Abraham Darby CorruptMonday, August 20, 2012
|Rosa 'Abraham Darby' August 19 2012|
Yesterday my daughter’s mother-in-law made a statement that startled and made me think. She was saying that all the fresh beauty and good looks, his manly ones, of Robert Redford have been obliterated by age. “There is nothing left in his face of the man I so admired when he was young.” I made my calculations and figured that in 6 more years I can either look better than he looks now or much worse.
On the other hand my daughter’s mother-in-law could look at herself in the mirror and perhaps might feel kinder. We all live in an age of youth and yet in the 19th century a 40-year-old man was old and a woman of the same age in her dotage.
It is only now that people are living with more regularity (particularly in developed nations) to a riper 80 plus.
It was approximately 15 years ago (I was 55) that I was taking pictures in my studio of an undraped woman who was around 30. She was telling me how a Brazilian made those areas of the body that are so sensitive (and which for some reason our godly designer decided then to protect with pubic hair) even more sensitive. I watched her as she told me. She stopped and then added, “You wouldn’t understand as you are much too old to know about these things.” She did not say but I could hear her thinking, “It must be truly disgusting for Alex to have sex with his wife. They are too old.”
I said nothing and some day, from my grave, I will have my revenge! She will eventually find out the truth.
Perhaps only the lucky ones (or are they not?) die in their prime and never have to experience the body as it slips into that downward spiral that ends in death and corruption.
It reminds me of going to the VW dealerships in Mexico City to pick up our VW beetle. A white smocked German would show me a computer print out (these chaps at VW were early with this technology) that showed the performance (God knows what form of measurement, kilos per square cm perhaps) of my cars four cylinders. There was a graphic showing four curves going upward with a slow turn towards the horizontal. When those curves were no longer all the same and one or two went beyond horizontal you knew that you might have to spend a lot of money on a ring job.
We now live longer. Some of us ignore going bald others wear hats or get transplants. Women and some men tighten up with Botox and others lose weight to find out that skin becomes loose.
My eldest daughter, Rebecca now 15 has been going to intensive exercises twice a week but sometimes she skips. Rosemary has suggested that she go to Rosemary’s Aquafit classes. To which Rebecca loudly said, “I don’t want to be with all those old people with loose skin.” She is 15 but has to yet master diplomacy, good manners and to learn to show a bit of kindness.
While I don’t generally gain weight I have a small paunch (and my face is not as narrow as it was then) but I am comfortably telling anybody who might criticize me that at my age is it is unimportantly irrelevant.
|Rosa 'Abraham Darby' June 10 2012|
It was sometime around 15 years ago that I would walk our fall garden and notice how our perennials were collapsing and how my hostas had yellow edges (not because of variegation) because they too get fall colours like deciduous trees. I began to appreciate this impending corruption/decay and thought, “I will go to a woman of a certain age and tell her, ‘I would like to photograph you undraped in my fall garden and you will be part of the exquisite corruption towards death and winter.’” And of course my thoughts are shattered by the knowledge that I would be instantly and summarily slapped for the insult.
These days that idea is still in my head and I just might search again for a woman ready to bare it for my cause. There is a particular beauty in imperfection that for me (at age 70) trumps perfect beauty at age 20.