Apr 24

Chronicle from the Old Folks’ Home—Part 6

In Brief—The author’s musings in those creative early morning hours.


Chaos and Injustice Reign—

“So what are your plans for the day,” asks the ever-cheerful woman who prepares to feed me. “The same as every other day” is my reply. It’s a reflection of the sameness of every day about which I have written. But today will be a little different.

My exercise walks have provided a stimulus for my early morning musings about all of us here in the Old Folks’ Home, particularly those old people who while away part of their time in the dayroom. Some sit staring into another realm while a few seem in touch with the reality of life in our little world.

Sign (head-on)Prompted by a remark from a distant friend, I have asked the personnel about the ages, diagnoses, and earlier lives of the old folks who populate our little home. I even had a brief lucid conversation with a dementia patient. They were all young once, earned a living, danced, loved, suffered and had a life quite different from the sameness of what they now experience.

What about the caretakers, the women (mostly) and men who minister to our needs? It’s demanding work. Breaks are sporadic. Along with the heavy demands of the job, their wards are humans whose lives are part of theirs…and death is part of the job. All this wears on the personnel. What must they feel? What burdens do they carry? It’s just a job, a wearing job, not even a note in the diaries of those who are free of the burdens experienced by the caretakers, free of the greater world’s reality. Caretakers or not, they all have agendas. Every human has an agenda….or at least did at one time.

Agendas and Chaos—

Everybody on Earth has an agenda that primarily if not solely involves survival. Those agendas are much like that Bingo machine that randomly spits out balls with different numbers. Each ball represents an individual with differing interests, differing priorities, and those interests and priorities rank higher than the priorities of their fellow travelers on this insignificant blue planet.

Those of us in the Old Folks’ Home, both wards and caretakers, are merely dust motes in the global chaos. All humans, both high and low, are part of the chaotic mess we call civilization. Some have jobs, some don’t. All are of different sexes. Some are educated while many are not. Politics drives some while others are indifferent or possibly victims. Companies, countries, religions and ethnic groups are divisive and self-interested. All, without exception, have their own agendas. Just two examples illustrate the chaos.

Turkey is 98% Sunni Muslim. The Kurds—who largely share that same faith—resist the Turkish government’s dictatorial discrimination. They fight both the Turkish government and the Islamic State (ISIS) that’s also Sunni. Turkey focuses on the Kurds and claims to oppose the Islamic State while covertly providing the Islamic State with weapons and intelligence about the Kurds. America supports Turkey and the Kurds while fighting the Islamic State. Confusing? This is just one example of every group having its own agenda, pursuing its own interests. We’re not in Kansas any more, Dorothy.

The European Union has committed its member states to open borders. They claim they want to allow free passage to another state without the necessity of restrictions. Syria is ruled by a tyrant who’s killing his own citizens. Those citizens oppose his predations. Opposing groups fight the tyrant, the Islamic State fights the opposing groups and the Kurds. Russia and Shiite Iran support Syria’s tyrant and fight those opposing the tyrant. America fights the Islamic State that is supported by America’s ally, Turkey. Oppressed Syrians flee all the fighting and the European Union states close their borders and impose restrictions on free passage to the fleeing refugees. Right wing political groups feast on this chaos and grow. Confused? Every group has its own agenda and is pursuing its own interests.

These are the thoughts that crowd my head in those early morning hours. What you are reading here is just one small part of those musings. That friend in far-off America has no idea that the seed she planted has sprouted into those early morning thoughts.

And my agenda? I look at the Old Folks’ Home I live in, cared for by kindly folks who have their own interests, and I mull the state of the world both inside and outside these four walls. Agendas and interests.

Musings in the early morning hours. What are yours?


    • Anne Brown on April 24, 2016 at 17:27

    Your musings are food for thought as always. Long ago I was told that writers write their musings down daily. I muse while on daily walks but don’t have the discipline to write daily. Kudos to you for sharing what’s on your mind!

      • Don Bay on April 24, 2016 at 18:46

      Wow, Anne, I never expected to see you submit a comment. I am thrice blessed, particularly since the blog went down on Thursday evening and I imagined the worst. Thank goodness my brilliant daughter managed to get the blog up and running again. I’ll write a piece about the experience.

      Did I say thanks for submitting a comment?!

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