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The Ageing Process

I’m pretty old, 64 if you care to know. I feel good about my getting older even though there are the usual hints of decrepitude. Nothing serious, just the beginning of aches, pains, problems with the teeth, with the hearing ability, with the vision, the memory. I take it all as part of the parcel of a relatively longish life, as the natural wear and tear.

Here in Mallorca, I like to look at the faces of my Mallorcan neighbours. Many of them are old, older than me, some of them much older. I think I may have stated before that it is my impression that Mallorcan country folk seem to live to a ripe old age. Yesterday, a man died, age 90. Some make it to 95, even 100. I wish I could take – and publish – some of their portraits but I am too reserved, too shy really to ask their permission. And I don’t want to catch them unawares with a long tele-lense and intrude on their dignity. One day, perhaps, I’ll find the courage to ask their permission, if they are still around by then.

In the meantime, I offer you a portrait so to speak of something old that you can also find here on the island: old trees. There are not many things in the world that I would consider as beautiful as the gnarled, knobby and twisted trunks or branches of an old oak tree, an ancient fig tree (see photo) or an olive tree of yore.

I like black and white photography a lot. Sadly, with the onset of digital photography, the B&W shooting process has gone out of reach. B&W is now done in-camera and in pixellated processing, or in Photoshop. I don’t like computer manipulation or retouching but, there is always an exception to the rule. Here is my first ever digital B&W rendering of an originally colour photograph, just for the fun of it.

Don’t forget: the Kings are coming tonight in a town plaça near you, or your local parish church. Enjoy.

The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 1st, 2012. The time was 14:35:58. The image was manipulated in Lightroom. The camera was a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

4 replies »

  1. No, 64 isn’t old. Anyway, like a car, it’s not the number of years that counts, it’s the mileage, ie. where you’ve been and what you’ve achieved in your life.

    Keep on trucking!!

  2. Interesting and introspective look at age! I have to agree with Phil – 64 is not old, it is hopefully wise, experienced in many great life lessons, adventures and experiences in general, and more confident to do what one wants than when, say one was 20! In 2011, my great aunts and uncles celebrated birthdays from 92 – 100 years of age. They would say that 64 is young! I guess it is all in the perspective!
    As for the photo – love it! I agree that B&W is no longer the same. I remember spending hours in the dark room, playing with the light, dodge and burning to get the image I was after! I must say – some of my favourite B&W subjects were “older” – love the textures of wrinkles on faces in B&W. Also love the texture of trees and bark – somehow B&W lends itself so well to these subjects.

  3. we must trust time as it does the thing it never ceases to do i.e. move on and force us to unburden ourselves from the heavy things to which we were conditioned and which kept us distanced from the quintessence of life.
    there’s beauty in that movement in that process when life undoes the ties with what is ephemeral to weave them firmly around what is eternal. it takes a simple glance at nature to learn a lesson: better than the philosopher’s stone, age transforms carbon into diamond.
    ageing is the elixir of life.

    • cher april shower,
      where do you hail from – the land of wisdom? your words are much appreciated.
      i do trust time as much as i do nature.
      is it you who once spoke of coming to mallorca to study? perhaps we can meet for a coffee (or tea) some time.
      would be interesting to know more about the quintessence of life.
      klaus from germany, blogging from mallorca

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