At the Denver Zoo, I become amazed with the number of animals who give prestige and power to other animals based on how much skin sags on their bodies. I’m serious. In a herd, the animal with the saggiest chin (dewlap) has the most power and prestige.
And another thing: Animals regularly make themselves look larger in this zoo. It’s best to be wrinkly, big, and old. It’s beautiful, powerful, and important.
The other day, I notice the thin little wrinkles that have formed around my mouth. I’m noticing all the sagging on my body and how nothing stays in its place. I notice my own hands as I type–leathery and sketched with crossing patterns in skin that’s getting old. I notice that it’s harder and harder to have a waist when you age.
But, oh, where these hands have been! Oh, the great conversations I’ve had with this very mouth! Oh, the places this body has taken me! I want these marks and sags to signify the beauty and prestige that they should.
I like the zoo. I like communities where old means beautiful. I want to foster that cultural shift in my own community.
Journal: How can I see signs of aging as beauty, power, and importance?