I think the title of this post could be a movie title!
Fact is, yesterday, to support @LauraHickli and the release of her newest song/music video, yesterday I got to play her mother.
It was energizing and exhausting. Invigorating and difficult.
Movie-making involves a lot of repetition.
One tiny moment in a scene played over, again and again, wide lens, close-up lens, fast speed, slow motion. Every minute detail of one movement filmed to capture that ‘beauty shot’, to tell a compelling story that both awakens the mind and touches the heart.
In movie making, every detail counts.
Yesterday, the years on my face, the wrinkly skin on my hands, the arthritic knob on my knuckle – they all played a role in the video.
And man. Was I uncomfortable.
I have never been enamoured with watching myself on screen.
Watching myself in close-up on screen…
Wow. That’s an even bigger leap of faith and, leap into self-love.
Stilling that chattering voice in my head, you know, the one who says, “Gawd you look old. Look at your double chin. Shouldn’t you have lost that twenty pounds before agreeing to do this.And, seriously, you look soooooo old….”
Yeah. That voice.
Well, when the film is up close and personal, that voice goes into its relentless hyper-active self-debasing vitriolic screeching with great enthusiasm!
I am remembering to breathe.
To ground myself in self-love.
To remind myself that falling in love with myself means acceptance of all of me, as I am, not as how I wished I was, once upon a time, when I was younger, or prettier, or slimmer, or a whole swathe of ‘things’ I am not now.
I think that’s one of the big lessons I’m learning from these conversations and from yesterday – aging and wishing it was something, other than what it is, are not comfortable life partners.
To age with grace, I must become comfortable with reality.
And as I write that last sentence I smile and laugh.
Someone once asked me why I don’t paint scenery or people or things as they truly appear in life. My response… I don’t do reality.
Time to face reality with a smile, a warm welcome and, a word of two of gratitude for what it has provided me in my life — the ability to breathe freely without fearing every breath I take will be my last.
Which also makes me smile.
Because, life, particularly as I come closer to my 70s, is feeling like a change of seasons. As summer’s end fast approaches, I cherish the still warm nights, the blossoms still left on the stems, the leaves not turned golden, the geese not yet flying south.
I cherish all these things deeply because they are reminders of summer I do not want to end. They are a foretelling of winter as I become exquisitely aware of autumn’s approach.
I want to cling to summer’s beauty, yet know that there are autumn vistas that will take my breath away in the riotuous colours of leaves falling and flowers shedding their dewy blossoms.
Like the sun’s rays reaching closer to the southern hemisphere as earth moves in its eternal orbit in the sky, I want to reach across time and capture all of nature’s beauty, old and new, in my arms and hold it tight as if in doing so, I can forestall time, and the relentless reality of its passing days.
It’s time to let go of wishing I could hold onto ‘what was’ and breathe deeply into the promise of all the beauty still to come in living this life with my heart and mind wide-open to the limitless possibilities of my life – today.
When I stop looking back at ‘how I looked’ compared to how I appear now, the wrinkles fade and I no longer feel the need to measure my age in the lines written on my face or even the calendar pages turned.
I no longer feel compelled to hide behind the memories of all I’ve done, nor do I feel the need to ‘wish’ I could do what I used to do with the same vigor or ease.
In this space of summer gracefully easing into autumn’s glory, I feel myself becoming, each beat of my heart, each moment that takes my breath away, each glorious day of riotuous colour and turning leaf.
In this space, I become… Love.
In this space, I am… In Love with me, my life and everyone in it. It is here I live within the quiet joy of being part of this life, right now, deeply embodied within this moment unfolding as it becomes the measure of my day.