!

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