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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Two Ages of a man
( I don't know how it is for women...)

Who opted for
the age I am -
my inner age,
the age I've 
always been?

Who decided at my birth:
This child is forty?
Did someone rubber stamp it?
did it go by 
on the nod?
or was there consultation?
Was there crap!
(Well yes, 
there was a lot 
of that,I'm told!)
I'm asking:
did anyone ask me?

When my
accruing(outer) age
reached forty
I realised 
that I was feeling 
forty...
Furthermore,
that I had always 
felt that way.
And now
I have done ever since.

The ageing 
of the body
changes nothing...
but the body -
and a few concomitants.

Within the flesh
the rubber stamp
holds true.

12 comments:

Mary said...

At a certain age I too stopped feeling / thinking about my age. 40 works for me. And at a certain age my 'peers' became people of all ages, not only people close to my own age. I'd much rather think of my 'stamped' age than my physical age.

Brian Miller said...

ha...i wonder next year when i hit forty if maybe i will realize similar....which might be quite a shock as i feel sixteen....ok, maybe not....but thirty, maybe...smiles...

fun look at aging sir...and you must be a mind reader as to our topic on saturday...

kaykuala said...

Don't ask a woman her age, so we've been told! But not so in blogosphere where it is openly declared and discussed. Nice feelings of frankness, Dave!

Hank

A Cuban In London said...

Well, as chance would have it I'm forty now, almost forty-one and I shall follow your poem's advice. I shall remain forty forever! :-)

Greetings from London.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

The rubber stamp within the flesh is a superb image, powerful.

The Elephant's Child said...

My rubber stamp changes with the seasons and with circumstances. Which I think I like. I get the best (and also the worst) of all worlds.

haricot said...

I love the idea of inner age. And I think people can keep their inner age as far as they(we?)are objective for themselves.

Dave King said...

Mary
I find this whole area fascinating. Thanks for your observations.

Brian
If you feel 16, that's it.! You'll always be 16!

Hank
Yes, strange that. No? Thanks.

A Cuban in London
Good on yer! Man after my ownheart!

Tommaso
Thanks for the thought.

The Elephant's Child
Sounds like a very rubbery stamp to me!

Haricot
Totally agree!

Jim Murdoch said...

I have been waiting for my 'forty' but it never arrived at forty. I think that's probably because my 'forty' is 'sixty'. I have always looked (and acted) older than I am. When I was thirteen I used to get asked to pay full fare when my friend (who had left school) got on for half fare. When I was twenty someone asked if my wife (who was six months older than me) was my daughter. And so it has gone on. The last person I talked to about it was a girl I was working with—a temp job I did before calling it a day—who said I reminded her of her uncle who had retired but still did the odd bit of temp work. I wasn't even fifty at the time. It doesn't matter what age I've been I've never felt that age. Carrie is sixty-five now and I feel every bit as old as she is.

manicddaily said...

Ah - now I don't know if I am understanding you correctly though I think that I am - there are some children that are just mature - in almost a middle=aged sense - as you say and of course, some who are endlessly childish (even as they mature) and the childish part can be involved with wonder, but often just with - you know, childishness - a certain compulsiveness - and these things are definitely a part of character - my father=in-law 101 now once of those like you say you were - born at 40 and has stayed 40 - a young, playful 40, but always with that kind of middle-agedness- settledness about him I think.

You put it very well here - what God decided that - I tend to think it is the God of DNA though there may be other factors- who knows what happens in mother's womb and then (my goodness) when one emerges! k.

Dave King said...

Jim
Much thanks for this. Yes, that seems a typical enough account of the way it often goes. The point, though, was not that I achieved 40 at the age of 4o, but that I'd always been 40 - and still am. They say you are happiest when your inner age and actual age coincide. (I think that was probably true for me.)

Dave King said...

manicddaily
As I understand it, the inner age is more a feeling than a degree of maturity. The person with an inner age of ten will be a childish adult, I suppose - or if he/she's very lucky, a childlike one. But it is a matter of how you feel about yourself rather than how you behave.