7.9
February 23, 2012

Beauty Shapes Us All.

I don’t admire this all-too-common attempt to stay 20-years-old, forever. It teaches our society to hate aging, to hate themselves, for we all age. Instead, I wish to make friends with my aging, with myself:

 

I admire aging gracefully. I admire making friends with where we’re at. Why? Because those who do so show me how to do so.
Can’t see all photos? Look on desktop. 

Two photos of Meryl Streep, 30 years apart, wearing her same dress.

When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.
~ Victor Hugo

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
~ Mark Twain

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
~ William Shakespeare

Click above image for more.

~

Growing Old.

I’m 37. Not old, but not young.

I have many small scars that only I see and three that everyone can see. And I have many new wrinkles this year alone and thinning hair and weakening eyes (thanks, internets).

Nobody gets out of life alive, he used to say.

But I’ll wear big sharp black or tortoise shell glasses and look smart, finally, and I’ll wrinkle more and look like a poor man’s McQueen, and I’ll miss my hair but begin to look, finally, as if I’m mature (I’ll know better).

Aging happens to the best of us.

Aging is beautiful if the emotions that feed into our wrinkles are true and unobstructed by self-deception.

Pain, sadness, joy, a humor about oneself…honest wrinkles tell true stories that perfect plastic hides.

Beware the urge to hide, for we smother ourselves.

I (admit that I) often recoil in horror at the idea of being married to an old person. For that’s what happens when we get married: we all age and before we know it our lover is elderly (and so are we, of course). But then once in awhile I see an old woman who is active, her back unbent, her eyes bright, her white hair uncut, her day alive…and I say: wow.

She’s beautiful.

(Without condition)

For our task here is to practice loving our wrinkles, loving our hair loss. Love our aging. We must be among those who do not fight death but who still embrace life, and do not give in to it easily…and then our life and wisdom may unfurl like an epic, and

we may become more beautiful, with age.

 

Click image for more:

More: Getting Older Happens. This is what it looks like (warning: video autoplays).

And: The Buddha, on aging gracefully.

How to love yourself: Maitri!

How to stay healthy:

How to be human:

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