Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Time Bomb

Charles Simic, poet and genius, wrote a piece on aging for the New York Review of Books called "Looking It in the Face". Until days before his 50th birthday, he'd forgotten to feel old; or rather, the notion hadn't ever occurred to him. It's strange, because just last night I was thinking about time--how heavy and important it is, how monumental because it is so fleeting. 

"I go and squint at my face in the bathroom mirror and don’t like what I see," he says of waking at four o'clock in the morning after hours of tumultuous near-sleep. How strange not to recognize oneself in the mirror, to feel so different than the vessel we inhabit. But when does the inevitable morph into the actual? At the sight of the first pronounced wrinkle, jowl, or gray hair? Or does it happen so gradually that quick glances can't register the enormity of our mortality? I imagine it's the latter. The last time I saw my mother ride a bicycle, her helmet sliding over her small forehead and at an angle, I laughed.
                                      "You look like a child," I said.
                                      "We all are," she answered.

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