I am not. I will turn in 50 in approximately . . . 15 months.
Yep, 50. Demi Moore and I are turning 50.
Except Demi has a personal trainer, a facialist, a butt firmer, a wrinkle remover, and an arsenal of torture tools to remove unsightly cellulite and lipo-osities.
The young don't consider that age cannot be stopped, that old people are merely young people who've been on the planet just a wee bit longer. But they're too busy having fun with other young people to consider it's not our fault we're aging.
I don't know why this little thought process has been so crucial the last few months, but I think it has to do with . . . turning 50.
[Please, please, please, by the way, don't post a comment saying "Oh, Marty, you're not old!" I am not writing this poem for reassurances or to be told I'm looking just fine. That is not, is not, the point of this post].
I feel like I can still run as fast, hike as far, carry as heavy a pack, play lava monster at the playground as well as I could've at age 20, but some weird-ass shit is happening to me and my body, my horse, my hound.
And something else: my metabolism is slowing down; I can't eat six helpings of pasta anymore without gaining an ounce. No shit!
Anyway, enough about me. The whole point of this post is actually to share a couple of sonnets I came across this past week, both about women turning 50. They both made me sit up and notice, so I thought I'd share:
The Romance of Middle Age
Now that I'm fifty, let me take my showers
at night, no light, eyes closed. And let me swim
in cover-ups. My skin's tattooed with hours
and days and decades, head to foot, and slim
is just a faded photograph. It's strange
how people look away who once would look.
I didn't know I'd undergo this change
and be the unseen cover of a book
whose plot, though swift, just keeps getting thicker.
One reaches for the pleasures of the mind
and heart to counteract the loss of quicker
knowledge. One feels old urgencies unwind,
although I still pluck chin hairs with a tweezer,
in case I might attract another geezer.
But I love this poor earth,
because I have not seen another . . .
Between five and fifty
most people construct a little lifetime:
they fall in love, make kids, they suffer
and pitch the usual tents of understanding.
But I have built a few unexpected bridges.
Out of inert stone, with its longing to embrace intert stone,
I have sent a few vaults into stainless air.
Is this enough--when I love our poor sister earth?
Sister earth, I kneel and ask pardon.
A clod of turf is not less than inert stone.
Nothing is enough!
In this field set free for our play
who could have foretold
I would love to write at fifty?
Gawd, I love these both. The former appears in the Winter 2009 issue of Rattle, as part of the Tribute to the Sonnet; the latter in The Penguin Book of the Sonnet: 500 Years of a Classic Tradition in English (Phillis Levin, ed.). I just had to laugh at the tweezer/geezer couplet. But I'm not about to start showering in the dark. Fahget about it!