Alligator Preserves Episode 39: Laurel’s Enigmachine

In this episode, I share some writings in poetry and prose on the topic “The Body” for a special project and discover something about reading instructions!

Listen Here:

Mum and me, April 2017

Show Notes with Links:

Body Batik

A body batik, the most wondrous creation on earth
Wrung from a lifetime, begun with a thought and a prayer
Lined by an unseen hand, wax designs sketched before birth
Patterns present themselves often before we’re aware

Skin of an infant, luminous, fragrant and pure
Hiding within it adventure and challenge and grief
Never foreseeing the hardships we all must endure
Born to exposure, a lifetime, though surely too brief

Teenage perfection, makeup and primping routine
Taking for granted the glowing of health and fresh youth
Carefree and negligent, no need to mind the machine
We were invincible, now we can laugh at the truth

Old age surprises us, creases appear to unfold
Splotches and patches of skin we expect to stay smooth
Thinning, translucent and bumpy, a sight to behold
Pricey medicinals, daily required to soothe

A body batik, the most challenging canvas from birth
Etched with experience, pleasure and pain and repair
Creases and wrinkles embellish us, value their worth
Live in them lovingly, cherish your internal flair

Crafted with purpose and care is our body batik
Each one unveiled as a masterpiece, each one unique

Enigmachine

This faulty machine I inhabit remains an enigma. “We can send a man to the moon,” but this arthritic bump on my finger and, and, and. The ands are too trite to discuss. I wrote a piece about menopause in which I addressed my Mum’s droopy cheeks, among other sagging things, when I became keenly aware of my own floppy parts. Her sister took umbrage. How could I be so disrespectful to my aging mother?

Mum laughed.

I watched as she disappeared, her hair and skin thinning, until finally she was gone. A breeze might have carried her away. I held her hand, a near duplicate of my own, and as her engine fluttered to failure, I marveled at the framework that had carried her through 89 years.

Will my framework carry me as long? Will my frequently fluttering heart match the mileage hers endured? Will I be as prepared as she was to leave the burden of a broken machine behind when new parts are no longer in stock?

Perhaps. Until then, I’ll (try to) control my displeasure as each new “and . . .” hijacks my machine. Until then, I’ll service and lube as necessary.

And I’ll smile.

Me and Mum. We’d laugh about being twins separated by 30 years!

More Links:

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