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.