Monday, July 20, 2009

Senior Enough for a Senior Center?

[photo: not me but I wouldn't mind looking like this woman]
As a matter of ego -- of self=definition, is one a senior citizen because one takes advaage of offerings at a Senior Center? A large and active senior center is about a mile away. They screen relatively new movies, free of charge with a note in their program saying, "walks-ins encouraged". I have gone to three movies there Twice Rachel accompanied me. Although the sound is sort of fuzzy an the projection onto a not very large screen is kind of muddy, it's definitely bargain and an opportunity to see movies I didn't get to a year or so ago.

The audience is in the 65 to 85 range. I certainly don't feel out of place with white hair and facial sags and thicker than I'd like middle. But I also don't know whether to identify with these people or not. Purely ego! And all ego definitions are illusions -- that' a Buddhist believe that becomes more and more appealing.

Paint Alice Neel who mostly did portraits did this self-portrait when she was in her 80s. I admire her skill her honesty and her daring. If Gloria Steiem could declare, "This is what 50 looks like," Neel showed in no uncertain germs what 80+ looks like.

Today's movie was Bonneville, a road trip flick with three great 50-ish women, Joan Allen, Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates. Jessica and Joan look fantastic, slim and beautiful and blond defying their age as actresses do. Kathy is perhaps the youngest of the group but plump and never truly pretty -- just a wonderful actress who is not afraid to be the Everywoman she is, never quite forsaking her Kentucky origins in pronunciation or mannerism. It was a slight movie with a very slight message. No senior citizens there! I suppose we are able to idenify with these women who could pass for 35 because most of us let our egos get stuck at about that age. We may look senior citizen but we don't feel senior citizn, in more cases -- we eel 35 except when the arthritis acts up.

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