Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


The Cane

I have put my cane out so I remember to take it when I leave the house this morning. Despite the new balance exercises, I still feel uncertain on my feet especially in public. Falling is letting go, losing balance and grip. Falling is a sign of helplessness and the eventuality of even more dependence on others. Death is the finally letting go. Many people are drugged, in coma or unconscious when they slip into death. Some die in fatal accidents, but others may be conscious enough when very ill to just let go. Good caregivers can tell a patient it is OK to let go. On these happy thoughts I am now going swimming.

I used the cane the other day when I visited the Fromm class to visit Ann. AS I went up the steps, a gentleman of my age held the door open for me. Very nice. I note that I actually do walk a bit faster with the cane in hand. I feel more steady and confident.

As I have aged I notice women don’t look at me the way the used to. Now with the cane they look at me with care and pity. Well maybe not pity. Clearly I am no longer an attractive dude with a gleam in my eye. The gleam is still there but the look of an 83 year old with a cane is not exactly seductive. Emi, Ann’s niece, used to call me frisky. I like that and I still am.

Walking along 24th Street I saw some people being cautious around me. Other louts sped past, narrowly missing me as they jostled past chatting and laughing and then looking at their cell phones.

I mistakenly left the cane in the car when I got home yesterday afternoon. It seems like a good idea as I mostly use it when I get out of the car.

I adopted the cane as a way of surrendering to the power of gravity.


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