On the Beauty of Aging

I’ve never understood
the glamorization of youth,
the glorification of
the unfinished brain,
When every year
stretches itself out,
longer than a decade feels
just a decade or two later.
I’ve never understood
the nostalgia for
not knowing how
your life will turn out,
In those most precarious times,
when just about everything
teeters on going horribly wrong.
I can’t contend with a yearning
for an era when
“the rest of one’s life”
was so long,
it was beyond comprehension.
People question and wonder
and struggle to understand
why so many find
it hard to be young.
And I just think:
Their memories have faded.
They’ve rewritten the past
based on knowledge
of the present.
They’ve forgotten that eternal life
(or the illusion of such)
is always a curse.
I don’t understand why
people dread the certainty
of age.
The milestones already achieved.
The hardest part done.
The future a fathomable
and manageable one.
I find aging beautiful and
never really look behind me
except to appreciate
just how much
I’ve already accomplished
along the way.
I can’t imagine
wanting to start
the story over
from scratch,
unsure of where
the plot is even going.
Maybe people glamorize youth
because it is over,
and the memories they revisit
have been cleaned up
in post-production. •

© Tabetha Bernstein-Danis 2022