I've been invisible for a long time now. I wrote a bleat about it, must be 20 years ago - still valid. Inaudible, too, and I noted that. But now I see/hear a new kind of silence, more ominous but also more forgivable and understandable. I realize that my memories are not worth repeating, certainly not to my granddaughters who have their own fascinating, interesting lives to report.
My youngest granddaughter has signed up to be an au paire in Denmark, starting in October. That's exciting. She asked whether i had ever been to Denmark. Yes, three times, but the most interesting time was when I was a guest at Rungstedlund, the Blixen estate, when I worked with Thorkild Bjornvig, the Danish poet and Isaak Dinesen's last great relationship, writing a play about that liaison. I fear I went on about it too long, lost in my own memories. My granddaughter had heard enough. She tuned out.
I can't say I blame her. That was then, this is now. She has her own memories to look forward to. I've often quoted Jonathan Swift's reminder to himself about things to remember when he got old, and one of them was not to tell the same story above three times. The conclusion was not to think he'd remember any of his cautions. Hey, it doesn't have to be a long, outdated tale about something in the past. You must have seen, as I have, people's faces fade out as you talk. If you were to give them a quiz, they'd fail utterly. The trick is to talk about something that concerns them, that is of real interest to them. I can't talk about make-up or music but I'm not bad on movies and I have lots of little items of interest about famous people, gossip and tidbits I pick up in The New York Times. That helps.
I'm still here.