Saturday, January 30, 2016

Flowers in a Pasta Jar

"Why don't you take a bunch of pictures while I'm doing my yoga," I said to Scott, who was splayed out on the couch after we'd eaten a birthday supper of takeout Greek ribs. "If I'm lucky, there'll be one I can post on the blog and say 'This is what 57 looks like.' "

He obliged me and took six or eight shots in the dimly lit room. I was doing the spinal twist. I set the phone to speaker when Emil called, and it stood on the coffee table in front of me. Balancing on one foot first and then the other, I did the eagle, the thumb of my curled palm touching the tip of my nose as I kept my eyes on the yardlight outside. My yoga routine lasts about 20 minutes. It's a series of my favourite postures, which I've chosen from all the possibilities for specific areas and organs — for optimum health.

The next morning I deleted the photographs. I like my physical self; it does a great job of making my life comfortable and I appreciate it. I feel good most of the time, and I don't even mind what I see in the mirror most days, if I don't look too closely or for too long at the face I barely recognize; it has changed so much in the last 15 years. I am what I am, and one can't get to 90 and still look 30. But in pictures? Not one bit. Me in pictures is a shock almost every time, and slightly horrifying.

One might assume it's a dislike of my aging face, but it's more true that I have never liked current photographs of myself. They've rarely if ever seemed to look like me, like the way I feel, like true representations. I sure as hell don't look as gorgeous as I feel. Hee! There are very few I've kept over the years.

"I didn't know where you keep the vases," he said when I came in the door.
There won't be one decent head shot to print with my obituary.  I'd prefer there was no obituary, now that I think about it, just like I'd prefer no funeral service and would rather Scott have friends over for a shot of whisky one afternoon instead. Will anyone respect these wishes? She's gone, they'll say; the funeral is for those left behind; the ritual helps them somehow. The obituary is for friends, acquaintances and the merely curious who love the life stories of other people. I'm one of those; biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and obituaries make the best reading.

I could always re-title this entry as "She Rambles On."