Not As Expected

 

I always expected this time of life

to be different,

but now I don't feel the difference,

except that I can't identify

with the person in mirrors

and storefront windows,

and that I've accustomed myself

to antihypertensive medications

and mild anticoagulants

like acetylsalicylic acid

 

I think I've always,

contrary to – or as a result of -

my passion for all kinds of music

and sound art,

have enjoyed silence

the way I still do,

and loneliness is always a risk,

isn't it?

 

And I know I have to watch myself

when I get irritated beyond reason

over small things

 

You can hurt someone and not even know it”,

as Bob Dylan has it in Times Have Changed

 

Yes, it may all really end with a whimper,

T. S. Eliot's way,

the way my dad passed at 87 in June 1992,

going to the hospital with a bad arm,

falling asleep

and never waking,

with not as much as a sign or trace

of fight or anxiety,

suddenly a thing instead of a man,

his jaw tied up,

one single hospital courtesy flower

in a vase

and a candle lit

on the bedside table,

my 7-year-old son waiting in the car

down in the hospital parking lot,

shying away from seeing his dead grandpa

 

And my mom passed almost imperceptibly too,

at the old age home at 95, in April 2007

 

I visited her a couple of days earlier,

when she was drifting in and out

of sleep,

completely aware and sharp-minded

in her wake states,

but as I left I heard her beg for some rest,

although she was indeed resting;

in fact feeling an urge for the bigger rest,

her wish soon to be granted

 

Now, much later,

as I approach a relentless age myself,

I sometimes listen to Mom and Dad

on five CDRs of interviews

that I conducted with them, individually,

in 1989 and -90,

starting with Dad in May 1989;

then an 84-year-old storyteller,

bailing out large portions

of detailed accounts of his long life,

digging into his faultless memory

 

Mom granted me as detailed and exact accounts

on Christmas 1989 and Easter 1990,

at age 78

 

These five CDRs, meticulously secured

on various media and in the Cloud,

were originally recorded on a cassette deck,

at a time when the earliest CD-burners started

showing up on radio stations

and in professional studios

 

Recordable compact discs had not as yet exploded

on the market,

and were such a novelty,

if they could at all be purchased,

that a single CDR costed several thousand Swedish crowns,

not to mention the price of CD-burners,

which also were so sensitive

that a door being closed

or someone walking across the floor,

would instantly destroy the burn

- but the money I paid was well worth

making records of my parents;

1904 – 1992 (Dad)

1911 – 2007 (Mom)

 

Through luck, will and curiosity,

and an extended research,

I was referred to a studio technician

at The Swedish Broadcasting Corporation

in Gothenburg,

where one of the first CD-burners in Sweden

had appeared

 

He volunteered to do the transfer

from compact cassettes to CDRs,

and in addition he cleaned up the sound,

through the Broadcasting Corporation's

state of the art means,

liberating it of tape hiss and extraneous disturbances,

returning crystal clear CDRs

 

I realize I'm approaching that stage in life myself,

when I could be the one with a microphone in my face,

put there by young curious relatives,

as I ponder the fact that I haven't worked since 2016,

and that I, already then, had stayed on two extra years

as a civilian crime investigator with the Police

 

But no matter,

it doesn't feel like I thought it would;

Dylan at 81, still at it,

and yesterday my road bike exercise

amounted to 100 kilometers (60 miles)

of rain and shine over the long, winding,

empty roads

of Northern Sweden's coniferous endlessness

 

 





Poetry by Ingvar Loco Nordin The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 36 times
Written on 2022-08-08 at 11:58

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Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
Ingvar, a very skilled and emotive read this. And I think it will be to a number of us who are at that stage of life where a microphone could be shoved in our faces by the curious young (In my case if there were any that interested!) You are indeed fortunate to have had such skilled technical help. I am currently dealing with a recently discovered Video8 cassette on which is a recording of a family gathering on Christmas morning forty years ago. Nostalgia, eh.
My wife was only saying this morning how strange it is that we look back to earlier times with fondness, when only a few years ago we would have ridiculed elderly persons for doing just that - saying they want to live in the past.
It comes to us all, I suspect.
Blessings,
Allen
2022-08-08