My Aging Nose: How I Grow Old!

‘My Nose is Growing Old’ wrote Richard Brautigan.

‘Yup.

A long lazy September look

in the mirror

say it’s true.

I’m 31

and my nose is growing old….’

There are some obvious outcomes of aging. Noses are one among them. I don’t know how they really age, but I guess they become bigger, or, longer. My attention was drawn to this fact much before I read Brautigan. An acquaintance met me in my thirty-sixth year and pointed out how the bulbous outgrowth on my face then reminded her of my grandmother, who was blessed with a rather prominent nose. I had had a button nose most of my life.

That evening I spent good time in front of the mirror. Contrary to what the acquaintance had politely told me, I didn’t think I resembled my lovely grandmother at all. In fact, I had begun to look like a twisted version of Pinocchio. A hurried internet search revealed how ears and noses are intimidated by gravity as years roll by. This was worrisome. It is particularly difficult to keep long noses away from the businesses of other people. And, of course, they are obvious.

So is the changing colour of my shoulder length hair. Leaves turn green, yellow, red, brown. They fall off. Life slices one shade into another. I like changing colours. The eyes take a while to adjust to their brazenness and the stranger in the mirror leaves me stupefied. But finally, I am ready to give life’s slipping quality a tight embrace. En route, I fall into several holes and emerge with a litany of complaints. Long noses being one. All part of the game.

And then, there are other variations that come along. A tug-of-war between noticing the subtle inner modifications and being the same grain of sand that I was in times of yore. The distance travelled is in miles with zero displacement. I still think I can open doors of razed buildings and share bites in forgotten cafes. I still see myself in a grey and blue uniform running down old stairs of the inaccessible portion of my school. Or, standing at the bus terminal to receive my camouflaged lover. I can touch all that I was and all that existed, and yet they are no more than mere phantoms that haunt the lonely alleys of my mind. Only a friend who has been there, recognizes that part of me when she says, ‘You haven’t changed a bit!’ Because ‘you haven’t changed a bit’ isn’t about unchanging contours. It is about the moment that decided to procrastinate even when you moved on.

Long nose is the perceptible change age has brought to life. It helps me to visualize how far I’ve come, both literally and figuratively.  Deep down I am still a fledgling. That cozy corner in my heart, the one I return to when I tell myself it’s all the same, believe me I need that corner. To be able to skip without breaking my bones, to be able to laugh without my teeth falling off, to twirl around and be simple and to shake off all the dust from years of living.

As Maya Angelou says (On Aging),

I’m the same person I was back then, a little

less hair, a little less chin,

A lot less lungs and much less wind…’     

What’s your journey of adding years like? How do you feel about it?    

Image source : Edward Lear Sketches Pixabay

26 thoughts on “My Aging Nose: How I Grow Old!”

  1. What a delightful read, Sonia. Pushing 50 now and rocking the grays. I do need to look at my nose more closely. The new site looks fabulous.

  2. Such a beautiful post Sonia. Glad I came across this one. Loved the lines : ‘ the moment that decided to procrastinate..’ embracing the fact that one is aging is not always a smooth ride. But, life is a gift and especially in the current scenario live we must spirited and full of joy 🙂

  3. It’s a great metaphor! ” The moment that decided to procastinate as we move on ” is where you have so well shown us the mirror of life and yes , as we age we change shades, yet remain same as well. A very beautiful read and I loved the caption a lot .

  4. Embracing the greys, and even the nose pin on my long or oh not long nose too. I actually peeped in mirror to check my nose… haha
    With those little acne and salt pepper hair aren’t we carrying the beauty in eyes of experience and life that happened to us along with few more grains of sand added to our bowl of life….
    Lovely post…
    Loved this line – the moment that decided to procrastinate even when you moved on.
    And Maya Angleou with her words that will never age…

  5. That’s very interesting. I haven’t noticed that in my features. Just grey hair and fat tummy. 🙁 But, I think a child’s nose is usually blunt and it gets a bit sharper as they grow old.

    Frankly, I don’t feel much about getting older. It’s natural and it’s OK. 🙂

  6. So true as we grow old we remain the same person. Yes, The same grain of sand.
    At least till the time the greys don’t appear 🙂

    But honestly I feel aging is a beautiful phenomenon, it brings its own benefits.
    I think my years on this earth have made me more insightful and intuitive.
    Its like being an upgraded version of oneself 🙂

  7. Loved reading this post Sonia. “Deep down I am still a fledgling.” resonates.
    Will share these words of Maya Angelou’s that hang on my fridge door–a daily reminder of how I want to ‘be’ as I age: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”

    Hugs. xx

  8. This is such an interesting post. Seriously I never thought of nose except for the Pinocchio metaphor…now probably I should be less concerned for the greys and enjoy being the same grain of sand as I always was!!

  9. I am glad that you wrote it Sonia. After the last year birthday, I am becoming sad quite often. Don’t know why but aging is making me sad at times. Your piece is a reminder for me that change is the only constant thing in life. So loved to read it. Congratulations for the new look of your blog, Sonia. Loved the new look so much!

    1. Great metaphor, and it resonated with so many of us, it seems you have put in words what we feel. Age is just another number, but it does change our appearance , in my case, not my nose, but my eyes have changed, though inside, we are still those little, young people living in that moment which refuses to pass.

  10. You made me laugh, made me ponder and wonder as to why have I not ever paid attention to my nose till this moment! 😉
    That apart, I so loved it when you defined the long lost moment as the one that is exhibiting procrastination!
    Engaging read Sonia.

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