Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Age is opportunity

I am wondering why I launched this blog thinking about age and growing older. “Growing older” is a phrase we usually associate with a population that has enjoyed many birthdays. The truth is, we are all growing older, from the newly born infant to the great grandparent. It is the natural process of life. Growing older. In our society we want to remain alive but we avoid growing “older” like the plague. Actually it can’t be avoided except by dying but we can pretend that the effects of growing older aren’t happening. Men and women spend billions on cosmetics, hair products and cosmetic surgery in the attempt to keep their faces and figures frozen in time at age 20. Our favorite compliment is, “Oh no, you couldn’t possibly be __! You look so young!” We are inordinately pleased when someone thinks we’re younger in years than we actually are. Why is that? Being young is wonderful. Youth is beautiful. But, why can’t every age be wonderful and beautiful? I think that I am rebelling, trying to defy our culture's negative perceptions of age and hoping to find the wonder and beauty inherent in being old.

Age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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