Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Old Age, you Rockstar

"Breathing, listening, being", fantastic, alles in ordnung, all is well. The sun is shining and I feel odd posting this as my mood is lifted by the sparkly view from my window. This was written the day before and is illustrated by the subject of my next post - pioneering women... go with it :)

Let me be the first to remind us today, sweet gratitude!

A reminder is needed: I have been confronted by the smite we all know as the "woman's column", everywhere I turn I face the dreaded false distraction of women AND men somehow putting down women for the awful crime of, wait for it.... growing old. There I said it. "Old", say it, let it curl around your tongue like a forgotten flavour.

This is after all what the "fear" is; equalling old with "forgotten", "past it", "sell by date" - I am still shocked, even now, that we can use this kind of language to describe one of the most BEAUTIFUL gifts in the world, the experience of life in it's many seasons, growing, changing, living.

So this will be an unusual turn for me, a slightly tongue in cheek look, perhaps a kitten's rant in defense of ageing.

I will add that grey (gray for my American friends) hairs don't count; we have lots of beautiful natural dyes on this planet used by pre and post grey-haired people, equal opportunity dyeing for all; moving along.

Now some of you may be aware that I am "relatively" young, by that I mean, no longer a teenager nor am I old enough to be a district attorney... I think. Find whichever age you think that is and guess away. Because that is beside the point, how old am I? Who cares? I won't deny that for years I always wanted to be older, as if something magical was going to happen then. This only stopped when I hit eighteen and then the facet of mortality and an immature fear of revolving years nipped at my heels. But I am over that now, have been for some time, thank God.

For those that still have this superficial fear of ageing drummed into them, my dears, consider the alternative? .... exactly.

For those that would like to take a time machine back (sometimes I would too, but only to meet all the wonderful people who've passed), not going to happen. I tried, they told me the science was impossible. Plus I think that, seriously... God does not need to do a "rinse, repeat" with our destinies.

And for those that would like to look like they did when they were younger, what good would it do you? And if that is the case then how far back do you want to go exactly? I could go as far back as age twelve in my head, hmm, I looked like a cute girl with the body of a twelve year old boy, no thankye.

Frankly, anything which is not naturally occurring that somehow makes you look twenty years younger, well that's surgery, CUTTING and it is just unreal. Sorry to state the obvious. In fact I look on that kind of surgery, the pull, tug, nip, tuck, disappear acts as self-harm. Harmful because they are there to make you THINK you need to look better than you do, you don't. They are also there to make you feel you are not good enough, you are more than good enough - you are fantastic. They are lastly there to turn ageing into the millennial money-making disease.

"The plague, the plague"

"What? Swine Flu?"

"No! old age, quick, call your surgeon".

I don't wish to blame the media. Start, stop. It's been done. One does not have to invite a rude person to dinner neither is one compelled to buy into that shtick. I accept that youth is adorable but it is not King Solomon's Mines. The real treasure is the face of wisdom, love and understanding. All of which grow and are magnified by greater experience.

As for wrinkles? Beautiful. My favourite are the crinkly eyes when someone smiles. I look forward to them, can't beat 'em, don't want to, so join 'em. I look forward to all the things that we are told to shun and fear out of ignorance. Dear friends, let us just stop buying into the paranoia, the cosmetics have made enough money off of it and do we really care if 10 out of 23 women prefer retinal a to peptides?

To emphasise, cellulite? fine, bring it on. Change is good. Stretchmarks? groovy. Case in point: A beautiful friend (in her twenties) was wearing jeans to a tea party, complaining about stretchmarks, she then with one finger displayed some on her upper hip, uninvited. Following my initial surprise, "Cool" I ventured, "It's like a Zebra print", she got the joke; but the truth is I see nothing wrong with it. Look at it another way - nature's tattoo (!) People make out like these are sinful scars, "Horrible, horrible, pass me the cocoa butter", why? If they are scars, then let them be the battle scars of womanhood. Wear them proudly, you made it!

We all know it's not always easy being female and it does not get any easier. I know I live life happily, but please be aware, it is not an exercise in floating with my eyes closed. I worked to get this way, or get back to being this way as I believe we are all born with the brightness gene. It just gets dimmed sometimes.

Yet, back to taboo stretchmarks, bring them on too. Zebra print me, I don't mind. In fact, I'll help it along; tonight I'll take an extra scoop of ice cream, make that two extra scoops. Anything I can do to impede the madness that is "FEAR OF OLD AGE" and the natural body, I shall do. No sacrifice/scarcrifice; sorry, had to.

