Friday, May 7, 2010

age

I usually use capital letters in the title words when I blog, but not today.  Today I prefer lower case letters for the word "age", and if my computer would do it I would draw the "e" backwards.
I'm feeling aged at this moment.  Not old yet, but ....well, not young.  I married a man 6 years older than myself.  A professional man; a successful one who lifted me rapidly in socio-economic status after I married him...at a young age I might add.  We moved into our beautiful, dignified, well-kept neighborhood here when I was barely 24 years old.  Everyone was older than me.  Like, ten years older than me, most of them.  I was blessed with open armed neighbors who did not hold my youth against me.  At least they didn't make me feel juvenile.  I taught their teenage daughters who were a handful of years younger than I was, and it felt perfectly natural.  But I was always, in the back of my head, a bit younger than everyone else and I worked to feel older, like I was mature and I belonged.
The tables have turned.
Today I joined a lovely group of women for a friend's lunch.  Happy Birthday to my good friend Sheri, who looks like she's maybe 33 and yet has a grand baby who is walking now.  She is younger than I. In fact, and I made mental note of this to myself as I drove home, I was the oldest woman at that table.  I became aware of this as I watched various conversations unfold.  They talked about which instructors they preferred at the gym.  They talked about dealing with their teenage daughters...about corsages and boutonnieres at the prom...about what the proper age to teach kids to do laundry should be.  Of course I was generally pleasantly engaged in conversation myself, but it struck me with every pause that they are where I was ten years ago. Even 15 years ago.
Maybe I am just in that mode today because I woke up knowing I would shuffle out to the computer and compose a letter to Sandy Holman, whose retirement hoopla is at Knowlton Elementary School this afternoon.  Sandy taught our kids, all of them.  We were blessed by this.  And I worked closely with Sandy through the PTA years.  When I was PTA president Annie was 3 years old and thought she owned the school because, truth be faced, we spent more time there than at home. I knew Sandy as a friend, as I knew many of the teachers there.  So in this letter I wrote this morning I was hurled back in time; the same way I am every time I walk through the doors of that school to pick up one of our three grand kids who attend there. It made me feel aged.  Not old.  Just aged.
So then I go to this lunch and I'm ...well, you know.
Tonight I am joining a circle of songwriters at Viewmont High for a benefit concert.  Most of the artists are half my age. I have to have this talk with myself.  I have to remind Her Agedness that she may be playing with more hip, current, attractive, talented youngsters, but she should not beat herself up about it nor should she try to change her style to fit theirs.  I have this talk with her before a lot of shows lately. Things are going weird I tell ya.
Ah, me.  She nods her head and says, "yeah, yeah, I know.  I'm just fine the way I am, blah, blah, blah. Leave me alone."  She is a rather unpleasant person to lecture, myself is. She grabs her guitar and walks on stage and tries not to think about the physical appearances of things...tries to concentrate on the fact that the best songs should be ageless.  She tries to tell herself all this, but her voice still quivers when she starts because she is following some dyn-o-mite guitar player who has fabulous vocal chops and looks like Johnny Depp (that's not always the case, I am just in a worst case scenario mood). I tickle my strings and let this thin thread of a voice fall out onto the floor.  Somewhere deep down, there is a part of me that believes I should be able to stand up next to anyone with my songs and not have to feel like apologizing. She appears only occasionally, however, and the rest of the time I am doing silent battle with the demons of doubt while I sit up there trying to look all hip and relaxed on stage when really I'd rather be in my pj's on the family room couch eating Carmel Corn.
Oh well.  No changing it.  And the alternative to aging is not exactly what I'm looking for.
Onward and upward, so they say. I'll take hold of the reigns and kick my heels into what's left of this life I've been handed. 
I think, however, I'll go take a little nap first.

15 comments:

  1. i love you cori! you are always my young and hip, beautiful farmington neighbor to me! you're not old- but even if you are, i love old people the most! i love YOU!

