I believe that age is an accomplishment.
Some results of aging as humans are wrinkles, aches, grey hair, heart or other bodily failures, and memories. Even though I have only spent sixteen years upon this bountiful earth, I have seen the beauty and power of age surround me every single day.
At my school, the library has a vast collection of books on assorted topics by many different authors, poets, and brilliant thinkers. Whenever I visit the library, and because I am a creature of habit, I always sit in the same place: The Pablo Neruda Aisle. Of course this aisle is not actually named “The Pablo Neruda Aisle,” but the name stands firm with me for a purpose. I sit here despite the fact that the book of Neruda’s poems has been removed from the library. The reason, I believe, for its removal is indecency, or some other completely ridiculous basis upon which the librarians or headmaster have decided. Art is art, let is be what it is, nothing more or nothing less.
Almost every artist has dealt with acceptance in which only time can bring. Every time period is an age of different values and beliefs, but with age comes understanding. In Ancient Rome, age was honored in the form of sculptures. Heavy set wrinkles were placed in the faces of dead ancestors carved into marble. For the Romans, wrinkles showed that the family members lived long enough to learn the ways of the world. Knowledge and age were equally ranked for they represented the same thing: accomplishment.
Youth today is desired by most of the human population because in being young comes the strength for which an elderly body can only wish. Makeup and surgeries have been created to hide wrinkles and rid people of their so called “ugly” forms. To me, the deeper and crinklier the lines are around the mouth and eyes mean so much more than smooth, pure skin because the indentions signify laughter and times of joy. A person’s happiness can be found in their wrinkles. The deeper set their wrinkles are, the happier a person they have been. Forehead creases come from worrying about things such as aching and aging, but the aching of bones indicates that a person has lived a life full of activity.
When I grow older I hope to ache, I dream of having wrinkles and age spots, I long for that twinkle in my eye from remembering times I have shared with the people that mean the most to me. Age has its consequence in death, but if death knocks on my door in the form of a heart attack, I will welcome it with open arms because heart attacks are only a result of loving in abundance. The heart can only take and return so much love before it fails. Death by old age, if nothing else, is an honor. And honor is a hell of an accomplishment.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.