WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled 10
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
— William Butler Yeats. b. 1865
i adore this poem. i dream of sharing my life with someone who would think this way, and be expressive about it. what reminded me of it? milestone birthdays — a dear pal turning 60, another turning 40. round numbers tend to spark reflection, do they not?
i ran into a guy i went to high school with last weekend. we were both waiting for our dates to arrive at a cute wine bar in chelsea. he was different from how i remembered him. in high school he was all macho and aggressive. 18 years later he was sweet, slightly shy (but not too shy) and humble. and as we got to talking i was thinking: “wow — he’s really blossomed. handsome, successful, sensitive and kind.” he mentioned “how OLD we are,” but i don’t feel old. i feel like i’m a kid who’s just getting started. it’s good be a late bloomer. perhaps it’s just my youthful idealism and pilgrim soul talking, but i’m excited to “get old.” it means you get to live.
check out this hilariously touching flickr gallery i stumbled upon:
“What happens to people when they get old?”