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  2. And do I hear the music on this one? Oh, yeah, sistah. Exactly. I wouldn't change places with 15 years ago - not go through all of that again. But I'd like to recognize my face in the mirror, and I'd like to have a flat stomach (did we ever?), and I'd like not to forget entirely that I'm aged when I'm with the young ones, and then come violently awake the next time I pass that mirror. I'm a has been writer, a has been - whatever I used to be. And yet, yes - my "she" still thinks she can take on the world. An old leopard, maybe. I asked for poils of wisdom today on my birthday. I got it in spades, here. I think we must be sisters of a sort. I wish we had the time and space to be really, really good functional chums.

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  3. Kristen -
    If my stomach ever was flat I am not recalling it! And you are and never will be a "has been". Maybe an "already did that", but thats about it. We're both just trying to wiggle into the next phase of whatever it is.
    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend! Hooray that you were born you lovely old leopard, you!
    Cori
    ps- Emily- thanks for the ageless love! I love you, too!

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  4. aha. you are human. :)

    well, i like you. a lot. thanks for all your music and words and for just being you. you are refreshing.

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  5. aha. you are human. :)

    well, i like you. a lot. thanks for all your music and words and for just being you. you are refreshing.

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  6. Oh Cori, you will never be as old as me, in years, but in talent and wisdom you are ancient. No one, and I mean, no one, touches me like you do with your music, your spoken words and I don't care how old or young the "so called talent" out there is. They will never be as "ancient" as you either. I just love you!

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  7. OK mghsnow...who are you and why are you being so nice to me???
    And Ash, my only daughter-in-law...I am SO LUCKY you like me (and you know all the flaws!)I like you, too.

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  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D79XOc1vKzQ

    No need to search that mirror for the years.

    Love,

    Your whistler

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  9. Mom you are not even close to "aged". You are fabulous!

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  10. Some things are better aged: cheese, wine, antiques, friends, sisters. They've had time to build taste, strength and character. It takes a long time to curry a fine patina. As John Leonard said, "It takes a long time to grow an old friend."
    Just keep on aging!

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  11. I have been to a few of these concerts where you sit alongside younger artists and as a neutral party (who am I kidding, I'm not neutral) I need to tell you that the wisdom and life perspective you bring to the stage is permeating.

    You can feel this in your music and the other artists on stage feel drink in that wisdom.

    If you could watch, you would know that they are grateful to have you by their side. They watch and listen because you offer something they do not posses, yet.

    There is magic in your music and we all feel it on stage and off.

    I also didn't know you when you were younger but I like you better now...

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  12. Sorry Cori for not leaving my name. I just assume everyone's blog I comment on knows who mghsnow is.
    MarGene

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  13. Oh my dear Cori, we MUST be sisters because I have that same talk with myself every day (no, pretty much every hour of the day) and occasionally we end up in a battle. This aging thing sucks. I used to hate that word but I find myself using it more frequently than I used to. Maybe so I won't feel so aged??? You will always be young at heart and will always dwell in mine!

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  14. Cori, Well said. When I was a young mother (23?), I was at a church function in Brigham City, UT. An elderly woman came to the table that was surrounded by the young mothers, and asked if she could join us, saying she may be 50, 60, 70 on the outside, but she was young inside. Now I'm her age, and yet her story has always been my goal.
    Miss you, Ronda

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  15. Cori, I just came across your blog and I am ADDICTED. :) This post really hit home to me, as I feel the same way, but I am on the opposite side of the spectrum. I got married young, (too young!) and had my first baby at 20, and my second and last at 22. They are now almost 10 and 7, and I am only just barely 30. Most of my friends are just having their first or second child, all have young babies and toddlers at home, and live a life that is completely engulfed in the duties that come with such a situation. It's very different from my life, where my kids are in school all day, and I have a lot of time to myself and for myself and many other things. I feel alone; I feel disconnected; I feel uninvolved. It's hard to not fit in. I go to the same lunches that you do, except I hear about diapers, maternity clothes, sleep schedules, the latest and greatest parenting techniques for toddlers, potty training, carseats, etc. I have wallowed in self-pity for a couple of years, and have had to come to the realization that having more children in this life is just not what God has in store for me, as much as I wish that weren't the case. It is. So, I have pulled it together, and decided to go back to school - nursing school. In just over three weeks from now, I will start my first semester back to school in over a decade. Wow. I will be taking entry level generals, with predominately 17 and 18 year olds. Talk about feeling aged. But it's okay, because I know this is what I'm supposed to do with my life - for me, for my children.

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