About aging


When I was painting yesterday morning, I heard a replay, on CBC, of a documentary about older people playing in an orchestra. I’d heard the story in April and was glad to hear it again. These people, many over eighty, were excited about what they were doing. Some of the players came with canes or walkers, but they were enthusiastic about making music again.

There was no aesthetic criteria for being in the orchestra; they just had to show up. Some of the musicians needed a lot of coaching and rehearsals could be quite sloppy. But when it came to performing, they reached near perfection.

At ninety, one man was still blowing on his saxaphone. He said he lived to play and he played to live. The instrument, that is.

Different people’s approach to age is always interesting to me. Personally I don’t think about age as a handicap. It doesn’t stop me from anything I want to do. Except ice skating, maybe. I find aging fascinating, including watching the changes in my body, the new creases and changes in shapes. I wouldn’t mind having a small waistline again, but it won’t happen. And it’s not a problem. I still have a good, functioning body that is pleasant to live with. I’ve decided to let my hair go natural, that is, gray or white or whatever it is. It’s been many years of putting goo in there. I’m eager to see what the real color is.

I wouldn’t want to be young again unless I could be like I am now, know what I do. Which has only come from experience, so obviously it isn’t going to happen.

I like being around younger people. I like their joy and curiosity. I learn from them. And I like getting older. I like feeling more calm. It’s an interesting adventure.