I never get the sense of my advancing age, that is until a child becomes inquisitive about a hard-earned wrinkle or the ever-increasing grey in my beard. I think being fit is at the root of my ambivalence toward father time and his ravages. While one’s physical prowess, tempered by decades of persistent hard work in gyms and boxing rings, bears no sign of diminishing; the undeniable evidence of years spent navigating the rocky roads of life and love stare unavoidably back at me in the mirror each morning.
But a face, I have found, can be an unreliable source for the truth. Reliably unreliable in fact. I have concluded that youth is not something that should be measured in years, or wrinkles, or grey hair, as only a mind can decide if it’s old, or young. And so my unquenchable thirst for adventure, knowledge, love, life and passion run unapologetically unchecked.
And then I reconnected with some old friends named Ric and Bridgette. We had been close at one time when I was a fitness industry writer and photographer and Bridgette was a fitness superstar. She was also a mother then of four small daughters, just as she is now but the daughters have changed. They are women now, brilliant and vibrant and beautiful, every last one of them.
And so it was that young Tiffany, now 25 years old and no longer a toddler, ended up in my studio for a photoshoot. As I studied her eyes and recognized a depth in them that only a woman can know, I realized she had grown from a little girl into a woman. Those precious childhood moments long ago had blossomed into years. Suddenly I felt the weight of every decade I have spent on this earth.
And there we were, me with camera in hand and ready to capture her essence and beauty, and her in makeup, fine lace, and heels in the prime of womanhood, so strong and alluring. For a moment I wanted to bundle her up in a blanket, call her father, and beg his forgiveness.
But it was her that shone a kinder and more reasonable light on the moment. She wanted to model and she was a woman now, no longer a child. Who better to create those memories with than a trusted friend, someone safe that would respect her and watch over her. Who better than me. The next few hours were wonderful, filled with laughter, creativity, and a new kind of friendship was formed with me and Tiffany. It is a grown-up one and even better than the one we had before.
And so at sixty, I gained wisdom from a young woman of twenty-five. She taught me that children grow up and become adults. That art is art no matter how old you are when you create it. And that when you are kind to children they grow up to be adults that never forget how you treated them.
Thank you Tiffany.
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