I’ve never looked my age. Haven’t really acted it either. Maybe that’s why 60 is feeling odd. I’m letting my age get into my head and become… ‘discombobulating’.
What is 60? What does it look like? What does it mean to be 60? How does it feel?
Well, I know it feels like this, this body I’m in, but that doesn’t feel old, it just feels… less young. You know, like skiing the moguls at ultra-fast speed just isn’t something I’m going to jump out of bed and do today – but that’s not because my body’s older. It’s mostly because having whipped through the bumps with nary a thought about stopping a few too many times, I’ve also got a knee that’s minus its ACL which means lateral movement without a brace does not induce a state of stability — and a brace does not make whipping through the bumps all that easy. And just to be clear, I incurred that injury when I was younger, so it obviously had nothing to do with age.
So, 60 isn’t necessarily physical, though I do have a thumb that is sore and stiff — making opening jars and holding heavy things more challenging than in the past. But I figure that’s why I have C.C. around, he can do those things for me because he doesn’t have a genetic pre-disposition to arthritis.
And 60 isn’t emotional. I don’t ‘feel’ older, even though I know I am. I just feel like me — which is a little bit silly, a little bit smart, a little bit crazy, a little bit serious, a little bit caring and compassionate and giving and thoughtful and kind and considerate and funny and nice and really good with words but not so good with numbers and really good with clutter and not that good with order and really good with cooking and not that good with cleaning and… you get the picture. I’m a lot of things and no matter what I am, I am a whole bunch creative.
And that’s what the 60’s bring to me. A willingness, a desire, a compelling need to be and feel and allow my creative self to breathe and express itself however it wants.
Which is why, since putting away the last of the Christmas dinner dishes, I have been spending my time painting.
Who cares that the house needs vaccuming or the toilet needs scrubbing? There’s a canvas waiting for a gentle touch, a fierce expression, a daub of colour, a splash of texture and a whole bunch of paint.
Perhaps that will be my motto for the 60s. “I’d rather be painting.”
Perhaps, ridding myself of the past decades has left room for more creativity to arise. Perhaps, the artist in me is finding her voice, and her power, and is now fearlessly letting it fly free!
Now that would be exciting. And liberating.
To be fearless in the expression of my creative.
My friend Ursula says it’s something about me she admires. How fearlessly I attack the canvas, letting whatever appears happen.
I like that.
To allow. To let go. To let be. To let become.
To stop stopping myself mid brush-stroke, to stop over-thinking each step of the way and to simply allow and let become what is appearing.
It isn’t a practice as much as an allowing. An opening up to intuition. A giving into my creative voice finding its true expression through everything I do and create.
I’m not into stick-handling it. I’m into allowing it to find its own voice and have its way with me.
So here’s to letting go of trying to figure out what a number means. Here’s to finding my value in the fearless expression of all that I am when I allow myself to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with all that I become when I set myself free to create and express myself in the rapture of this moment right now.
Here’s to fearless creation.
The painting is the story of my mother’s remembrances of her homeland, Pondicherry, India, where she was born. A former French colony, she once described “Pondi” to me as “Shangri-la”. In her memories, it is a perfect place. Our memories can be deceiving, hence, the one black butterfly on the tree trunk and the black birdcage. Often, memory traps us into believing what was remains true today. What we remember is not the past as it was, but as we wished it to appear.