Everyone talks about time flying faster and faster as we get older. It's a cliche because it's true. I just realized its the midpoint of 2014 for the simple reason that my calendar tells me so. I use a calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a different photograph of one of it's fine pieces of art each day -- well, actually six days a week, as Saturday and Sunday are a combined page. Actually, since I'm trying to be entirely honest and clear, these are not pages but individual sort of cards with a photograph on each side. I've just finished side A, as it were, and a card said, "time to turn your calendar pages over." The masterpiece for tomorrow is a Rembrandt self-portait-- much like the one here which is in broken pixels because it was tiny and I enlarged it. But you know what his self-portraits look like.
It's nice to have a changing art exhibit on the table when I'm having quiet meals. I've been using the calendars four or five years. They repeat themselves to an extent but the Met has so many non-painting artifacts that they'll never entirely run out of things to show on a page.
So another year is half over. Now that I'm in my mid-70s I am very aware that I never thought at all about reaching this age. Both my mother and her mother were about the age I am now when they died. To me they were OLD, very, very old. I say to myself, they were much, much older than I am at the same age. That is not purely self-deception. Mary Katherine Bateson wrote an excellent essay about the way modern medicine and lifestyle in our counrty has given many of us twenty "bonus years." I believe that is true ... clearly not for everyone, of course. But I feel I may well have another twenty years, so the marking of another half year gone does not fill me with dread. But it is worth paying attention to. I think it's healthy to keep tabs on were we seem to be in the process of one's life. The picture of Rembrandt probably shows a man in his later 50s. I will study it and think of all he had accomplished when he painted this self-portrait and I will look again, as I did a few minutes ago at the group of his self-portraits.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!