Monday, October 26, 2009

As Is


My feet, reversed and distorted in this reflection shot. I'm wearing decidedly non-glamorous sneakers.

One great thing about living a long life is that only over time can a person gather lots of experiences. Only over time can a person access some perspective on those experiences, only over time can a person develop wisdom. When I see that someone in his/her thirties has written a memoir, I have to laugh. I know that the society I live within is built on the idea that old age should be avoided at all costs, so perhaps that leads folks to believe a memoir is best written before the age of forty. Isn't that sad? A memoir of young adulthood is not a story of a whole life, is it? Seems premature unless the assumption is that any life experience occuring after age forty is not worth writing about. I guess!

I've broken no laws by growing older, I've done nothing wrong; I just haven't died yet. Why is getting older seen as so heinous? Why should I be ashamed, and try to hide my age? Why??

Looking through my boxes of photos, thinking back on who I was during all the past lifetimes of this particular life - the one I'm now living - I've been reminded how much better suited I am, temperamentally, to middle age. I have a feeling I'll be even more at home as an old lady, in spite of all the physical changes that are a part of aging.

I'm all done with this bout of reminiscence. Onwards & upwards. Though, it was fun slogging through the dropped leaves of past decades, and lots of fun sharing pictures here. I would LOVE to see old pics on other blogs, hint, hint.

I like being 56, almost 57. I love looking at the old pics but I'm just as happy looking into the mirror at who I am now, a bit worse for wear perhaps, no longer svelte or glamorous, but comfortable, healthy, and cheerful. As is, that's me. As is. Love it or leave it, people! Oh yeah!


Here is a pic of my Fluevog angel boots, all glittered up. In October, 1999, I was a guest high priestess/master of ceremonies at the Halloween/Samhain ritual held for the Reclaiming community in Vancouver, British Columbia. That ritual, the Spiral Dance, was the biggest event of the year, hence the need for seriously great ritual outfits for visiting priestesses. I loved those boots.

32 comments:

Rose said...

I love those boots! I think the accumulation of wisdom allows us to be more at ease with ourselves. I know I am more at ease now than I was in my teens but I still have a long way to go...

ellen abbott said...

This country worships youth. How did that happen? Maybe it's because we are such a young country. However, the after 40 years have been much better than the before 40 years. No way would I want to go through those again. Too much angst.

Reya Mellicker said...

Me, too, Ellen.

Steve said...

Those are great boots! I think we need some of those for the next blogger maypole dance! :)

I don't understand society's preoccupation with youth either, except that we're a highly sexualized culture. If we valued more than physical beauty we could move beyond this infatuation with youth.

I love that pic of you in the third grade, too. You look more mature and knowing than the average third-grader. Maybe it's the glasses!

Joanne said...

Great boots - I thought you'd maybe worn them to a glam-rock concert back in the day! You are right on with the wisdom thoughts, oh life is the best teacher.

Reya Mellicker said...

Reclaiming rituals were kind of glam/rock events in their own way.
Funny!

Deborah said...

oh,I think you are still seriously glam.

love you so

Merle Sneed said...

What Deborah said.

NanU said...

Ha! Love those priestesse boots!

It's true what you say about gathering wisdom and experience over long years. But it's interesting too sometimes to present an idea of what's happened to us while it's still hot. Because we are creatures of context, and sometimes the naive version can be more just than that seen through the calm of time, with its attendant forgetting of the less proud moments. I guess the best would be to write your memoire as it happens, then write it again decades later, & see if you still see the same things!

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm definitely not against people of any age writing books about their life experience. It's the word "memoir" that always gets me riled up.

NanU said...

mmm, you're right. "memoire" does conjure up high-backed leather chairs and books to the ceiling and snifters of aged brandy. It's too frenchy. (though in France a memoire is just what you write when your internship is over, so perhaps it isn't frenchy-ordinary enough)

Nancy said...

Since I can say, from a personal standpoint, having met you in person, you are wonderful, just the way you are! You have a beautiful smile, hair, face, and inner light. Thanks for being you, Reya. A woman grateful for a full life, grateful for the beauty of youth, but not bound by it, and happy to be a woman in middle age. I love that about you.

lakeviewer said...

Two things I love about your blog: 1. your ability to reflect unmatched anywhere else, and your sense of style, deeply personal and reflected in the photos you share, the aura surrounding you, the dignity you embedd in everything you discuss.

Brava!

...and I'm glad you are just a decade younger.

Mrsupole said...

Okay, let get some things straightened out. You are still very young. We are all still very young here. Well at least to the people over 100.

One's age is just a matter of perspective and I am still young. In 20 years I will still have the same perspective and be young. There are millions and I mean many millions of people out there who are older than I am and so I choose to still be young. But if someday I am the oldest person alive then I will probably still think I am young because my memory will probably suck.

We are what we choose to be and I choose to be young. I also am thankful that I can say this. I could list oh so many who wish they were still around to join all of us young people, but they cannot.

Reya, I look at your current pictures and your past pictures and I see a vibrant young women who is still going through and learning about all the things life has to offer and I am doing the same. In about 50 years from now you can start on your memoirs.

People under 30 or 40 who write memoirs are just doing this because they somehow think they have lived a life worth telling everyone about. They are just too dumb and young to realize that they have hardly begun their life. Heck we are too young to write about our lives.

50's rock. Yes, we are just so young.

God bless.

