Friday, 21 October 2016
The Disappearing Faces
We were chatting, my friend and I, about disappearing people. As you age, slowly in my case, you note people once common have disappeared. The faces that arrived on the TV screen in the late 50's when a vast 'Ferranti' model appeared in our living room only appear today when their death is announced. Footballers once fit grown men seen running around the field at top speed are now noted in club get togethers as small, fat men long past retirement age. This is made worse when your great niece, now 19 years of age, posts comments on facebook grumbling that folks born in the 1990's are getting old! OLD! Your 19 woman!
Perception alters as age passes by. Once we looked to the future 'out there' with some degree of trepidation but a lot of excitement. Now we see cynicism and despair at the world. Once hope filled us and opportunities could be rejected for another would be along in a minute, now the only thing that takes a minute is the trying to remember why we opened this cupboard or went through to the other room, sometimes it takes much longer. The good side is that we may no longer care to get excited about trivial happenings, rock music does not make us 'headbang' for long a we suddenly forget what we are doing, football does not have the same grip as we accept after all that we are not indeed going to make it, and fashionable occurrences bore rather than excite. We have no faith in the press or TV, no trust in any politician of whatever party and consider ourselves able to distinguish most cons that arrive via the web. Well usually anyway!
As my mother aged all her friends, both family and close friends from round about passed on. Quite how she saw this I am unclear, her attitude was 'you just have to get on with it,' and so she did. That generation always just 'got on with it.' Being a blether as she was she could always get new friends willing to gossip about nothing for long periods so she managed well I suspect. Yet all her family, many of their offspring, including one of her daughters, passed away. All her friends she and my father made left us, she was the last one standing and remained so until she reached 94. How did she view all this?
I note myself how footballers I watched have died, TV newsreaders and 'personalities,' many of whom had little or no personality that I could detect, pass away from us year by year. Familiar faces are the background to our lives whether we like them or are indifferent to them, yet when they go we see a gap opening. Our minds view is amended and reality comes in.
I can recall noting men in the 50's and 60's, flat caps, overcoats and usually haggard faces. Today such men rarely have hats, dress as fashionably as men in their 20's and often, like me, look 25 (well maybe 35). Few appear to be 'old' and as one said to me "In my outlook I am still 25!" and I knew what he meant. This is however not how I look to outsiders, any young woman using the term 'Granddad' in my presence reveals how they view me! I have a photo f my grannie dating from 1926 in which she looks ancient. She was in fact the same age as my sister is now 76 and she, while ancient, like all women these days fails to look it, he older husband however is beginning to look his age.
We have seen many family members near and far pass on and in the next ten years a great deal more will go, my view of the world will change again, especially as the remaining TV and radio personalities disappear, yet I suspect I will plow on. I have Jesus who cares for me in spite of it all and this alters my view considerably. It does not however stop ageing nor the loss of familiar figures in the world around us keeping our world view together.