I touched on this in my original post for Week 43 of the Challenge, which was to be a portait of the elderly. Most people when we were young thought that the elderly were decrepit, didn’t we. They had canes and hunchbacks; old women had no teeth and whispy buns, and wore aprons, old men had no teeth, and whispy hair and droopy trousers held up by suspender to just below their armpits.
My mother would have a few words to say about that.
As would the dear friend who featured in the cover photo for that challenge: Elderly?
They are a new type of elder; they’ve lived with very different options to their grandparents, the generation we saw in movies and tv as elderly. Elderly is a state of mind, many have realised. Certainly, the elders in my circle embody that.
While we were at Trelissick House, in the room just before the conservatory where I shot this week’s challenge photo, were two groups in chairs before the vast windows of the morning room. They have what look like charts and appear to be learning more about cartography.
This is a dear friend of mine. In his 80s, things aren’t working the way they used to, but he’s still game for a trip over the pond to explore.
And these two, cousins who are about the same age. They didn’t meet until a few years ago, when he visited Canada from over the pond. Now, they see each other about once a year when she comes over to see me.
There is nothing elderly about the elders of today, which is a wonderful thing. The elders in my life, all through my life, have lived and explored, have grabbed life instead of sitting to watch it pass. Having seen this and having recognised it as a better way of living, I hope to be like them when I grow up.