Sunday, November 6, 2016


I have never felt especially targeted because of my looks.  I think appearance is more or less the province of women.  I don't think I ever heard the word "beautiful" applied to a man or boy while growing up.  I

was not surprised to read that a symbol for female is sometimes called "the mirror of Venus".  It is the astrological symbol for the planet Venus.


In a way, a woman is supposed to be beautiful and attractive while a man is supposed to look strong, although in my place and time, we could add "good-looking." The traits that automatically seize our attention are biological markers related to the health and success of children we may produce.  Once we are past child-bearing and raising, the automatic markers become less relevant to our lives.  More and more of us are living into periods of life well beyond child-raising.


The Buddhists say "Everything changes" and the French say "The more things change, the more they stay the same", which focuses on cycles and fashions and situations returning to an earlier state or one like it.


The passing of time does create change and not always what we want. The beautiful get wrinkled and scarred, the wealthy lose their money, the spry and agile limp and shuffle.  We can fall in wealth, power, happiness, health.  Not everything good falls and we may increase in one good way or several but over time, we may fall on scales and measures that demote us unpleasantly.  


There is that one scale where age often means gain: that of body weight.  I have read that older men have in the past been happy to have an overweight wife as a symbol of their prosperity and success.


In the US, and maybe through much of the world, there is a connection between recency and success.  It is hard to be the king of the jungle or the jingle for very long.  In a short period, a rival will become king and our kingship, our great victory will become an accepted fact, then a paragraph in a history.  In short order, we become elders looking for an opportunity to tell the tale of that great time back when…….

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