Lastly, please think back to some of the most amazing and graceful people in this world. Where would we be without those who lived without fear and delusions? People whose courage made us smile and inspire us to go forward be it on a shared path or simply by the gift of their pearlescent quotes. I wonder what they would think of the petty 21st century concerns about something completely natural and precious. I wonder how incredulous they would be. Most likely they would pity everyone. Those that fear ageing and those growing up to fear it.

Below follows Audrey at her most beautiful:

Please, let us remember that this life is a gift as is every.... single.... wrinkle one earns during it. Kiss it, love it, embrace it. A certain fifties male actor dropped this ditty, "Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse". Well, he got 2 out of 3. I still think it is the silliest line ever. That along with, "Why buy the cow if you can milk it?". Sorry, Jimmy. I also feel sorry for anyone who chases the mirage that a plumped this or a tighter that, equals happiness.

I thank God for the graceful gift of living, I pray that we all live a RIPE old age, full of sweetness, full of truth and full of giving. Serving white and dark chocolate ice cream tonight, feel free to join me.



Deidra said...

What a breath of fresh air! I know this in my heart, but as the years pass, it gets harder to embrace. Thanks for such a smart look at growing up and up and up.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Funny, my mind was wandering the other day and was thinking something. I was walking somewhere and noticing how the leaves were changing color. My inner philosopher came out, and this what she said:
Life is like the seasons. Autumn is the final season before the end, and its the time when there is even more color than summer. Its something very beautiful.

I agree with what you said in your post. I have to admit that getting older is not something i think ill be able to handle that gracefully. It is an unfortunate thing, but it is true, that once people become older in this culture, they often become invisible. I hate that.

That being said, my grandmother is awesome. I totally look up to her. She just turned 82 and do u know, she is still a tap dancer, very energetic, and definitely one of the smartest people I know. I wouldnt mind it i was like that.

Thought provoking post (and this is the longest comment i've ever left anyone lol).

The Socialite said...

Great post as always! Completely agree. We (women) have allowed our own insecurities to become mainstream ideas.

I wrote about this topic a while back bc I was so tired of all the plastic surgery and insecurities of age. It's such a beautiful road map of who we are and where we've been. It's life's own photograph.

here's my post: http://vanessasrunway.blogspot.com/2008/09/fabulous-at-any-age.html

Hope you're day is going lovely!

Laurel said...

I am scared at our connection Darling. This very morning I was messing around with camera and took pic -VERY close up of my eye when I an smiling and I saw all the crinkles (sounds nicer that wrinkles) and thought that is cool-that I have etchings in my face that are a testament to how much I smile, I am happy.
I love all you said. the odd thing here is when I first started reading you I figured you were a very old and very wise woman - at that point I hadn't looked into your blog origins and of course once I realized how young you were it made you all the more intriguing.
I just love you and am so happy I have you in my world. You really make me happy . Smile, crinkle.

Modern Crush said...

Oh wow! A breath of fresh air indeed! I love many of your points, it is good to think about these things you know. I am 26, and I am starting to freak out about things, bodywise. But all this is so true, I must not forget it! Zebra print, ha! You slay me... xo!

Jacqueline said...

I agree with everything you said. The ammount of famous people I see on T.V. who are looking dreadful after collegen in the lips or botox, the forehead that doesn't move , the facelifts that pull everything unnaturally tight....it looks AWFUL....they have had their youth, as I have and there is nothing that can hold back time. I am 58 and I try to look as good as I can. Genetically our family look youngish but I don't and can't look 30...it's impossible so I am 'growing old gracefully' and that's fine. XXXX

Anonymous said...

thank you for this...

in love and light,

Clarity said...

Dear D, thank you, up and away :)

HH, I love your comment and your autumnal thoughts. Look to your grandmother for inspiration,she sounds fabulous. Appreciate this being your longest comment too, x.

Vanessa, thanks, just checked out your old link on the fashion icons/botox. I like how we choose different role models but still have similar attitudes. Thanks for the award too, x.

Dear Laurel, Ah, that is the sweetest thing, thank you my dear. You were not so wrong, I am a bit of an old soul. "I have etchings in my face that are a testament to how much I smile" - I love that Laurel, xx.

Modern Crush, thanks, you made me smile. Glad to be of help in some small way, xxx.

Jacqueline come to think of it, it is odd how I no longer recognize some of the faces. You though and are the example of good health and a fresh heart.

Thank you Mickie, xx.

Renee said...

A ripe old age with wrinkles and all sounds divine.

Clarity this is a fantastic post.

By the way, what Wahid thinks, well he just laughs.

