Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Color Purple or DIY: Surving the Animal Farm

Stop me  if you think that you've heard these words before...(Oh, right.  Already did that post?Well, alright then. Moving on.)  Don't know where exactly these thoughts are coming from tonight, except for the fact that the drive to work gives me lots of time to think, although what I think isn't always very rational.  Actually, I do know where tonight's thoughts came from- a discussion about tweeting..er, twitting.  Whatever the appropriate verbiage, tonight I had a conversation with friends about changing technology, and realized that I while I have always talked about "when I was a kid", that my era really is changing and I wondered whether I had the capability of keeping up.  I won't say I'm old, (unless it gives me an advantage in an argument) , but neither have I really thought about my future much because I've never seen myself as aging- not from the vanity of youth, but from just not being able to picture myself that far in the future. I don't want to sound despairing, but I don't know that I've ever been sure I would make it that far.  The arrogance of youth is to believe that we are unchanging, or failing that, that everyone else is changing for the worse, growing old and senile, no longer capable of innovation in spirit or thought.  But doesn't anyone remember that growing old is a luxury?  That once upon a time, old was living to be my age (if you know don't tell!) and not much beyond. In animal terms, I would be the stringy, cantankerous tusked female boar of the herd ( do female boars have tusks? Nevermind- just go with the analogy.)- wily, cunning, (okay- just plain too stubborn) enough not to die.  I don't know what continuing lessons growing older will teach me- I'm imagine it will teach me patience as I can't move as fast as I once did even now- (who knew I would look back on my twenties with such nostalgia ?) both physically and often I feel, mentally- but then again, I was never really the sharpest knife in the drawer.    And life itself is cutting itself into my face- those crows feet are growing longer every year-( it's like those carrion birds are having a Dance-Dance Revolution party on my face while I'm asleep every night.) But every wrinkle and scar is mine, and every laugh line too (need more of those actually.) And I'll wear them honestly, and pray that they keep on coming because after all, the alternative is worse.  And besides, they make good accessories for that purple dress I'm saving to wear when I get old...just because.

Warning:When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple

                 When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

*I'm all for practicing now- any one want to join me? 

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