7.8.14

DAY 542

determined to see for myself

Lately I have found myself thinking about the elderly quite often. Not only because I am facing the ageing of my own mother, which is a very challenging situation (yet somehow rewarding as it gives a new dimension to our relationship),  but also, because I can see how the number of persons obsessed by youth is increasing every passing day.

When I read articles or look at advertisements or images of any kind, I feel that our society is concerned by ageing (me too) and it´s struggling against it not always in a very positive way.

This battle occurs in many fields and the persons of my age or so are who are fighting harder -I think- to avoid health, emotional,  social or aesthetical issues related to ageing. I know that it is not easy to deal with certain situations related to it and I truly believe that we have to look for the best quality of life... but we have to be clear that this won´t prevent us from getting older.

On the other hand, it doesn´t have to mean feeling less useful, radiant or fulfilled. On the contrary, it can mean being all those things but in a different way. Or maybe, getting older really means that we won´t be those or other things anymore, so what?. We still will be persons, human beings, here, trying to do our best, learning, living, feeling...

I know that any society is led by certain ideals and obviously they try to domesticate our nature. That´s why our social, aesthetical, emotional or health aspirations can be unnatural, this is the rationale of civilization, but maybe we should pay attention when they start to be unreal according to current circumstances and possibilities.

I cannot help feeling that some of these efforts would be much more productive if they were focussed on changing our mindset and social prejudices or preconceived ideas about this subject that is culturally constructed. In particular, those who are so biased and corrupted that make us lose direction and forget what is important. In particular, those which impact deeply on the existence of many persons by making them feel a mistake, by making them be invisible before our eyes.

When I saw those two ladies, I didn´t see decline or lack of charm... but what is most important: amidst the busy morning in the park, I saw them.... that´s why this is my Photo-Heart Connection for July

7 comments:

Sandra said...

A touching photo heart-connection dealing with ageing which is connected to all life. Finding the joy and serenity at each stage of our lives is a lifelong question of balance and adaptation. We also become aware of the essential and important things in a human life and let go of the superfluous as our wisdom increases! Well, that's the general idea!

windrock studio said...

You seem to have your head screwed on right about this aging business, and it's good that you're being a help & support to your mom ... we're all going to need that at some point. And this is a wonderful image that you got, too!

KILA said...

it is a privilege to age. what a beautiful, spirited photograph.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

It always strikes me how people seem to be in a constant fight against aging...you can't fight nature :)

seabluelee said...

Being a woman "of a certain age," this post really resonates with me. Aging is something that every human being will have to deal with, if they are fortunate enough not to die young. I've had both good and bad examples of aging in my life, and hope to take the positive ones as my own role models. While I don't expect (or try) to stay forever young physically, I do want to remain vital, healthy, and always learning and growing. But it is a challenge to continue to feel relevant in our youth-obsessed culture. Great Photo-Heart Connection!

Carola Bartz said...

This photo is very touching, Zena. I understand your thoughts - I am always baffled how much our society is focused on the young and beautiful (and rich and famous). There is so much beauty in an "old" face. Those faces tell stories, and I love to share the wisdom of the old. If we don't die early (which really is not such a great alternative) we all will be old one day, and it is nice if we're still respected, loved - and seen.

CJ said...

Nice essay and touching photo.

I'm in my late 60s. Among those in my age range, I find most are either obsessed with looking younger, those who could care less, and some feeling a bit of both.

Age is accompanied by lots of negatives: aches, disease, slowing down, forgetfulness, chin hairs, incontinence, arthritis. But it also comes with the freedom to do and say what you want because now it is considered to be eccentric. I like that part.

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