Love Renee xoxo

Lori ann said...

How amazing, you were visting me and i was here, we just missed each other!

I am there with you tonite Clarity, i'll take mine with chocolate sprinkles too (i'll bring them okay?)I LOVE this post, everysingle word of it. You may be young in age but in wisdom you are timeless.

Many years ago I saw a television special, an interview with Audrey Hepburn. I told my Mother, that's how I want to be. I've always kept that in my mind, all these years. Of course I wanted to be like my Mother too, but I fell short there, she is the epitomy of natural, style elegance and grace.

You have done a beautiful thing here Clarity, I only wish everywoman would take it to heart.

And last, my husband (who is 10 years younger than me.) Is very fit and handsome. But the most sexy thing about him to me? The wrinkles at the corners of his eyes when he smiles. Thank goodness he does all the time.

When we eat our icecream i'll teach you how to knit ok?

Lori ann said...

I thought of something else along these lines I wanted to share...one of my best friends owns an agency in L.A. He represents many of the big names and alot of small ones too). When we first met he offered me to do some work but i would have to make some "changes". I didn't have any interest at all. Fast forward a few years. I've learned alot about "media" beauty vs. real natural beauty. Most of all it is important to be comfortable with yourself because anyone can go through the changes to be marketable, but that only makes you look like everyone else. My friend who is in the business of selling beauty tells me now all the time not to change. I have to laugh, it's how i've always felt. And isn't that all that matters?

Shell said...

I feel also aging gracefully comes from what we learn at home. The ladies in my family celebrated themselves at all ages. At 40, I'm looking forward to the future. I expect to be fine and flirty at 80 and 90 without any botox, facelifts or any other silly things like that.
As always, Clarity you are on point.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Amen and amen.
Aging naturally is so beautiful, no matter what Hollywood tries to say. I just think we as women, and men, need to get over ourselves. Life is too brief and much too wonderful to waste a minute wanting to look younger. Besides, I really love my face now, with the crinkles round the eyes!! It shows I've laughed. A lot.

Keith said...

Great post. I'll be 40 in a little over a year. My hair is turning gray. I'm getting some wrinkles. That's just a part of aging. I think I've been able to accept that. I know a lot of people have a hard time with it. I don't care to look like I did when I was 18. I'm 38.

TheChicGeek said...

That was beautiful, Clarity :D When we work on our spirit we stay young and I believe you can see it. I love when I meet older people with a twinkle in their eye! So beautiful! Acceptance, gratitude, self-love, taking care of oneself inside and out...that's what makes a beautiful person.

Great post!
Thank you for this!

Dustjacket Attic said...

Ah now I've stopped crying over the children in Audrey's clip (I love that woman and what she achieved for them). Yes I loved your post and everything you said in it.

I try to be good about ageing, I guess I just want to be fit and well for as long as I can and take care of myself (there's no way I'd go under the knife).

Mind you I'm the first one having some of that there ice-cream, chocolate, wine, cake ... I like to have fun with life, it's very short you know.

Anonymous said...

YEAH!! I think it's a cultural thing as well. In mine; the older one is, the more respect he or she gets. Looks are important, it's the experience and with it (if one has grown spiritualy as well) the wisdom that counts. I adore, Adore eldery with laugh wrinkles in their faces. Thx for this inspiring post, XXX, Carmie.

Purple Flowers said...

Hello my friend, it's been a while. I love your post!
I have always said that the crows lines around my eyes are laugh lines, because I think they are. And I have the smiles to prove it. :)

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Dear Clarity...what a wonderful post!!! You Rock Girl...Love♥x

French Fancy said...

I agree with everything you said. I can't bear those Botoxed faces - give me the natural lines of a Judy Finnegan to the sculptured look of a Kylie.

French Fancy said...

p.s. I think when we finally meet up it should be either at the Savoy or the Ritz for afternoon tea - I love swanky hotels

Elisa Day said...

Wonderful post my friend! I have been finding more and more wrinkles. I will love to join you to eat some chocolate icecream. You asked about Helsinki. yes it would be a big change for me, its a new country a big city etc. Thank you, you are so inpspiring

indigotangerine said...

So true. I think there is nothing more beautiful than a wrinkled, and radiant old woman. I don't understand how "old" is a bad word. They carry time on thier face, thier memories and rich lives etched into the lines on thier forhead. Whe erase the symbols of a life fufilled with botox?

Micki said...

Lovely post and so eloquently stated. I earned each and every wrinkle that I have, and the key to growing older is to think like a kid.

tishjett@yahoo.com said...

Here is the frustrating problem -- disturbing really -- I have every time I visit and get lost in your prose (and poetry): For someone who likes to think of herself as a "writer" you constantly leave me wordless, speechless.

Every word, every thought you express is beyond my competence to respond to the emotions and yes, enlightenment (not an exaggeration I promise) you evoke.

Thank you.

Anika said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It's so refreshing to read this point of view because everything in the media these days is the opposite....too old....reduce wrinkles....botox this, botox that.

Whatever happened to ageing gracefully?!?!

I can honestly say I look forward to it....the grey hairs and wrinkles will prove that I laughed alot and had cause for emotion (and got the wrinkles) and the grey hairs will show my wisdom (I hope) and the fact that I earned every single one of them. Living my life to the fullest.

Amen. Thank you for this fab post.

Have agreat one :)

Jennifer said...

This is wonderful! I sometimes fear aging, but I often find other women even more gorgeous as they age. I'm coming to terms with my own aging and the surprise that it's happening! I feel saddened to see people turn their faces into things they probably don't recognize. I'm not sure when that became the thing to do...love this post!

Clarity said...

Dustjacket - I cried too. I think it's important to not be numbed by those sad images, ever.

I appreciate every single comment, tishjett - not sure I deserve that, but thank you!

So pleased that we are all embracing the coming seasons, in every way, x.

VictoriaArt said...

Same here, our path cross at wonderful intersections. The pioneering woman... she looks so like my grandmother, which died at the incdedible age of 101!
She is my role model of graceful aging and keeping the youthful spirit! This is what really counts, your personality, your spirit, your charm, love your wrinkles and I even embrace my gaying hair.
I just heared on Kwanawrites.blogspot.com about woman and passion, it's so worth listening to her latest post!
It's Isabel Allende talking about passion on TED....
Thanks for trying today, I appreciate it !

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I do want to point out that men are just as concerned about growing old. So many of my friends complain about how things were when they were young, and my friends are young. lol. So I can only imagine how they will feel and act like in twenty years.

nycrun said...

nice read and informative

Jeanne said...

Much love and many blessings
Love Jeanne

Cafe Fashionista said...

They make much too much of women growing old. Women only grow more charming and classy with age. They morph into wiser, more lovely versions of their youthful selves. This is such an insightful post; I truly adore every moment of it. :)

Marie said...


Manju said...

somehow this post doesn't really concern me since i stopped aging at 16 haha ;) ...i wish....lol

p.s. Tim Burton's 'what'??? i havent figured it out :( whoops

Oh n u can get Hello Panda biscuits in uk actually. i think any Asian shop would stock them. check it out if you're near chinatown some time ^^

have fun at the movies hun

Cheryl Lynn said...

Oh My Goodness! This is the best read I've had in a long time. What a great post! And so true, so true. I will be 51 in November. You have no idea how great I feel when someone sees me strut my stuff in 4+ inch heels like I was still in my 20's! Hot diggity! I'm with you Miss Clarity! Bring it on!

Thanks for dropping by my little neck of the woods, my dear. Always happy to have a visit from you.

Hello Lindello said...

I hope I think this way 20 years from now :)

Thanks for your sweet comments. Netflix is something you sign up for online and they send you dvds through the mail. You can also watch a million free movies online through their website. So addicting! I will be checking out your recommendation for sure! Thanks.

OceanDreams said...

Thanks for such a refreshing post, life comes and goes but we have so much to be thankful for.

Thanks for your sweet comment and for liking my new header!

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

I absolutely love my age (43) and I'm sure that I will love my age when I'm 53, 63 and 73. Yes, I'm starting to get crows feet and those vertical lines around my lips from sipping too much tea and my body will never be what it was in my 20s, no matter how many miles I run on the treadmill, but I am happy with who I am and what I look like. Thank you for your wonderful post!

Estelle said...

You get me thinking in the right direction. I so appreciate that. Mostly I feel really good about aging and growing and learning. I don't want to relive my teen years or my 20s. I love being 35 this year. But sometime fear creeps in. Thank you for keeping it in perspective.

Giovanna ♥ said...

This is a great post!! Thanks for writing about this topic. I do believe that the real age of a person is in the heart :)
I won't do surgeries of any sorts when I start getting wrinkles, I'd love to age exactly as the way I am, I don't want to wake up one day and see myself in the mirror and don't even recognize me.
I loved your post and everything you said in it.

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Fabulous post. I always say, the only thing I'd rather not do than age is not age. As in, die young. That wasn't too eloquent, but hopefully you get the point.

