Thursday, September 16, 2010

You Can't See Me....

Just back after another road trip down island to deliver work for the next juried art show - will hear via email on Monday if we made the cut - anywhatnowway, as I was tootling about down there ; and as an aside may I add that I DROVE in rush hour traffic from downtown Victoria back out to Sidney and handled it all with great aplomb and I am not a fan of driving in any way shape or form - ok, yes, as I was saying, I was travelling and walking around quite a bit over the 3 days I was down that way and I realized that I have become invisible.
Some many years ago I recall reading a book about a 'mature' (oh hem hem, how enigmatic of me) woman who realizes that her age has rendered her unseen to the vast majority of the public around her.
Well, it struck me that that was what was going on around me. I found that as I strolled about the streets of busy downtown, people's eyes sort of glazedly passed me by.
I felt decidedly odd at first and then it became enjoyable as I could openly people watch without a second thought. Not that I ever garnered undivided attention from all and sundry in my youth but most women are quite aware of being 'checked out' by men and/or women as they walk about.
Until we reach those odd years of moving into old age.
And don't dismiss this, because, if you think about it, we are all guilty of just passing over older folks and dwelling on those lovely (or perhaps questionable) visions of youthful human splendor. Certainly this reflects our culture's fixation on youth-as-god. In any case I'm not into this whole youth/ageism debate right at the moment. I'm just bemused at my realization that I am getting matter how we like to fool ourselves into thinking otherwise.
Now I admit that I am visually unaestheticly pleasing currently, but that's my own relentless battle with myself. Let's move on shall we?
So from now on I am going to make a concious effort to look at older people and let my eyes tell them that, yes, I do see you. You have worth in your being here.
And you look pretty good too.
The painting: "Old Woman at the Mirror' by Bernardo Strozzi - 1615

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