Hardest of all, as one becomes older, is to accept that sapient remarks can be drawn from the most unwelcome or seemingly improbable sources, and that the apparently more trustworthy sources can lead one astray.
El que hoy es un impetuoso joven se quedaría horrorizado si contemplara
el retrato de lo que será en su vejez. Llevaos con vosotros todos los
impulsos humanos cuando salgáis de los fáciles años de la juventud
para entrar en la severa virilidad que todo lo endurece, lleváoslo, no los
abandonéis en el camino. ¡Después no os será posible recuperarlos! ¡La
vejez que os aguarda, horrible y temible, jamás devuelve nada!
Más compasiva que la vejez es la sepultura, en ella se escribirá: «Aquí han enterrado a un hombre»,
pero nada se puede leer en los insensibles y fríos rasgos de la inhumana vejez.
I blushed. You haven't seen a bald man in his sixties blush? Oh, it happens, just as it does to a hairy, spotty fifteen-year-old. And because it's rarer, it sends the blusher tumbling back to that time when life felt like nothing more than one long sequence of embarrassments.
We chose younger and younger politicians to lead us because they looked good on television and were sharp. But really we should be looking for wisdom, and choosing people who had acquired it; and such people, in general, looked bad on television - gray, lined, thoughtful.
I just got a rather nasty shock. In looking for something or other I came across the fact that one of my cats is about to be nine years old, and that another of them will shortly thereafter be eight; I have been labouring under the delusion they were about five and six. And yesterday I happened to notice in the mirror that while I have long since grown used to my beard being very grey indeed, I was not prepared to discover that my eyebrows are becoming noticeably shaggy. I feel the tomb is just around the corner. And there are all these books I haven't read yet, even if I am simultaneously reading at least twenty...
For myself, hand on heart, those things never bothered me. It is one of the graces of married life that for some magical reason we always look the same to each other. Even our friends never seem to grow old. What a boon that is, and never suspected by me when I was young. But I suppose, otherwise, what would we do? There has never been a person in an old people's home that hasn't looked around dubiously at the other inhabitants. They are the old ones, they are the club that no one wants to join. But we are never old to ourselves. That is because at close of day the ship we sail in is the soul, not the body.