Monday, January 01, 2007

twenty years from now

Twenty years is not that long

I’ve spent some time recently looking at photos of people’s faces…old people’s faces. (It’s okay to say old people. They know that they’re old.*) The photo of Robert Penn Warren in my last post and this one of Nadine Gordimer. Joan Didion’s recent photos in support of her book “The Year of Magical Thinking,” plus many others.

Then, early this morning when I looked into the bathroom mirror, I was taken by the realization that what I'm doing now will color the light from my face twenty years from now. The way I live the next twenty years will determine what truth is told on my twenty-years-from-now face.

And twenty years is not that long.

To be doubly clear, this isn’t about Erno Lazlo, Oil of Olay or even Clinique. It’s not about keeping the lines from forming and it’s definitely not about having them stretched tight surgically. It’s about infusing those lines with worthy living.

So, being possessed with such an intent, what’s required?

Listen for my voice and heed it.
Be peacefully brave.
Take the next step.
Be kind and laugh often.
Rest, reflect, contemplate and act.
Keep breathing.

Not a comprehensive list, but a reasonable summary…and a good start. And that’s what today is all about. New Year’s Day 2007. Another round of seasons to be lived. Another of the next twenty years. And it’s not that long.

My wish for us all...
eyes-wide-open growth, without resistance, into the most worthy age...this one.
Happy New Year!

*in shying away from referring to someone as “old,” we condone and comply with the unspoken, cultural viewpoint that youth is all. For another time and another post.


Tiffany said...

Wonderful! Great thoughts!

Kamsin said...

Very wise words. When I was a student I had an older friend (then in his 40s) who would stress how vital the choices we made in our early twenties would impact the following twenty years of our lives. And I guess it is just as true whatever our age. Our choices now will determine the lines on our face twenty years from now, as well as the size and shape of our hearts.
I especially love the exhortation to be "peacefully brave".

megg said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post. It made me stop and ponder while I was reading. I loved the concept of infusing the lines with life -

What a lot of responsibility every choice we make has when we pause and realize the ramifications!!

I loved this, thank you!!!

Rethabile said...

Very right you are. have a happy and full 2007

Speedy Chick said...

I love how you use the idea of the 20 years from now face. We all tend to think about how we will look and what we can do to slow the ageing process. Instead we should worry about making the years count. You really do put things into perspective.

Crafty Green Poet said...

People end up with the face they deserve, a good life will make a distinguished and beautiful face when old. Interesting post.

Elspeth said...

Lovely. here's to us all having beautiful old faces.