Thursday, 5 February 2015

A big birthday




I have a birthday coming up next month. A big birthday. A completely terrifyingly huge one. I'm not looking forward to it. I don't want to be this age. It's not right. I feel wounded by it. I want it to go away and not bother me. I want it to not tell anyone, and definitely not bring me one more wrinkle or grey hair.

They talk about entering one's second childhood. The unfair thing about that is that the second one doesn't restore the wonderful skin and hair and energy and flexibility one had as a child. What's the point of having a second childhood if one can't run to the top of a grassy hill and roll down? If one can't turn a cartwheel on a whim, or leap over a park bench as I used to do without a second's thought. If one can't eat some rich, yummy concoction of cake, jelly and ice cream without wondering where the Rennies are?

I was a great jumper once. Imagining I was a horse, I would mentally rear up on my hind legs, take a run, gather my muscles and leap from one grass verge to the next, across someone's concrete driveway, all the way up the road to the park. Once or twice, I even leapt the width of a double driveway. At 13, I could jump my own height over a rope. Yet I never entered for competitions. I was hopeless at school games. But I was great at being a fantasy show-jumper. All I ever jump at now is my own shadow.

I guess if my birthday won't go away, I'll have to. Hole up in a nice hotel somewhere, all by myself with a laptop, a Kindle and a bottle of champagne and forget the birthday is happening at all. A trip to the Mediterranean would be nice. Shame my birthday is in March, though.

American poet Samuel Ullman had a lot to day about ageing. Here's a quote:

'Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.'

Philosophy notwithstanding, don't you dare send me a card with the actual number of years on it. If you do, the wrinkles may just appear on your backside after I've kicked it!



1 comment:

Jacula said...

Um... will be cautious about the card I send. xx