This week I tried a setting for taking photos on my phone called Beauty Face. Not sure what I was expecting (beauty?), but every photo is a stone cold minger.
The creases of my face are that little bit more ingrained than I remembered and my hair is going from ‘distinguished’ to laughably grey, like someone putting flour in their hair to play Scrouge in the high school rendition of A Christmas Carol.
But I’m allowed to age, expected to even. Unlike poor Rene Z.
Perhaps it’s the act of aging which makes the curious double life of someone who spends as much time as possible making things whilst ticking the boxes of normative conformity seem a tad subversive.
I’m consistently and predictably rewarded for conformance, a blessing and a curse. And, as much as that can bore the crap out of me, I doubt it would still be the case if I weren’t an aging, white, native English speaker.
Paradoxically, my heteronormative choices of marriage and having children were radical at the point I initially made them; few of my peers had such activities on their radar at the time.
Of course, in retrospect it seems oddly jarring that I thought our funky wedding day (and it was amazing) meant that we were doing something unique as well as enduring.
The details that make such a life event singular are lost with the passage of time, all that remains are the stark facts.
This truth became very apparent to me when I emigrated to Australia. It no longer really mattered what I’d recorded or who I played with in the old country, that was already the past.
Australia forced my creative hand in that regard, something for which I am supremely grateful.
Renewal; the spirit demands it and art facilitates it.
The flesh corrupts inexorably but the panacea of creating keeps a part of you evergreen. Perhaps even those people who know nothing of that part of your life can sense that?
There may be no second acts and making stuff doesn’t entirely free you from worldly concerns (despite persistent and blatantly co-opted romanticism) but there’s only one way to describe having music in your life every day, and that’s lucky.
If you’ve yet to make your own luck in this regard, you may want to start.
Ain’t none of us getting any younger..