How does this make me feel ?

I have a friend over in Perth; a man who is, I think, my very oldest friend of all – meaning the one who comes from farthest back. Longest ago. You get the picture.

Roger is a serial emailer: he receives emails of humour or interest from all over, and re-sends them to various groups of his friends and colleagues. A couple of his thread topics cause my blood to boil, and I tell him so in no uncertain terms. But there – you don’t agree with everything your friends like or do, do you ?!

Today he sent me one that has an introduction saying

which is followed by the series of images, pasted one after the other within the email.

As I usually do with emails of this kind, I went online, knowing I’d find the photos there, and probably larger. And there they are, on Hussey’s professional site – https://www.tomhussey.com/PROJECTS/REFLECTIONS/1. I can’t show you any of the photos, as I’d be breaching his IP up, down and sideways. Just follow the link to get started on the first of these wonderful photographs. (Sorry that I can’t frame it within an ‘open in a separate window’ call.)

So. How do I feel after looking at them all ?

They make me cry. They’re so absolutely … so absolutely TRUE. So RIGHT. They say everything there is to say about growing old.

It happens to everyone, if s/he is lucky (you’ve heard that weak joke about “getting old is so much better than the alternative”, right ?). We all become ancient versions of the young creatures we once were; and yes, it does seem like the week before last. That’s because inside our heads we’re still that age, and we can manage to forget our wrinkly casings until we catch sight of them.

All these people are actually studying them. So the viewer understands that this is not the usual light-hearted situation in which they’re dismissing the wrinkly casings with a laugh, but actually thinking about what they were really like as those young creatures.

And it’s sad. I was young once, and so was Chic.

Oh, he was a lovely bloke !

That’s The Doctor reclining upon his reclining mama. Chic saved his life several years before, and the Noom<*> doted on him at least as much as he did on me.

I do remember those times. How not ? – living with Stringer was glorious.

But to cheer myself up again, I simply remind myself how happy I am that I’m not young: what the world has come to is not a place I want to linger in.

 

<*> all cats have several names !

 

 

20 comments

  1. Good post M-R. I’ll look at the photos later as I have a commitment any minute, but this sounds perfect. I was out with a bunch of women, mostly 70s and 80s, yesterday, and so many didn’t want their photos taken, which I think is sad. I don’t much like my increasingly wrinkly looking self, but I also think there is something special about older bodies that we need to learn to love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking I should’ve added a photo of me right now; but I figure that there are several in the gallery of my beautiful Lui, so they’ll do, yes ?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Growing old is something that happens when we were looking away. It’s important to reflect upon it at all ages but you need to be old to start to comprehend. This is a lovely reminder of “And Then Like My Dreams”. You must be thrilled you wrote that book. I sometimes feel as though I carry my younger self around with me to show him what it is like. We all still exist as our younger selves; those memories are of events and feelings that continue to happen. This is a glorious post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aging sucks. Just yesterday, I noticed the crepe under my eyes, for the first time. And I mourned. How petty, compared to what is yet do come. And how pitiful, compared to the great loss you have endured.

    Stringer’s love for you leaps off the page. As does your love for him, in the photo and in your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so – so comforting, Maggie, at a time when I shouldn’t need comfort (in terms of being at last in a place I can call ‘home’, and with every material thing I need.
      But aging. Yes. It sucks bigtime, every now and then.
      Even if Stringer never grew old …

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My cousin and I were just speaking along these lines as we have shared our lives over six decades. We giggle like young girls when we share memories, but also have very real age-related issues. The photos from the website are incredibly impactful. Anyone with senior status relates to the “alternate” reflection in the mirror. Thank you for sharing the photos of you and Chic, M-R. What immediately comes to mind is that life is precious and those of us able to lament the aging process are actually fortunate. Very thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That photog. really knows his onions, eh, Debra ? – the image of the woman at her ‘bathroom’ mirror looking at herself as a young, vibrant and obviously totally in control nurse .. while her own nurse waits with her walker .. that’s what brought the tears to my eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear M-R,

    Your mention of my keyboard data pursuits at the beginning of this piece does me a great honour.

    Please be aware that the re-connection with you eight years ago after a sabbatical of around forty years was an uplifting experience I will always treasure.

    Whilst some may seem to dwell on and live their lives in the past I see no harm at all in reflecting on events that occurred during this scamper through life. Thank goodness for memories!

    I would ask though that you may care to reconsider your view of the world as it appears.

    Maybe that aged induced entitlement to be grumpy could provide a selection of optional views.

    Keep the blood cool,

    love,

    rb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, the man with the gift of the gab – and the voice to go with it ! :D
      I NOO you would respond in some way, and you have done so with grace – and this is a quality of yours I was aware of from the moment I met you.
      HOWEVER ! – I am unable to accept your advice and change my way of looking at the world. I shall never be a conservative thinker.
      This doesn’t mean that I approve of political correctness, though (apparently we non-conservatives are meant to follow this vile dictum) – I need you to understand that.
      Long may we continue in our friendship-that-is-occasionally-spattered-with-naughty-words.
      A very big hug and a few loud smackeroonies on your ear – whichever one you prefer – from your friend, your real and loving friend.
      M-R

      Like

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