And I love likening stretch marks to a zebra print. You are so right!

Madeleine said...

What a wonderful post! :)
"As for wrinkles? Beautiful. My favourite are the crinkly eyes when someone smiles. I look forward to them, can't beat 'em, don't want to, so join 'em." Yes! I agree.

p.s. Yes, my story is in fact real life. Since you don't like coffee, how about tea? :)

Clarity said...

Victoria your grandmother sounds wonderful, I wish these beautiful role models would be celebrated in our part of the world as they are in other cultures.

Des, true, men are increasingly made to feel the distraction that woman encounter continually.

Thank you J and CF, xx.
Marie, grazie!

Manju, please don't wish that ...x
Cheryl Lynn, thank you dear!
HL, 20 yrs from now you will probably be running your 'nth marathon, God willing :)

Thank you OceanDreams and Rebecca, your positivity's fantastic.

Estelle, it can, yes the fear, but then remember to step over it...

K @Blog goggles, totally agree, hence my "consider the alternative. Thank you for your sweet visit.

Madeleine, thanks and yes tea sounds very good.

un bel oiseau said...

oh i love this post! looove audrey. some of the prettiest women i have ever met have wrinkles and silvery-white hair. im trying to get my mother to give up on her terrible idea to get a facelift at age 52...and she is a total babe. ah, oh well.

at any rate, as for a margaret atwood book to read: the Handmaid's tale. Brilliant. i know you will love it!


Laurel said...

Hi Sweet Friend=thank you for your comments. It is so odd how whenever I think of you and wonder how you are doing you pop up. That is God working I do believe. How I know you and where you fit in my life is just one of those great mysteries that I am grateful for.
Yes Monty-so so dreamy and so so tragic. I wonder if his life would have been different had he been around now...doubt it. We still persecute the different.
I love you my friend- and I hope you pick the monty actor- we need more montys:)

Willow said...

I realize that this comment is much much too long, but I didn't know any other way to show it to you. My friend posted this last summer on her blog:

Recently, in large city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tanned woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said:


A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia . Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex? Therefore they don't have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends. With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,Good gosh, look how smart I am......

The Bumbles said...

Lovely Audrey - and lovely post. I embrace each birthday with happiness because the alternative is not really a great option. I don't see myself as my "age" - I see myself as the same old me I've always been, just with a bit more experience along the way.

As for your question to me about expanding your page width - I'm sure you could do that by adjusting the parameters of your blog template by going to Layout and Edit Template HTML and determining which line dictated the dimensions of your page width. But it might be easier to select a template with a wider setting built in. I use Denim Stretch which gives that broader view. See if your existing template has other settings to choose from. If not, let me know and I'll see if I can find the answers within the HTML code that would make it wider. Send me an e-mail any time.

Manju said...

really?!y do you say that? I'm so looking forward to Tim Burton's Alice in wonderland!I love the story and the art looks amazing, and johnny's in it xD.

sometimes i tend to think children are wiser than adults. they laugh when they're happy, cry whn they're sad, look at the world in wonder and enjoy the simple pleasure in life. :)

Clarity said...

Clarice, that is the second time today someone has mentioned Atwood to me today, hmmm :)

Laurel, I enjoy connections we cannot explain; love too, x. As for the casting, thinking it over.

Willow, fantastic rebuttal.

Manju, reserving my opinion because I adore the story. I agree, we as adults need to retain the wonder and not gloss it over with layers.

Renee said...

Sweet Clarity I love your weirdest comment ever and I don't think it is weird.

I sometimes waiver, but I really wonder why do you not think cremation? The body will rot anyway.

You were the only person who really got what I was saying on Wednesday's woman. It was as though you read my mind and not just the words.

Love Renee xoxo

Renee said...

Just wanted to send some of my love to you today.


Laurel said...

Hi My Sweet Clarity -
I am sending you bits of my heart and a huge hug. Hope you are well and happy and life is being kind to you. Thinking about you:)
Love Love Love-

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hi there Clarity...hope you are well...Just to let you know that I have posted the recipe for the pudding on www.dzintrasdolcevita.blogspot.com Take Care...love♥x

vicki archer said...

Well said and I could not agree more...xv

Lori ann said...

Dear Clarity,
there's something for you at my place ♥

Clarity said...

Thank you all for the sweeter than air words. Renee, I am answering the query on your blog.

Love to you, Laurel, Lori and everyone else who made me smile.

Laurel said...

Ok my LOVE-where are you??? I need to connect:(
Email, call or text me -something Love, so I know you are well.