- when you are an old woman -

"Her children, bless their hearts, were lawyers; their children in turn were teachers, artists, amateur philosophers, the kind of people who drank coffee thick with adjectives. And none of them, not one, understood when Nana traded her suburban elegance, and her architecturally designed bungalow, for a shabby cottage (not shabby in the chic way) at the broken, stormy edge of the world.

"So what if it doesn't make sense? she said when they tried to stage an intervention. Why should it have to? It makes heart-warmth, she said, and breath-ease, and it brings on all kinds of strange, beautiful dreams after all the waking I've been doing in this life."

from The Last House Until Forever, in Driftways.




Sometimes I like to think about the life I will have, and the person I will finally get to be, when I am old.

And then I wonder why I can't do that, and especially be that, right now.

Oh yes, I know about responsibilities. I actually like them, and don't want to relinquish them just yet. But why can't I grow my hair long and wild again? Or wear what feels comfy? Or walk sleepily along the beach, gathering shells and muttering poetry to myself?

Why do we have to wait until this age, or that age, until we can be ourselves?

There's a poem which was framed and hung in the bathroom of a women's resource centre where I once worked. It said, when I am old I shall wear purple. It talks of practicing a little now, so people won't be too startled when her time comes. But why can't a woman wear purple right now?

Why can't a teenaged woman be serious and sensible ... and a middle aged woman have grey hair and wear fluffy cardigans ... and an old woman paint her nails hot pink and go roller skating?

Seems obvious to me that she should be whoever she wants, whenever. Time is only the skin around our timeless souls.


(today's photo is processed with a texture by kim klassen; joining in with texture tuesday.)

18 comments:

  1. Well as an old person, I love wearing purple. :) I love the message here and your image as the comment above has said it is WOW, awesome and gorgeous. I am full of adjectives also because I am old I have many. :) Thanks for the lovely post.

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  2. I think it has something (or everything) to do with bravery, and I believe that bravery is the gift of old age. I notice, though, that while some older people become brave, some become timid. I wonder if there is a moment when we choose one over the other. Perhaps some women take the gift of bravery, and others shy away from it, preferring to rely on others, letting them make decisions for them as they age. My great grandmother was very brave, living alone in a rooming house at the end of her life, refusing to let others help her. My sisters both told me stories, and they were very similar. Both of them said that they absolutely loved her home. One said that she remembered thinking that there was something very daring and freeing about her home and her life, but that my mother had only thought of her grandmother as poor.

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  3. Beautiful picture and those lovely blossoms must smell heavenly in the spring time

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  4. Your image is beautiful and dreamy. Your words are lovely... thank you for giving me permission to be me today - no matter what my age.

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  5. Beautiful photo! I love photos of windows and doors but this is especially nice with the blooming tree to frame it. As for old women, I think they {in my case, we, I'm almost old but not quite ... !} can do anything they darn well want. Same for young and middle aged as well.

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  6. Beautiful image and such a lovely post too - I'm always happier to be myself and ignore the comments of others. I'm forever doing, saying, wearing the "wrong" things, sigh, life is too short to be limited.

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  7. To begin with, it's a beautiful photo, and your use of texture is perfect. (As a 72-year-old, I struggle with how to be age-appropriate. I don't feel that age and I actually don't look it. Fortunately, I live in a small rural town, so no one really cares about who does what.) :-)

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  8. Thank you everyone for your kind words and for taking the time to leave me a comment! :-) The Texture Tuesday community is so lovely :-)

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  9. Purple, or green, red or yellow.

    It matters not.

    The wind blows as it must blow, so must I be as I must be.

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  10. Thank you for the beautiful post. It's wonderful to be old and know that's it's okay to just be yourself. I wish younger women could learn to give themselves the same permission.

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  11. Very beautiful. And, i am at an age, my birthday is today, that I wear cotton wash and wear clothes, no coats and ties, my oven has not been on for over 15 years . . . microwave only, and a few others things that most people would think strange. But, it all suits me.

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  12. Beautiful image. Age shouldn't matter. I'm getting to the age where I can wear purple but sometimes when I see some young ladies I wish I could do a few streaks of purple or blue in my hair like theirs.

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  13. "So what if it doesn't make sense? she said when they tried to stage an intervention. Why should it have to? It makes heart-warmth, she said, and breath-ease, and it brings on all kinds of strange, beautiful dreams after all the waking I've been doing in this life."
    Oh, this is catch your breath beautiful! I used to have that poem as a page on my blog. I feel the sudden need to put it back.

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  14. What a beautiful edit to a lovely image. I also love the passages you included. Those, too, made me sigh ... in the nicest way.

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