Eccentricity has always appealed
Now at fifty I feel a freedom to be
Happy, sad, playful, joyful
All the things that are authentically me
I love teddy bears and yes I talk to them
They don’t answer me, which is just as well
There’s a line between eccentricity and neurosis
I’ve occasionally crossed it I’m not ashamed to tell
Over fifty years I have grown in wisdom
I don’t think I’ll be crossing that line again
Because I know myself and I like myself
I no longer feel any need to pretend
I walked down Chapel Street in a purple feather boa
Carrying my darling mate Ted E Bare
Some people smiled, others gave me a wide berth
But quite frankly I don’t care
What others think of me is no longer important
It’s how I see myself that brings me peace
I’m no stranger to sorrow and suffering
I walk side by side with grief
Yet within me lives a childlike joy
An appreciation for the beauty nature displays
By accepting and living each sensation that arises
I survive the sad and relish the joyful days
From this freedom to be who I am
Flows an acceptance for others to be
Authentically living in truth to themselves
We all have the right to be free
As I explore how I feel deep within
I find I love being fifty years old
I am who I am and that’s comfortably
Reubenesque, courageous and bold
Thoughtful, forthright, honest and open
Aware that I still have a lot to learn
I struggle with the concept of limitations
But I’ll get to that in its turn
Yes I’m fifty and slightly eccentric
Trying to contribute my bit to this world we all share
And ‘though fifty doesn’t look like twenty
My cupboard of beauty is far from bare
Tricia 12/2000
The above poem is almost 12 years old, but I’ve been having a wee debate with a journalist on the Huffington Post about women who play with dolls. This poem was my final retort.

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on April 4, 2012, in Poems and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I would love to read that debate 🙂 I love the freedom in your voice–eccentric with confidence is not neurosis, I don’t think, but I can believe the lines run parallel and close sometimes…but when we reach a certain age it’s our choice as to how we want to play with the two! Teddy bears, dolls, toys, all up to us! We have earned the right! I’m always so glad to hear from you Tricia! Debra

    • Hello Debra,
      I also have been known to go to the shops, or visit family wearing just a kaftan and no underwear. I chuck a long scarf on to try to disguise the unsupported mammaries. My brother shakes his head in gentle disbelief, while his wife admires my courage. For me it’s all about comfort.There is, I find, a delicious freedom in setting free the inner child.
      Take care

  2. Tricia,

    This is a joy to read and I smiled gently all the way through it.

    I can relate to absolutely all of it, including the sad parts.

    I have a house full of cuddly toys and I love them all and talk to them too. The company of grandchildren whilst talking to them now makes me look less “loopy”!

    I saw a quote the other day that included the words “don’t wait till you’re old to wear purple”.
    I am just developing a new relationship with colour after years of “blandness” and I am enjoying every minute if it – purple ‘n all!!

    Keep wearing the feather boa!!

    Much love and deep purple hugs!!

    Christine xxxxxx

    • Hello Christine,
      Our “purple” conversation reminded me of the song Deep Purple, the version I love is by Nino and April. Have been enjoying it on youtube.

      “When the deep purple falls over sleepy garden walls
      And the stars begins to twinkle in the night
      In the midst of a memory you’ll wander on back to me
      Breathing my name with a sigh”

      There is so much great purple stuff out there

  3. I, like Christine, felt the joy and the sense of fun present in this poem.

    I am sure you are aware of a poem by Jenny Joseph called ‘warning’. If you are net you will find it on Google and I am sure you will enjoy it.

    And, just to let you know, I have a number of teddy bears – one of them an Elvis Bear which sings ‘Teddy Bear’ when I squeeze its left foot!! 🙂


    • David the Jenny Joseph poem is a favourite of mine. I used to drive friends mad by constantly reciting parts of it.
      Some of my bears talk if you squeeze their paws. I also have 3 Elmos that talk. Must take a group photo on my iPad and try to figure out how to post it on the blog. Rod bought me my first Elmo in a Build a Bear shop in Hawaii whilst we were on holiday there. I insisted on the full childhood experience, kissed the heart etc before it was placed in the Elmo. It was such fun. Then I nursed him on the plane, all the way home to Australia. By the end of the trip the flight attendants were talking to him like a person. We all had a lot of fun being silly.

  4. Loved the poem – and I must agree with your philosophy, and our eccentricities. They say eccentric people are the happiest. 🙂 (I’ve found myself talking to stuffed animals too – and you should hear me talk to my cat, and trees, and houseplants. I apologize to them when I find one wilting because I forgot to water it… and I talk to spiders. And if a fly gets in the house, I talk him out, lol!!) Hear, hear!!!

  5. Tricia, you should be who you are, although that’s a little difficult at times, but, what the… If you’re eccentric, so what? You’re a poet and, at least in the United States, that means you’re strange. It also means, in Tom Davis parlance, that you are more honorable than the President or Chancellor of whatever country you want to name.

    • Thomas I just love your comments on this poem. And yup the same goes in Australia, for many the word poet=strange. When I was having a battle of wills with the Doctor who specialises in my chronic health issue, I wrote him a poem to try to express my point of view. His comment “It’s all well and good to be outspoken, but one must be logical” my retort “That depends on how one defines logic.” i think he also struggles with the fact that a 61 year old woman brings a large teddy bear with her each time she is hospitalised.
      Speaking of health issues, I hope things are going as well as can be expected when one is indergoing the treatment you are.
      Take care my poetic friend

  6. aloha Tricia – it is indeed a great time when we realize we are okay with who we are. and that it no longer matters so much what others think about us as what we think about our self without making that self into something we are not. …that’s what doing and creating the way we see it is about too – as i see it. aloha.

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