At this hour the Royal Philharmonic plays Shine On Your Crazy Diamond and each note is so sweet with memories. I am wrapped in that cocoon of happiness gifted to those who age. I smile with amusement as my wrinkled fingers dance along the keyboard and recall how many hours they have trotted since my father gave me a Remington typewriter as a gift to conclude my Grade XII graduation. That was a century and more ago.
How lovely is aging. How splendid to age. How joyous to age. I have vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. For these gifts I am truly grateful because I now have unencumbered hours to savour the many riches of this world in continuous transformation. I can now watch without guilt. I can sit and observe without fretful fear that I am about to miss a deadline. A few weeks ago I sat on a bench downtown and simply drank in the intoxication of a ‘big’ city. What a wonderment of colours and sounds in a wild kaleidoscope of human energy. I was once one of those young women sprinting through traffic on high heels to catch the transit, shopping bags slapping at thigh and knee caps. Did I really once run with such energy?
I did. I am glad I did. I am grateful I had an income that allowed such splendid hours of window shopping and the actual purchase of the perfect dress, hat or shoes. I spoilt myself at times. So be it. I enjoyed. I share the joy that these young women experience with the sheer pleasure of carting a new purchase home for that big night on the town.
When I looked to a second floor window I saw the hair stylist where I went as a woman at twenty for the truly necessary expensive trim of my long black hair that once flowed as a river. Now my hair is a glacier of silvery whiteness framing a face that I sometimes do not recognize in the mirror. ‘O! that is me I think.’
Yet I am not unhappy with how my appearance. Truly I age. Somehow older women in my life communicated that aging was a natural process and not to be feared. Certainly there are times I wish I was less chubby or dimpled with wrinkles in all parts of my person – yet, I relax into aging. I question lately how I feel so comfortable. An answer that surfaces at my lack of hesitation to age is gratitude. I am grateful I was granted life beyond a few hours or decades. I was granted time upon this planet to explore many of the sensual delights of life, many of them in YVR. I walked home at dawn after listening to Lenny Breau play at an after hours jazz haunt. I heard Ike and Tina Turner play. I inhaled the wonderment of beauty in rainy afternoon art gallery strolls. I wandered into the Cathedral and felt the comfort of prayer.
From the vantage point of that one bench downtown I could take one hour to feel again the joy of my narrative woven into the larger narrative of this, big, crazy city. As added pleasure, with age the hours lengthen and the depth of the notes of the symphony of this life are so much more clear.
Ah, yes, shine on you crazy diamonds.
© S. Calliou August 19, 2013