I am not interested in what you look like. I don’t want to see. I don’t need to see.
I prefer the role of the observer, not the observed.
I love REALITY and being in the world,
SEEING the world,
and being myself, totally, completely,
not wearing a mask- yet,
I don’t want to capture you in photographs.
Humans come in categories. And you know, my dear body, I define us as ugly. That is MY TRUTH- maybe not yours, and I don’t mind that. I have always identified you as such. That is my category for us. I embrace it. It is not about self-deprecation. It just is. I know you get it. I can hear you giggle. And that is where our beauty lies. Aging. Ugly. Funny. We are who we are. We are unfashionable.
Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow did to you;
I am old when it is fashionable to be young;
I cry when it is fashionable to laugh. I hated you when it would have taken less courage to love.
– Charles Bukowski
And here we are, at age 54, reaching the end stage of menopause- without doctors, without hormone replacements, without tranquilizers, without raging against the dying of the light. I am blessed to have you carry me around. I love that I am aging you naturally. We watched our mother struggle and medicate and we chose another route. A quieter, simpler one. She wore an elegant mask. And I loved her. I hurt for her. I learned from her. I chose not to put one on you.
Oh, my body- I will not fret about your sags, and swells and the wrinkles. All your scars and moles. Your ugly face and thin hair. I look at you in the mirror and I shrug.
You are my best friend and I let you be who you are. And you are MINE. And we continue to create and explore and LAUGH together. I am blessed to still be here to experience your changes. To see mom and dad in your features. Our aging is simply— beautiful. And simple. In this flesh bag. Come what may!
I know you’re not comfortable in certain clothing and that you really don’t give a shit. You are going to do what you need to do and I will just have to go along!
You have danced and loved and gestated and birthed and nursed and nurtured and grieved. You have been muscular, at the top of your form, and you have been ravaged by radiation. You have been cared for and bathed. You have been violated and criticized. You have been told by a lover that you looked good- you should get sick more often- when inside we felt sick, shaky and emaciated. You have been celebrated and you have strutted. You shrank when our heart was broken. Together we have contemplated the end; yet simultaneously, we have felt the delirium of being truly alive.
You, my dear sweet body, have kept on going.
You eat, shit, piss, sleep, laugh, cry, sigh, hold, hug, care and continue to walk me through the world with innocence and overriding joy. I sometimes, often, want to hide, but you continue to lead me forward. And one day you will need to stop, and I accept that.
Until then, my fading eyes look out through your sagging, expanding, aged, wise flesh and take in the world. Your muscles move your hands that create as my mind interprets. My mind is carried on your strong legs and spreading ass.
WE, you and I, are free and single and our own and no one can criticize us anymore (not even I can). WE ARE FREE.
As mentioned, I don’t want to capture you in photographs because I don’t want to be captured.
You are MY BODY. I, personally, in this moment, feel lucky. Oh, so lucky! I hope you do too.