No wonder we like to come home to this winter wonderland (or autumnal glory, or spring/summertime grove) each week. I do love this place. Even in the forbidding depths of winter, it’s lovely and cosy.
Sent from my iPod, so please pardon any typos!
I had a thought today about the power that youth as a concept has over our culture. Time was, it was the older folk who had the power and were looked up to. Now, even the older, more powerful seem to worship and pursue youth–and while some of them might always have done so, I think it’s a sensibility that really pervades our culture. It’s hard to escape, really.
It occurred to me that the reason for this worship might point to more than just marketing and an accelerated culture that youth are generally more adapted to internalize and use–though both these factors certainly help. But I also wondered whether our worship of youth also has to do with the changing structure of our society. In the past, we all had roles, based on class and on parentage–indeed, for much of our history, those class boundaries were fixed and our trades were determined by the family into which we were born.
Now, it’s different, at least in the West. We’re told we can do anything we want–be anyone we want to be. It’s vast choice. And as we get older, we begin to second guess our choices–but when we change tracks, we have less time to grow into our new careers. It is only the young who have the unlimited potential, with no doors yet closed. I suspect part of what we worship, then, is actually that potential. All doors are open, and sometimes that in itself presents a conflict–how is one to choose?–but the choice is there. You get older, fail a little, or fail to succeed as spectacularly as you had dreamed. Maybe you decide to change tracks. And there are the young folk, for whom this is a first career. And while you (by which I mean I) don’t regret past choices, you (by which I mean I) do sort of wish for that blank slate.
I don’t actually worship youth. I am reconciled to bidding my unlined face goodbye. I am glad of the life I’ve lived, the losses I’ve suffered and the joys I’ve been blessed with. But I can see how this memory of that potential, of that vast array of choices, can seem compelling when we’ve made our choices and they haven’t turned out to be quite what we hoped. Similarly, I can see how that would add a further sheen to our cultural worship of youth.
And in celebration of my ageing self–and the fact that it was the contemplation of that youth, slipping away slowly but surely, I’ll illustrate this post with a pic of me from last night, at a gig we went to in TO.
Heading home late tonight from trial advocacy–too late for the express bus. So, it is back to the 501 streetcar again. It feels almost legendary now that I don’t have to take it regularly anymore. And it has been very decorous today–it was more or less on time, not overfilled, and no totally flamboyant personalities. The worst we had was an artsy gal who was talking about struggling to create work that was more “for the public” and not so much for… Didn’t hear. The elite, perhaps? The true visionaries and artists? Sometimes, some forms of art feel a little “Emperor’s New Clothes” to me, I have to admit. No-one wants to admit that the emperor is naked.
At any rate, she was on her phone. She also spoke a bit of Italian because she was taking a course. Alas, her accent made it difficult at first to realize she was speaking Italian, which is normally easy to recognize and to understand a little, too.
Soo sleepy, suddenly. The streetcar must be lulling me to with its old, familiar rhythms. Heh.
On Key West, we took a stroll down to the southernmost point of the US. Apparently, there was a long line for photos, but I didn’t realize this until after I’d snapped these shots… That’s why that other woman is in the shot, it turned out–it was actually their rightful turn to snap the shots. We usurped that. I felt bad, but it *did* end up saving some time.
This is a pic of the ship that we call “home”–at least for the next few days… It isn’t as big as the ones we’ve been on with Princess, but it is plenty spacious and very lovely and art deco inside. Most elegant indeed!
Alas, the shot doesn’t fully encompass its true splendour and grandeur, but I’m sure you get the idea.