The Beauty of Age

I am turning 44 years old in August. As of last Wednesday, my spiritual, youthful buoyancy was superseded by the reality of my evident “tree rings.” Somehow, I suddenly felt the weight of my age. I was no longer young, no matter how you cut it or how I attempted to coax, fool, or delude myself.

This made me sad.

Very sad. Depressed, in fact.

How I have relied on my smile and charms in times of strife and stress, and now they evanesce like a springtime flower under the indiscriminate beating of the sun. How some women have felt compelled to tie their identity to it and work so hard to cling to the vestiges of yesteryear’s dewiness, whether from botox injection to rigorous pilgrimages to gym workouts to even just additional coats of foundation.

I am not hopeful enough to adopt these strident measures but look deeply inside for a some other way to face the inexorable/regrettable. (We all must do it in different ways. Denial is also a way too!)

And then I thought about all of the great women who I admire in my life. Never was the admiration pinned to their external veneer, but to the energy and wisdom that they imparted to those around them. I think specifically of the great creative and my former boss, Deborah Sussman.

Having had the honor to attend her memorial service at LACMA in 2015, I bore witness to the ethereal transformation of her being from physical form into transcendent energy. Each person who spoke about her referred to her in the present, as if she were still here, because she is, and with certainty that what she offered was still genius and true. Her exterior had simply become too limited to hold the spirit that she had accreted. She needed to be everywhere.

With this reminiscence, I understand now how feminine beauty transforms with age. In youth, we must experience and surmount so that in later years we can radiate all the strength and insight that we have gathered.

Here are some recordings from Deborah’s Memorial to share with you, so you can get a better idea:

Paul Prejza, Deborah’s husband

Leslie Gallery, friend

David Meckel, colleague