Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Birth Certificate


“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."
_Anais Nin


I'm being pulled by past present and future a good deal lately. Probably because I have the luxury of reflection. A year goes by so quickly. The fraction of our lives grows smaller every twelve months. At two its 50 % longer, at five, 20 % at 40, it's 1/40 today it is 1/62. And yet, I'm 19. If you need proof, just go fishing with me, go on a road trip, or wake up with me. Now that I'm here, it's comforting to know I've some growing yet to do.

Lately, I've developed what can only be termed a new kind of denial. I noticed it when a friend of mine from the Bay Area came to town for a few days and I went to the Airport to pick him up. From a distance, I saw what could be him, but decided the gentleman waiting with bags by the curb was a little too old to be my friend. Too much gray in the beard. Wrong. OK, that's understandable. But when I went to meet him for coffee the next morning, a man I thought was my friend walked my way and I immediately said, "there he is..." I knew immediately it wasn't he. The beard was too dark; in fact it was twenty years ago dark. I see what I want to see. It works that way when two horses cross the finish line. When a ball hits near the foul line , and when I see a familiar form from behind. Makes me wonder what we see when we look in the mirror.
I'd still rather deal with this form of denial than hair color. I could never dye my hair or put something there which isn't. I understand why people do, and try not to judge, but they miss the beauty of aging. The lines are stories, they are talking tattoos. There is no such thing as gray hair; it's silver.

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