Shaken, Not Stirred

Youth has no age, Picasso said.
In the long run we're all dead.
We can't deny this troubling truth
by claiming everlasting youth
after it has passed us by,
when, unprepared to ever die,
we're forced to turn another page,
yellowed, mellowed by old age.

Learning from defeat far more
than victories, we call out "Fore!
never ready to retreat,
conceding that we've met defeat
because we've aged and lost our spring,
preparing for another fling,
our senior years a lagniappe
coming without handicap.

Although youth has no age I will
continue to feel young until
the long run catches up with me
and brings me to reality,
for though youth really is confined
to those who're young, the undersigned
will take Picasso at his word,
by life still shaken, not unstirred.

On July 28 Thomas L. Friedman wrote a column in the NYT celebrating the near-victory in the US Open by 59-year old Tom Watson ("59 Is The New 30"):

Watson's run was freaky unusual -- a 59-year-old man who had played his opening two rounds in this tournament with a 16-year-old Italian amateur -- was able to best the greatest golfers in the world at least a decade after anyone would have dreamt it possible. Watching this happen actually widened our sense of what any of us is capable of. That is, when Kobe Bryant scores 70 points, we are in awe. When Tiger Woods wins by 15 strokes, we are in awe. But when a man our own age and size whips the world's best -- who are half his age -- we identify. Of course, Watson has unique golfing skills, but if you are a baby boomer you could not help but look at him and say something you would never say about Tiger or Kobe: "He's my age; he's my build; he's my height; and he even had his hip replaced like me. If he can do that, maybe I can do something like that, too."

On July 31, 2009, Charles Bock responded enthusiastically to Thomas Friedman's article by quoting Picasso, who said, "Youth has no age."

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 7/31/09