I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it…..
…the body fades.
The problem with being born good-looking, says Joan Collins, is that ”you were born rich and getting poorer”. Attractive people are coasting a wave that they found beneath their surf-boards; there was no achievement in being pretty while young…it was just what happened.
But being old and beautiful might be different.Then beauty might be truth, for as Yeats says ”The mountain grass cannot but keep the form where the mountain hare has lain.”
And how? Through sorrow and joy and the natural accumulation of loving wisdom, and never dropping anchors into shifting sands.
If we are lucky our jowls will sag, our chins will wattle, our prostates plague, our knees will creak, we will drop our teeth, a grey bristle will take the place of our shiny locks and the whole shell will become mottled, cracked, dented, old. If we are lucky we will be able to get up another morning and wonder who the hell is the troll in the mirror.
The gradual winnowing of youth and beauty can be as much a threat of annihilation to the ego as the threat of imminent death. The psyche can respond with intense fear and spiritual crisis. We are becoming invisible ~ youth, power, sex, mojo, identity, it’s all going down the toilet! And this invisibility is also a foreshadowing of when our body will disappear entirely into the maws of death. The nervous system can respond with all the alarm bells ringing, we could get anxious and begin to question everything we once dearly held to be true.
But this is simply Shakti’s bitch-slap upside the head. For loss of youth is the reminder of the quickening towards death. So Hurry Up! See what is happening. Be honest. Be one small part of the Great Pretty that exists for the moment and Let go! Ain’t nobody got time for clinging and grasping to what could never be ours. Impermanence is the only game in town.
Be the One who…. ”loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face” (Yeats). Acknowledge the part we all played in that old game, how we have casually treated our youth and beauty and had a sense of entitlement. And then, with infinite loving-kindness towards our Blessed Selves for our own natural foibles and attachments, let us harden the fuck up and
(our impermanent, sagging asses)