It’s a good thing I do because I can’t afford to change it. I feel bad for those who feel they need to look forever young. They miss out on maturing and all the interesting things that happen to them as they age. All to often those who are seeking perpetual youth get stuck in a mindset that physical youthful faces and bodies are something they must strive to keep. I say simply enjoy it while you have it but then move on and enjoy the next phase of your life then the next and the next. Don’t get stuck with the social perceptions of what beauty really is. Beauty is and always will be in the eye of the beholder.
Those who treasure you will also treasure your maturing. This is not to say we should let our faces and bodies go to the extremes. We should always try to keep our bodies and minds as healthy as possible without going to extreme methods that quite honestly hurt you, not only your body or mind but hurt you in your delegation of time. Your gym time may not be as important as your cuddling time with your child, grandchild or if you are very fortunate with your great-grandchild.
So what’s really important? At 70, my youthful face has gone and been replaced by sagging skin, eyes with extra skin layers above and below, a nose that seems longer than I remember and my ears seem bigger even though my hearing isn’t any better. There are all those lines on my forehead, all around my eyes and cheeks and all around my mouth. Where did they all come from?
I am looking into my bathroom mirror, the young face is gone. The young adult and mature father’s face all gone. So what’s left? Well what is left is a very interesting face with lines moving in all directions. My bags under my eyes have their own luggage, my skin puffs out where it didn’t and sinks in where it wasn’t.
I purchased a book over the Internet a few months ago because I was intrigued by its title. It was the first book that seemed to have a good positive slant on aging. “Wrinkles are God’s makeup” is the title with the subtitle, “How you can find meaning in your evolving face” by Rose Rosetree. The book guided me onto a new path of perception and helped me to discover new elements in my art that I previously didn’t see.
I had an aunt who has since passed from this world and I always wanted to take a 4 by 5 film negative of her face but didn’t. She had so many interesting lines going every which way. She reminded me of the American Indian face seen in many commercials. He was simply beautiful and had a really interesting face.
No hair transplants, no nips and tucks, only the stark fright of meeting this ever-evolving figure in my mirror each morning and removing a chin full of hair and trimming my nose hairs and the ones growing out my ears, but less and less on the top of my head.
I like the way I am, interesting.