How many times a day do you look in the mirror?
If you’re like me, it must go into double figures.
It’s the first thing I do in the morning, checking for vital signs to make sure I have made it through the night. Then regular looks throughout the day for shaving, tooth brushing and ensuring that things haven’t moved or dropped off.
All this practice came in useful recently for one of the Creative Writing exercises which asked to sit with a notebook in front of a mirror and write a personal description. The following was the carnage that ensued.
“My hairline races to see how quickly it can reach the back of my head. A few flushes of brown break through the vastness of grey with the odd stray hair, evidence of a time when it actually lived there. Although the hair, now trying to manifest itself through my nostrils and ears, suggests that it is just on the move.
Occasional freckles on the forehead prove that this battered, pale northern face did, at some time, catch a glimpse of the sun. Lines on the forehead represent each decade of the last half century.
The nose argues in which direction it wants to go, a result of not being quick enough on the rugby field, and separates blue eyes resting above black crescents. An attempt at a goatee beard surrounds a tight pale red mouth, where glimpses of fading white teeth appear. Small jowls creep over a once chiselled jawline, providing a conundrum between fitness and the passage of time.
There is shock as to how this mask can house a mind that operates 30 years behind.”
Shock is quickly replaced by laughter when, for some reason, my mind thinks about old shopping bags carrying around fresh fruit and vegetables. I am reminded that it’s not the carcass but the content that matters.
Maybe there is life in the ageing dog.