Friday, April 21, 2017

Aging Gracefully or Not!


Recently I had an interesting telephone conversation with a perspective customer concerning a couple of large, eye-catching turquoise necklaces by Kai Gallagher and Bruce Eckhardt. Ann told me she had previously worn fairly subtle jewelry, but was now ready to expand her collection into larger, more spectacular pieces.

Something about the way Ann made the statement prompted me to ask why she had come to such a decision. I could almost see her blush with modest embarrassment as she said, “Well, I recently turned 50, and my skin is not as attractive as it once was. I figure such a large, outwardly gorgeous necklace will draw people’s attention and cause them to overlook the wrinkles on my neck!”

Laughing out loud, and realizing my indiscretion too late, I quickly apologized. I attempted to regain my composure and semiprofessional balance by explaining the reason for my disturbing reaction. I told Ann that my precious spouse was of the same stage of life and state of mind. I had recently been informed, by Laurie, that she was falling apart.

My wonderful wife, who I find intoxicatingly attractive and mentally stimulating has somehow decided she is no longer suitable to be seen in public. Go figure! With Laurie, I know for a fact that I am personally responsible for any outward, and/or inward, wear and tear she may be struggling with. I publicly apologize and accept total responsibility, but I must also disagree with her assumption.

Visiting with Ann was a real pleasure. By her voice and mannerisms, I could tell I was speaking with a well-educated, thoughtful and sophisticated woman. I thought to myself, “What difference does a few wrinkles make?” I suspect they only add character. But who am I to talk? I have my own aged demons to emotionally deal with which are too ugly to expose publicly.

Our Navajo neighbors tell us that the Sun symbolizes male youth, strength, vigor and virility. The Moon, on the other hand, represents male maturity, a graceful decline in years, compassion, understanding, and eventual death. As men, we naturally desire to be associated with the Sun. No man in his right mind would want to be recognized as being in the lunar stage of life. The only time I want to participate in a full Moon experience would be while wasting away in Margaritaville.

These issues have become so imbedded in my psyche that whenever I witness a spectacular sunset, I view the event as a gargantuan battle of will by the Sun to remain in a position of strength and enduring longevity—a last ditch effort on behalf of maledom to maintain a grasp on the beauty of youth. I see a glorious sunrise as a statement of rebirth and regeneration, hope and determination personified, the Viagra effect of the natural world as it were.

I find myself hiding out at night, evading the harmful rays of soft light. I quietly rest myself in order to spring forth and embrace the empowering light of first light. The other day while driving to Bluff just as dawn found the horizon. I was startled by a vibrant red fox sprinting across the road in an easterly direction. I looked upon the fox, saw the flame in his glistening coat and the shadow of darkness at the tip of his tail.

It seemed to me the fox was the embodiment of man’s struggle with degeneration, racing valiantly towards the everlasting Sun with doom and destruction hot on its trail. My heart skipped a beat as it kicked into overdrive and a wild cheer erupted from my throat.

“You go brother!” I screamed passionately. In my troubled mind, I witnessed the eternal struggle to maintain youth, strength, endurance and virility while being only slightly touched by the overwhelming dark side.

I guess each of us deals with reaching maturity differently, some gracefully with the aid of humor and turquoise beads, others with fear in our hearts and a passionate fire in our eyes.