Sunday, June 13, 2010
The Picture of Dorian Gray
“I got these lines in my face tryin’ to straighten out the wrinkles in my life."
--Ramblin' Jack Elliott**
Sifting through stuff in preparation for the upcoming move out of the house on Tennessee Avenue, I came across this picture of me, taken when I was in my late 20's. I was sitting with my sister Deborah and her family on her front porch in Kansas City. I look so relaxed and happy, mostly because I was caught unawares by my brother-in-law, who was a great photographer. When I pose for pictures, I just look weird; frozen and goofy.
Just for fun, and because I'm feeling all alive and happy right now in life, I put up this image as my profile pic in Facebook.
Almost immediately the comments started pouring in, how beautiful I was, how lovely, like a movie star, sensuous and etc etc etc. I was of course flattered by the reaction, but initially quite puzzled. I look at that picture, then I look at myself in the mirror. Honestly I don't see so much of a difference - OK I'm old, have gray hair, weigh more, wear glasses. But can it be true that I have actually aged? WHAT??
Just as it is for so many others, I find the process of aging is so bizarre. I don't feel that different, but apparently I really LOOK different from the outside. I guess that's why people get facelifts and color their hair, go for tummy tucks and get liposuction (sounds so GROSS to me - YUCK). Though I respect everyone's right to make these choices, the truth is, after plastic surgery, most folks just look weird. Turning back the clock is not an option, people. The best we can do is try to move gracefully into old age, yes? I say yes.
Of course I was not graceful about the big reaction to that picture. I almost immediately took it down, replaced it with an image that features my hair. I added a diffuse glow to the pic, I suppose to mask, at least to some degree, the physical evidence of my 57 years. Even I, the campaigner for how great it is to grow older, She Who Admonishes Those Who Denigrate Old Age, yeah, even I, the spokesperson for the wonders of middle age, get self-conscious about it sometimes. Hey. I didn't do anything wrong by aging, I just haven't died yet. Why the self-consciousness, why?? For heaven's sake!
**Thanks, Rick, for this great mantra. Oh yeah!!
How funny that the link didn't work. I fixed it.
Took this on my way to see the Sufi acupuncturist this week. The angels are everywhere. Sweet.