Thursday, May 24, 2007

...Si vieillesse pouvait

One of the things I was thinking about when I posted that bunch of photo self-portraits a couple weeks ago is an idea I sometimes ponder:
No matter how old I think I'm getting, some day I will look at these photos and perhaps be amazed that that was me.

To put it more directly: on any given day, I generally think we obviously look younger (I wanted to say "better", but who knows if that's really true) than we will ever again in the future—or at least several years hence. That's not about being youth fixated... it's about it being in our nature to not realize how great things are now, and the fact that someday we may be longing for where we are this very minute.


Huntington said...

I understand what you're saying and don't disagree, but the converse is that we also may look back at photos of our younger selves and think "Jeezus...I may have been smiling prettily for the camera, but I was so messed up at that point in my life" and be thankful to be right where we are.

I have already done this.

Junk Thief said...

I agree that at least our physical well being is only going to go nowhere but south with the addition of years, but sometimes people do wake up along the journey to stop behavior that will make that aging process happen faster than it should.

However, it's hard to have a real perspective on the past through the haze of nostalgia. Priorities change, and not everyone is at the same point in life at 30, 40, 50, 60, or whatever. Cavafy's poem "Candles" always comes to mind on this topic, but there are some moments of my youth that I would never want to revisit.

The Angry Young Man said...

I guess I'm lucky. The older I get, the more consistently better looking I become. I have a terrible baby picture stashed away in the attic...

copperred said...

Everyone looks older at work, unless they love where they work and live somewhere really humid all year 'round. Otherwise Huntington has it right.

I refuse to look at myself in pictures, which makes that whole online ad thing very difficult.

Salty Miss Jill said...

I hate to sound vain (belive me, I am not), but I like the way I look now more than I did when I was in my 20's.
And you, Kusula, are one handsome man yourself!