Ways of Life

Shadows grasp at light,

Dance and stretch in the night.

Path a blur,

Steps unsure-

But still I go,

Into the unknown.


To me, life is much like the photo above:  I think I know where I’m going because I see my own feet, but when I look ahead the realization comes that things aren’t so clear after all.  Life can be danger lurking in the shadows, waiting to rob us of what we thought we had.  Yet it can also be the light that reminds of what we have in abundance.  We all know life isn’t fair, but it does have a sense of humor.  I saw evidence of it last weekend.

My older son barged into the bathroom, pointing to his chin.  “Mom, is this a zit?  Did I get my first zit?”  He seemed excited, not upset.  I wondered if this warranted a call to the pediatrician.  I squinted.  I moved closer, then farther away.  “Let me get my glasses,” I said.

See, he had interrupted my daily fraud, I mean make-up routine.  This is the ten minutes in the morning that I have down like a pit crew at a Nascar race.  If the process goes well, dark circles under my eyes are concealed, brown spots on my skin are faded and lips lightly tinted – all this to look a little younger.

Life is funny this way.  While my son anxiously searches for signs of age, I painstakingly attempt to soften its traces.  The young want to be older because they dream of the freedom it holds.  The old want to embrace youth, because we know the freedom it holds.

And life laughs.

Just for fun:  If life was an animal, what would it be and why? 


22 thoughts on “Ways of Life

  1. pattisj November 7, 2012 / 10:55 AM

    I love your poem and photo, Janna. You used the perfect words in the perfect place and it sings! I thought your oldest found his first hair to shave. LOL Who knew a zit could bring so much enthusiasm? Hmmm, an animal…
    …I’ll go with monkey–always throwing things at you.

    • jannatwrites November 7, 2012 / 4:26 PM

      Oh my, first shave…I’m not ready for that 🙂

      Oooh, a monkey – nice animal choice. Not only will they throw stuff at you, they’ll leave the banana peel on the ground for you to slip on it!

      Thanks for reading and playing along, Patti!

      I’d say life is like a cat: it is agreeable on its own terms.

  2. nrhatch November 7, 2012 / 11:40 AM

    Loved this:

    “Life is funny this way. While my son anxiously searches for signs of age, I painstakingly attempt to soften its traces.”

    And Life Laughs! 😆

    • jannatwrites November 7, 2012 / 4:28 PM

      Life gets to laugh quite often at me, Nancy! Thanks for reading the poem and the story. The line you quoted was actually the thought that prompted me to pull this post together.

  3. Widdershins November 7, 2012 / 1:49 PM

    Wonderful poem. You have created a wonderful collection of them.
    If life were an animal? A pheonix – rising from the ashes of its own demise and ready to take the next turn on the Spiral of Life – hey, you didn’t say it couldn’t be a mythical one!

    • jannatwrites November 7, 2012 / 4:33 PM

      Thanks, Widdershins! Mythical creatures work – you’re right, I didn’t specify. I like the creativity in that choice. Sometimes life gets so gnarled up and complicated, but it eventually does rise above it.

      Thanks for playing along 🙂

  4. Imelda November 7, 2012 / 8:47 PM

    I love your poem and your anecdote. 🙂

    As for the animal choice, I wonder why the image of a giraffe suddenly popped in my head. Well, maybe, not so subconsciously, I desire to be tall and elegant. HAHAHAHA

    • jannatwrites November 8, 2012 / 12:43 AM

      Thanks, Imelda. A giraffe is an interesting animal choice. They are tall and elegant, so I can go with that 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 8, 2012 / 12:47 AM

      Thank you, Diane! I appreciate you reading and sharing your comment.

  5. Sandra November 8, 2012 / 9:46 AM

    Isn’t that the truth! The irony in our perceptions of “age.” I think if I had to be animal, maybe a cat? I like to be able to sleep all day, curl up on someone’s lap, and have the ‘tude because “cats are just like that.”

    • jannatwrites November 8, 2012 / 11:24 AM

      Ha! Cats do have an attitude (I’ve got 3 of them, all possessing different degrees of ‘tude :)) I see one right now and she’s sleeping, so you’ve got that pegged right!

      Thanks for stopping by, Sandra, and for playing along with the animal question.

  6. Debbie November 8, 2012 / 1:00 PM

    Isn’t it funny how kids will practically yell, “I’m six and a half,” while adults barely mumble, “I’m a little over 35” (even if they’re closer to 45?!!!) You certainly nailed this one! I’m with Patti in thinking your older son had found a chin hair to shave — he’s not anywhere near that old, though, is he? As for Life being like an animal, well, okay, how about a Bear? Big and completely unpredictable!

    • jannatwrites November 8, 2012 / 9:13 PM

      Yeah, I used to look forward to birthdays and the candles spread over the cake. Not anymore. It would’ve been easier to understand my son’s enthusiasm if it had been a chin hair. He’s only ten, so we’ve got a while before chin hair shows up. (The zit was a false alarm, too.)

      Good animal – life can be like a bear! I’m glad you stopped by to share your thoughts and play along with the animal game. I’ve had fun with this one 🙂

  7. Linda Vernon November 8, 2012 / 9:35 PM

    Wonderful poem and I loved the story afterwards. HA! How true that is. We’re trying not to grow up anymore than we already and they can’t wait!

    • jannatwrites November 9, 2012 / 8:05 PM

      Thanks, Linda! I remember when I was so excited to get another candle on the cake (yes, I can remember that far back :)) Now, I don’t want a cake because it’s a fire hazard.

  8. diannegray November 8, 2012 / 11:13 PM

    What a beautiful poem, Janna! 🙂

    Isn’t it amazing how kids are so keen to ‘grow up’. I remember the first time I shaved my legs because I thought they needed it (like my older sisters did). I ended up taking all the skin off my shin (OUCH!) and then didn’t shave them again for another couple of years.

    Youth is wasted on the young 😀

    • jannatwrites November 9, 2012 / 8:07 PM

      Oh my goodness, I don’t think I’d ever want to shave my legs again, Dianne! I’m always worried when I shave my shins…I never rush!

      I like your comment about youth wasted on the young. So true.

  9. GodGirl November 9, 2012 / 2:14 AM

    So true, about ageing! We are always fighting it in some form or another aren’t we.
    Life as an animal? I think a puppy – relentless, moody, always in your face, unexpected… Frustrating yet full of joyful moments.

    • jannatwrites November 9, 2012 / 8:18 PM

      Yes, it’s always a fight, GodGirl. It’s hard because I don’t feel my age (except when I overexert myself…then I feel the weight of it and then some!)

      A puppy…that’s a good one. Love your reasons, too. Life is frustrating, but the joyful moments make the journey beautiful.

  10. mairzeebp November 11, 2012 / 6:55 AM

    Such a way with words. If you have the same way with concealer, I could use a few tips! 🙂 Really loved it Janna.

    • jannatwrites November 11, 2012 / 10:57 AM

      Thanks, Mairzeebp! I’m not as good with the concealer as I’d like to be…I’m hoping that more sleep will help. Sorry I can’t offer any brilliant tips 😉

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