What is old? I read the words of some young person implying that 40 is too old to be beautiful. I hear someone say that 50 is too old to be relevant. We’re too old to be considered cool, too old to listen to that music. Too old. What is old? When you’re 20 and life is this great expanse ahead of you, maybe 40 does sound old and decrepit. But some day that 20 year old is going to be 40 and they’ll wonder why a 20 year old doesn’t see them as beautiful. Some day that 20 year old will be 50 and will laugh at the idea that 50 is old and start thinking that maybe, just maybe, 80 is old.
Sure, we’re world worn at 40 or 50. We’ve been there, done that, have the mortgage to prove it. But we are not past our prime. We are beautiful, we are attractive, we are vibrant and we are listening to punk rock and watching the same tv shows as you. We relate to the same things because hey, we were 20 once. We’re not too old to forget what that was like We’re not that removed from our youth that we still don’t connect to the culture of it in meaningful ways. We’re not, for the most part, sitting on our porches in elastic waistband pants and knitted sweaters, yelling at kids to get off our lawn as we wait for it to be early bird special time. You have us confused with someone else.
You scoff at the idea of us using the technology you’re so dependent on but we invented that technology. We were there for its infancy. Yes, we understand the internet. We know how to text and tweet and blog and use our smartphones. All your “my parents using technology” jokes are funny and all that but while you’re making us the butt of your jokes take a minute to think about the age of the technology gurus you hold in high regard.
We are 40. We are 50. We are not ready to be put out to pasture yet. We are not obsolete. We are still taking names and kicking ass. We’re writing the things you read, making the music you listen to, starring in the movies you watch, creating the apps you use, writing the code you never even think about but are dependent on.
We’re not too old to be or do anything. We’re not too old to be beautiful. We’re not too old to be relevant. What we are is old enough to tell you to simmer down, child. You may be 20 but with a little luck and good fortune you’ll make it 40 or 50 and be half as cool as we are. And then it will be your turn to tell some 20 year olds to stop telling you you’re too old.
Life is cyclical. Enjoy your part of the cycle. Don’t worry about ours. We got this.
I got tired of seeing all his toys strewn across the living room so I piled them all into his pink mesh love shack and he is simply NOT HAVING IT.
Independent filmmaker Rick Mereki traveled over 38,000 miles to 11 different countries to create this simple one minute video.
Sound like overkill? Watch and be amazed.
Meanwhile, back on the home front, Buckley gets high. (See that little pile of catnip?)
Then enters a zen state and stares at his cat’s meow toy for an hour.
He likes to hold hands while cuddling, too.
This is Little Sir Henry Shackleton.
Since moving to California, we have had several cats appear on our doorstep, and have taken in/found a home for each one. But when I try to impress upon people how deeply you can connect with an animal, it is always stories of Henry that I turn to.
Even as a stray he always made it a point to sit on my lap for a cuddle before eating, which is still our routine today. My friend called him my “gentleman caller.” Once we brought him into the house he made it his own, constantly patrolling it and keeping an eye on us (baths are especially worrying). He kills our mice and rats, and lets us know when something’s moving outside. He watches us leave each morning, and he’s waiting on the window sill every night.
Soon after we took him in, I started writing again, the first time in several years; I have since written a dozen short stories and two novels (and even had a few things published), and Henry has been sleeping on my lap or at my feet for every single word.
He likes to hold your hand while cuddling.
His eye wound is permanent, as are the scars and nerve damage on that side of his face; when we first started taking care of him his ears were still scabbed from burning, his fur filthy, and he had more insect life on him than I want to remember. He has about half his teeth. Some months after he came indoors we also discovered that he has focal seizures. Yet he continues to be happy, content, and utterly loving.
He did not make a sound, other than purring, for 6 months; the first time he oh-so-tentatively meowed both my husband and I got teary-eyed. Since then he has developed a whole range of soft little meows, chirps, and a lovely contented sigh that escapes him on warm sunny days in the backyard.
Since joining our family, he has been a good parent to two foster kittens, and endured the arrival of a younger male cat. Through Henry, Leggy has learned that treats are safe to eat, the vacuum is something to fight not flee, and a welcoming lap bathed in sunshine is the best thing ever.
He sometimes sits at our bedroom window at sunrise and just purrs, while the light slowly fills his face.
He is a part of our family, and we are better people for having him in our lives.
crying real tears.
The sweetest thing. Happy Valentine’s day, everyone. My seconds of silence went to my dad, who left us on this day. Still looking out for that little bird, Dad.
When I was a little kid in Vietnam, I used to ride the ferry boat from the city down to my grandma’s house in a village called Song Doc. To this day, I can still remember standing at the bow of the boat thinking that the world ended where the horizon met the sky. Now every year, I pick a place from which I have never seen the horizon, and that’s where my cow suit and I go.
Song Doc, Vietnam
Remember my friends who went to North Korea? And that beautiful photo they took of the cow stare-off in the Badlands? They have a tumblr now if you want to follow along on their travels. I just heard today they are going back to Vietnam.