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The Mortality Club

Old People are Works of Art

On Facebook, I have a page devoted to my book, The Hourglass: Life as an Aging Mortal. One of the postings has received more than four thousand comments, “likes” and other delightful reactions. The theme of the post is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Beautiful young people are acts of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

I posted the quote with this photograph of a smiling older lady which I found and purchased on a digital photo site. Many people have assumed that it’s my face in the photo. I wish!!! I am stunned by the extraordinarily positive response to the quotation and the photo, and thus wanted to share it with you. I believe if we can think like this, when we look in the mirror, we might just learn to like our physical selves as much as we did when we were younger. If we are to live rich and full lives when we are older, it is important that we learn to love ourselves, warts and wrinkles and all. It shouldn’t be hard if we give up the notion that only the young are beautiful.

As I wrote in The Hourglass, “Beautiful old people are indeed works of art. Their beauty is complex, like an impressionist oil painting with many layers of different colors that reflect the light in different ways. The complexity is the result of the interplay of lines and clear skin, and the streaks of grey that give the once uniformly dark hair a new depth. It’s the radiant smile in the sagging face that conveys the message that, in spite of its struggles, ‘Life is good.’

Here are some of the comments from others that I received:
• That is a face that could tell a few stories.
• I like thinking of myself as a work of art.
• Now, isn’t that a wonderful throught.
• That’s me…a Picasso.
• The gift of time gives us many things…maturity, wisdom, appreciation, and wrinkles!!!! We are lucky if we receive the gift of time.
• There’s so much character in her face. Faces that were messed about with look like clowns.
• Beauty comes from within.
• Faces tell a story.

Here is a link to my Hourglass page. https://www.facebook.com/agingmortal
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