28 September 2009

Singing for Every Tatter

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress.

Well, we know one thing about William Butler Yeats: He never wrote any ads for cosmetic surgeons!

So why am I thinking of this verse from his "Sailing to Byzantium"? Well, right now I am feeling those "tatters" in my "mortal dress." Actually, I might be feeling flab more than tatters: After all, it's been nearly three months since I've engaged in any meaningful (for me, anyway) physical activity.

That is why things that used to be so routine leave me exhausted. Such is the case now. All I did was my biannual switch-out. Some time around each equinox, I pack one season's clothes and accessories and unpack the other's. In this case, of course, it meant putting away my linen suit and dresses, my shorts and tank-tops and those wispy cotton skirts and tops, and taking out long-sleeved sweaters and blouses and my corduroy pants and wool skirts.

John, Millie's husband, was a huge help: He took me to the storage space I rent and did all of the lifting I would have done otherwise. Everyone should know at least one couple like them!

Still, just the packing and unpacking were as arduous as those climbs up the Alps and Pyrenees and Sierra Nevadas were on my bike. Well, I take that back: At least here, I'm at sea level, so oxygen (0r lack thereof) is not a problem.

What's odd is that I really don't mind feeling so tired: I guess you could say that it is a minor milestone for me.

I'll confess something: I've done a bit of shopping. And I'd forgotten how many articles of clothing I still had! Then again, at least a few things will wear out or end up in the Hour Children thrift shop before I make my next "swap." So, I guess it evens out.

But, as Nick, I never imagined I would have so much clothing as I have now! In fact, I think I have even more now than I did when I had two wardrobes (one for me and one for him).

So what am I going to do? I don't know. Right now, I'm laughing at the situation. I mean, what else can I do? I'd always wanted to be a woman, but who knew that I would become, in the words of Carol (Marci's partner), "such a woman" ?

Actually, Carol is not the only one who's called me that. And she's also not the only one to say it with exasperated affection, such as one feels for someone who is doing, for better or worse, the inevitable.

If I'd known that my current life--even with moments of fatigue like the ones I've experienced today--was inevitable, I would have....Oh, what can you do about the inevitable?

Well, I'll tell you what you can do: As long as it's not tragic, embrace it. I don't know how many times Bruce and other people have advised me to do exactly that. I wonder whether he or they knew that a moment like this was inevitable.

Sing, and louder sing, for every tatter in your mortal dress...Now there's advice Dr. Phil or Dr. Joyce Brothers would never give you.

And I'm tattered only for now. Hopefully, a good night's sleep will help me mend a bit.

1 comment:

EdMcGon said...

One thing you forget is that change in life is inevitable. The fact you have directed your change does not make you immune to other changes, such as wardrobe acquisitions. However, wardrobe acquisitions are the least of anyone's problems as life changes go. Although you speak of it far more poetically than I would have imagined. ;)