Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Just let me be old. I merged into it. It's fine.


This photo is us back in Oregon farm, I was maybe 50 I think. Recently, I realized that I have been slipping my age into certain conversations, such as, "Well you know since I turned 65..." and I realized I am growing into that new identity. I am no longer young [do not call me young, as I am not, I am older now] and I simply want to be what I am, older. I just want to be 65, naturally. Why do we post old photos? I think it is two fold-to show ourselves where we are now and try to merge with what we see in a mirror versus a photo from what seems like yesterday, but also to kind of wave to the younger set "Hi, it's old me, I was you once, I'm fine here though but I was once a young something."
I read where the beautiful actress Addie McDowell was critiqued for not dying her beautiful silver hair because it made her look older [she is stunning] and she said, 
"I do think there is the importance of seeing beauty at every age and it's not limited to a certain age," said MacDowell, adding, "Every once in a while, I'll say to someone, 'I'm old,' and they'll say, 'No, you're not!' Like it's some horrible thing to say." MacDowell continued, "And I'll say to them, 'But what if I say I'm young? Don't have a problem with that, do you?' The truth of the matter is, I'm old and that's OK. That's what I really want people to think about. We're towards the end," she explained. "We have no time to waste feeling shame."
Nor do I have time to try to look young. Think about it, why should I try to "look" young. I'm old. When I was 20 nobody tried to make me look older, why do we create products called anti aging. Why is anti? We are evolving bodies. Do we tell the little sapling in the yard, 'Please don't ever get old".
At some point in this whole aging thing I thought, I'm not ashamed of my aging, but I have to keep it to myself, I don't have to declare my age-because if I do people will start watching...is she still okay working with those animals? Oh, she fell, she said, is it getting to be too much? I wondered, maybe people won't donate to the non profit because they wonder how long I can do this.
Then I came to my senses. It took a bit of merging into the entire age of 65 though.
I am not young, but I'm living as I am until I won't be alive. I'm actively living, which means I'm aging. I am not young. I am no longer pretty but I'm not ugly, I'm just like the old animals, I am what I am. I shine really brightly, so much so that that is why I'm looking older now-it takes energy to shine. A flower shines and shines but it can't be the same flower as when it bloomed.
"You can't do everything forever," said Bob Dylan. 
And I'm smarter about many things-like what I will and won't tolerate, what I just don't care about and what I do care about. I don't tolerate drama queens or kings, grifters or phonies. Gotta use my energy for my healing, my animals and my art. Most of the time, I know what I am supposed to be doing and I do it.