Over 30 years since we have seen each other, we have been sending old photos back and forth along with some new ones. The old ones make us laugh, make us ponder who we believed we were then and who we now believe we were, seeing backwards with older and wiser eyes and hearts.
I said something rueful about not being as lithe and leggy these days; he wrote back, referring to my "vanity." Teasing, I'm sure but it stung for a moment. Who wants to think of oneself as vain?
I'm still not convinced I am. Isn't vanity the province of those who thinks too highly of themselves? That has certainly never been one of my challenges; in fact, quite the opposite. I never think I'm good enough! Even when, looking backwards, I can see that I was.
Anyway, it got me thinking about body image and age and wisdom and the irony of the old saying about youth being lost on the young.
The Church says: The body is a sin.
Science says: The body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The body says: I am a fiesta.
And, "Dancers" by Fernando Botero, from a street in Minneapolis.
All in all, that old friend my body has been pretty good to me (although like most my age we have spent a few anxious hours in the break-down lane waiting for the tow truck). I can still walk ten miles and wake up and walk again the next day. I can plant a mean garden with only minor complaints from my back. And, after two surgeries I still have vision in both my eyes, my feet remember how to dance, and I can still hit a whiffle ball out of the ballpark to the appreciative audience of my young grandsons.
That's a fiesta in my book!