Structured Perspective

I want to look at old people
the way I look at old buildings
I want to remember
they weren’t made this way
Windows weren’t always dull and broken
Eyes not always vacant and cloudy
Walls weren’t always chipped and faded
Skin not always flaking and bent
Grounds weren’t always
littered, cracked and overgrown
Life not always wild and untidy

Maintenance takes time and effort
A newly painted surface requires little care
like the fresh, plump cheeks of childhood
With the passage of time
routine becomes major renovation
and likewise
Yet it doesn’t have to be

Old buildings and old people
aren’t what they once were
But why must they be viewed as ruin?
Broken windows frame playtime for birds
Peeling paint invites light
and awe of texture
Hooded, flecked eyes
twinkle in remembrance
and flash with insight
Wrinkled faces
declare the accumulation
of deep thoughts
and thousands of repeated smiles.

Time is an unmatched artist
Sculpting all structures
shifting perspective
For all life is meant to be
wild and untidy.

© S. Rinderle, May 2015, Cinque Terre, Italy

2 thoughts on “Structured Perspective

  1. Interesting thoughts, friend.

    As a rather old person, I reflected a bit on old buildings & on old people. We people have a sort of Planned Obsolescence built in to us, like most critters. I have (I think) made friends with death, and have no real problems with this—tho’ I don’t always appreciate some of the reminders that I am approaching my sell-by date, so to speak.

    Buildings, tho’—another set of stories. I remember reading that the expected lifespan of new suburban construction was about 80 years, about the same time as people started to move more than one every five years. BUT you and I have both lived in countries where some buildings were several thousand years old. and I have seen French & English homes built in the 1600s or even a bit older, modernized and or sale again and again. In WWII, the stone farm houses could withstand light artillery shelling for a period o time.

    We seem capable o building a number of things that will long outlast us by a long ways; we don’t last that long, but a lot of our ‘stuff’ can. Think biodegradability!



    • Astute, thought-provoking and elegant reflection as always, Friend. Thank you for reading, and for reminding me (us all) that one talent we humans have — for better and for worse — is the ability to make creations that long outlast our puny lives! 🙂

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