youth and age

June 18, 2013  •  181 Comments

stella, watercolor on paper, 8"x10", 2013 One of the subjects for anyone that follows these writings may realize that comes up often is the work that I do with the elders. One of the reflections that I look deeper into these days is death. And at the source of the elder experience is just that, in how these individuals tend to live in no denial of which, being that close to the end of their path. A notion of direct honesty exists, a sense of fearlessness expressed in an energy of serenity. Being around friends existing in this state rubs itself into the deeper layers of myself, and it is a great reference point to walk thru the limitations of myself that arise from neuroses and fear from time to time. This reflection was inspired by a conversation with Stella in class yesterday. Another student, Richard, was drawing from a photograph of my friend Amanda. Rich is creating a body of work where he is drawing on the beauty of the female portrait. He didn't have reference of his own this day, so I happened to have this picture of Amanda. As we are drawing, Stella walks past and asks, "where did you get that photo?.. that is me. I have that photo in my old house." I explained to her as to who and what the photo was about. She looked again and expressed over and over how that looked just like her as a youth. I said 'oh Stella, you're not that far from the youth in that photo"... Her response, "ohh. Bullshit!... " I laugh and she follows as well, and says she's just being honest. I find myself meeting people from all types of clubs and tribes, youth and elderly and so on. In the nature of open conversation that I tend to find myself in, on the subject of old age and all that it encompasses is expressed so differently from one that is merely conceptualizing it. In the elder experience, it is simply experienced and shared, from the perspective of another human being that far down the path looking back and telling us what it is all about. This is the wisdom that the elders possess. And if only we listen, should it aid those of us behind on the path to live the lives we truly want to live. With no regret at its end. To live beginning with having the honesty in doing so with ourselves. Thank you elders, thank you Stella.


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