Growing Older With Grace

’It’s all over for us’
Two 40 something women in my class cried…
‘No it’s just beginning’ I replied
‘Your 40’s and 50’s are the best years of you life’
I echoed the words of my 75 year old mother
who texts me for my birthday, in Paris
travelling Europe for the first time in her life.

‘You become invisible in your 40’s’
A relation said to me. ‘I will never photograph again’
‘You lose your sexual power…your pull
and not seen the way when you were young.’
‘I disagree…women grow more beautiful
with age if they let their face follow their heart
it’s only the beginning, just the start.’ I replied.

Ah yes society’s eternal obssession with youth…
the mags, the movies, the stars, the reviews, the shows
the chasing after that 20 to 25 skin and frame…
Poisoning the forehead with botox
Puffing up the lips with fat
Cutting and lifting that face to eradicate all those lines
And stop expression from forming
As faces start to drop and sag
some just stop smiling to save their skin
just to hold to fragile branch of youth.

Youth is beautiful – this cannot be denied…
tight bodies, faces and hearts.
Confidence that comes from physical prowess
and a face that is even and smooth.
Attention comes from every where and it is
soft and smooth encased in desire.

With aging there comes a new kind of beauty
less obvious and more subtle and gentle.
If the heart is open and the
inner child is nurtured
an inner harmony is built on the confidence
that grows from wisdom through experience.
An acceptence of just knowing
where to just be is finally enough.

A time of maturity where the acceptance of self and other
leads to a warmth and courage to
wear that smile without fear of lines
and let them breathe and flow
as they follow the contours of our hearts.

When I think of all the women I admire
my mother, Cheryl, Glenda, Judy Dench, Meryl Streep…
they all have one common denominator
they all grow older with grace.
Their lines are lines of life and character
Their faces are raw and beautiful
and there is no supression of emotion
through botox and any other artificial procedures.

So when I see my smile lines become more defined
and the cracks in my top lip appear
I smile even more and create more lines
and embrace this wonderful aging process.
I turn on the music
I dance to my own rhythm
and I embrace the sensitivity and vulnerability
that comes from a growing maturity
My heart deepens…my insight sharpens
and my sensitivity sucks in all the emotion.
Acceptance of the changing self is perhaps
the greatest beauty of all.

On June 9…I always become reflective
because this is the day I was born
And I celebrate each year alive on this wondrous
earth…I sing to the sun behind my curtain
I dance to the full moon that is my birthday present
and I shout out loud… ‘I just love growing older’ …

By Anthea Slade

9 June 2009

© Anthea Slade 2009

Growing Older With Grace

Anthea  Slade

Carlton North, Australia

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Featured in Breaking the Boundaries 5 Mar 10 Featured in Up & Coming Writers 14 Jun 09
Featured Member in Up & Coming Writers Jun 09
Featured in All Things Poetic Artistic Philosophical 10 Jun 09.

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