Aren’t these beautiful people? Isn’t it lovely to have models that are not in their teens or twenties? Or even thirties or forties? Aren’t they sexy?
Being mid fifties myself, I wanted this image to reflect the passion and tenderness of a couple in their 50s. The fifties. When you like a teenager, not one thing or another, not young or old but in the place where things, bodies, ideas, and values are changing.
The fifties, an age where sexuality and love have different meanings, different entanglements, and different responsibilities. We’ve lost by this point – more than a few ideals, some vitality, some abilities, and some innocence. We’ve lost people we love by choice or by death.
But what we’ve gained. We are learning to really love – our lives, our bodies, and connections to each other. The wrinkles and cellulite can’t overshadow what we gain from a loving life.
A week ago, I was talking on the phone with a friend about his phrase, “right now.” I got a tad cranky and flustered thinking, “right now, what’s this right now shit? Are you crossing out the future?”
With uncharacteristic tact, I gently probed. He was talking about staying in the present as a way he didn’t get ahead of himself; overwhelm the potential of a situation. Well that made sense.
Last weekend, I was talking to a girlfriend and bemoaning our physical changes. We laughed acknowledging our insight. Finally we were learning patience, just as we were moving closer to the endpoint of our lives than to the beginning. Life is full of ironies – they smack you in the face screaming, “Wake up.”
Last year, I thought that I had made peace with the idea that my love life was probably finished. Seeing an image like this one reminds me of everything I have to give to a lover – bound up in my wrinkled, dissembling, and experienced self. Looking at their joyous lust, I see their compassion for each other and themselves. At last.
So I am waking up with an urge to create the tender love, compassion, and lust of this image. A big thanks to the models for reminding me of this value.
(Image is from a collaboration of stories and photographs with Andre Giovina titled “69 Scheimpflug Street”)