Linda Sue said...

Oh Man! I would wear those boots every day! those are kick-ass! and the "young" thing...PLEASE! One of my son's friends asked me if I had a WALKER that she could borrow for Halloween! A WALKER!dear gawd!I thought "OK, it's all relative-I look ancient to her" ... i guess I might be...we should get medals!

Mrsupole said...

Hi Reya,

I was just reading that you were born in Denver. I was born in Denver too. That means you were there when I was born. I wonder if we were born in the same Hospital. I think I was born at Denver County. I need to find my birth Certificate. Although we did move to California when I was six months old. Funny how that six degrees thing works. It would be strange if my parents had come across your parents sometime.

Life is funny that way.

God bless.

Elizabeth said...

The bots stun in their epic COOLNESS
I will try to dig up some funny old photos

Barry said...

NOW, those are serious boots you sure don't want to mess with!

Looking through old photos is a lot of fun and quite the shocking reminder of just how far we've come.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Nancy and Rosaria! And Mrupole you can call yourself anything you want, my goodness I'm not trying to say who is old and who is not, never would I impose my values on others. Everyone is entitled to her own truth!

My truth is that in material form, living a human life, we are inexorably attached to the arrow of time, moving forward whether we like it or not.

Youth does not equal good or even desirable. Old does not convey a sense of giving up - to me, just to me. I like getting older. I'm proud to own it - and relieved! Youth was challenging for me so you see where I'm coming from.

The boots - I believe I wore them with a pink chiffon net skirt, somewhat tutu-like. In Reclaiming you could wear anything you wanted, even at public events. The costumes I saw during those years - well - all I can say is: wow.

Reya Mellicker said...

Nancy - What's "fancy" for us is mundane for the French. At least in Paris, life is an ongoing memoire. D'accord!!

steven said...

there's a layering of the helix of experience that allows you to see yourself clearly and without defaulting to your "vision" of yourself that age gifts you with. the long tail of knowing that comes from the passage of time, (then ignoring the passage of time) is what makes middle-aged and older people so beautiful. like the boots - the kick-ass boots of blue sparkliness. have a lovely dc evening. steven

The Bug said...

Excellent boots! I think it sure would be something to see a picture of you in the boots & pink skirt...

I've been posting some pictures of me from the past for the last little while - but they're mainly posed pictures. I'm going to see if there's anything interesting in my photo albums...

Tom said...

i for one am looking forward to 50...the kids should all be done with school and mostly self sufficient (cross fingers) and maybe i'll be able to spend some of my cash on myself, see and do some things we've been putting off for the last 15 years! Still looking forward to the Reya autobiography...especially the blue boot chapter.

Reya Mellicker said...

The blue boot chapter ... oh yeah! Tom will you illustrate that chapter? Please???

Sandra Leigh said...

I am so gad you mentioned that you were wearing sneakers in that first photo. When I first saw the photo and started to read the caption, I thought Reya has many toes!

As for age, I keep looking at my children, who are in their thirties and forties, and remembering how I felt when I was that young, how I thought I was a grownup.

I hope I'm still around twenty years from now, looking at my 60-ish children, thinking "Heh. They think they're all grown up."

karen said...

Wonderful purple-priestess boots! You are amazing - glad you're celebrating your age, and I feel much the same, having just hit 40! I wouldn't actually want to go back to my younger days, not at all :)

A Cuban In London said...

I have just been catching up with your previous posts: the one San Francisco photo, the one with your family, your Year 3 pic and it seems to me that you are on a nostalgia trip. The influence of autumn? Soon to be 57? Are you saying you're a fellow Scorpio?

I adored this little trip down your memory lane and you're quite right. A memoir at 30? If I was that young person I would be asking: Do you know something I don't? Because, it is sure as hell that they will probably be kicking the bucket soon. Why the rush otherwise?

Lovely post.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Ronda Laveen said...

I loved my 40's. I love my 50's. And I'm sure, despite the forces of gravity on my bod, I will love my 60's even more. My confidence grows and care less every day about what others think of me or what I believe. Long life is emotional liberation in a way.

Oh...those boots. Truly magical! I have truly enjoyed your nostalgic photo journaling.

DEB said...

I agree! And since we all plan to be centurians, you are NOT old. You are middle aged!

Thank you for your kind comments on my blog.

normana53 said...

Reya,
Even though I am much younger than you (I turn 56 in December) I agree. We should celebrate our lives and experience, embrace middle life and enjoy. The heck with the youth worshippers! I wouldn't want to repeat that period of my life, I am happy and secure right where I am!
Though I would love to have a pair of those sparkly Blue boots! I hear they are Satan resistant.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, they ARE satan resistant. It says so right on the sole, or should I say soul? Great company.

I put lots of sticky waterproofing oil on the boots and then poured purple glitter all over them. It stuck! Well I probably did leave a glitter trail wherever I walked, but that too was part of the magic of those boots.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Reya,

I actually was just trying to have some fun with you and keep you happy about your still being so vibrant and young in all you do. I too would never try to tell anyone what they are. I think that age is relative. Someday when we are in our 70's or 80's, be we blessed to make it there, we will proably think that someone in their 50's is young.

I hope all is well, and you truly are young at heart.

God bless.

PS...sorry if sometimes my sense of humor is satirical. I can only say that I truly need to quit making comments while on the pain pills. I think they are affecting my brain cells. Sorry again.