They affectionately tease him: you are too old to remember how old you are. While cleaning his sole remaining tooth, which he religiously does twice a day, he is already thinking of what he is going to do next that day. As his great-grandson says: "The pirate is psyched today.". He once wore an eye patch, the nickname stuck. He does not have to comb his hair any longer: adventurous flies are now using the top of his head as a landing strip. Being old allows him to do whatever he likes for as long as he wishes. As long as the energy is flowing, he is doing it. Watching a bird surveying its territory. Listening to the gentle murmur of the brook in the woods. Cloud spotting. Watching the eagles swim effortlessly in the clear azure waters of a cloudless sky. Searching for the secret kingdom of the Lady Slipper. Gathering wild strawberries in the spring and boletus in the fall. People watching on the boardwalk. And being mesmerized by the comings and goings of the laced wavelets on the sandy beach. One day he came to the realization that the activities he was the most attracted to were the ones in which his self had the least say in them. The retired pirate could have written, if he had long thought about it, what Germain G. Glien says: The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t talk much.
[photo by jean-claude]