I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun.
~ Virginia Woolf
My daughter's friend asked her a few weekends ago, "Is your mother seventy yet?" Actually, sixty-nine was a while back. Yet I can hardly relate to any chronological number. My wrinkles tell me I very well maybe one hundred and fifty but that is not so, either.
Physical age feels so black and white, so rigid, so solidly yes or no, and so obsolete. Actually, if I didn't look in the mirror, I might not be able to get the number right. So if no number was involved, would I truly know how old I am?
However, what I do know is, I want to be the best age I can and live whatever magical-mystery this living purports to be. Yet, there's a problem, a number has been put on my age for the next year and now, in a culture of ageism, I have to live with its stereotype. I hear of someone that is seventy and I think, "Oh they are old!" Then sobering, I reflect, "Oops, I passed that a while back." Thus, this solid-age-thing is tricky for my identity.
Stereotypes issue from musty patterns of seeing that come from a climate of social conditioning which cultivates racism, sexism, gay-ism and a host of other isms that have nothing to do with our true identity and too often rob us of our natural selves.
So where do I find agelessness? I have no wish to be a fake-young or a fake-old. The piano takes me to an ageless place. I get a bit crazy. The beat, rhythm and incoming life force just cannot be contained in one small carcass when playing a little honky tonk. Then I catch the look in the eye of my ex who has a type of dementia, I feel my inner-outer eye and his are one. I feel his love flowing and suspect he feels mine. To my young grandchildren, I am just Grandma, fun and ageless. No value judgment attached, no over-the-hill-ism because their eyes too are apparently ageless.
I lost a dear friend a while back. Yesterday I was driving past her house and love, sadness, sorrow and memory in all their freshness awaited. I was ageless, she was ageless. No number for that as it was all alive and well.
How old am I? People might as well ask me if love is old, if joy is old, or is laughter or sadness old. I stop, look, and feel. Nope, can't put a number to it. When I am in joy I feel nothing but joy, when in love, that's it, no age. Sorrow is sorrow, pain is pain, in fact, every feeling and emotion I have is ageless. I stop, breathe and wow, breath has no age either which begs the question, What age am I really?
Again, I stop, feel the feeling. How old is love-age? How can I put a number to it? I spill over everywhere -- and discover the truest part of me is formless. Thus, I am concluding, like Virginia Woolf, "I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun."