Age has no reality

Daddy with Grady, January 2014 - only 85 years difference between them !

Daddy with Grady, January 2014 – less than 86 years difference between them !

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.”
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Ah, but the physical world is so real and powerful to us; it’s the “very persistent illusion” that Einstein described.  Even if we agree with Márquez, or at least want to agree with him, we are likely to find ourselves at the mercy of fatigue and frustration as our physical bodies weaken with age.

Yet it can take so little to open our eyes to the truth of the bold words quoted above.  The refreshment of a spring breeze, the notes of a beautiful song, the laughter of a baby — in seconds we are young again inside, if only for a moment.  Our essence is indeed resistant to the passage of time, and this is a powerful argument for the author’s assertion that our inner lives are eternal.

Today, I invite you to live out the claim that “age has no reality except in the physical world.”  Seek out the words, sounds, sensations and sights that touch the youthful vigor of your spirit.  And remember – if eternity means “always and forever,” that means it has already begun, and you are part of it!  It’s a thrilling and sobering thought.

One year ago today:

Rejoicing that I’m still here


  1. raynard

    Julia, for some reason, i dont go back to my old photo albums as much as I use to.No one has to tell me” I’m getting old as the end of the day and the stairs in my apartment building tell me so.. lol( now where’s the Ben Gaye or Icy Hot lol Hope all is well your way and you are enjoying the weather” even if you are busy doing nothing but different from the day before( I think I just had a ‘Groundhog day moment lol be blessed and have a great day.

    • Hi Raynard, as it happens, I have been doing something special lately to enjoy the weather – we met Drew, Megan and Grady in Virginia Beach where we had a beach house reserved for the week. It was Grady’s first time ever to see the ocean and he loved it! I am sure some photos of him will be showing up here in the future. As for the photos, Jeff never looks at our old photo albums either unless I force ask him to. However, I did find that he really liked the digital photo frame I got him which he kept at work. I was able to get hundreds of photos on that and it just recently broke so guess what he is getting for Father’s Day? 😀 He never reads these comments so my secret is safe. Have a great week!

  2. Susan

    Julia, you are right again! Like an Old Sage…. Just teasing! Interestingly, some people seem to fall for Einstein’s illusion more than others. I know several people for whom I would have a very difficult time trying to guess their age (although looking at them provides some clues). They just seem to live outside of that illusion, with at least one foot planted firmly in eternity.

    • Susan, my siblings and I think of our Daddy (in the photo) as an “old sage” so maybe I inherited a bit of that from him! 🙂 I definitely agree that some people know how to see through reality’s illusion better than others. It’s always refreshing and intriguing to be around such types, I think. There is a spark that no cosmetic surgery could ever provide.

  3. bobmielke

    One of the fun bits of knowledge I get from being a photographer is that there’s not really a good definition of the word “kid”. I think that being a kid at heart doesn’t require any special age but you do have to be young at heart. I have plenty of pictures carrying diaper bags, kids stuffed animals and formula bottle. Put a Lorikeet on his head while holding all this stuff and tell me you aren’t seeing an adult sized kid, grinning from ear to ear. 🙂

    • Bob, I didn’t know what a Lorikeet was until I looked it up after reading your comment – they are beautiful! I assume you have some of them at the zoo. If you can capture the child inside the adult that will be a treasured photo for sure. Reading your comment reminded me of some lyrics to a song I really like (trivia question: WHO SANG IT?)

      Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
      To be young at heart.
      For as rich as you are, it’s much better by far
      To be young at heart.

      And if you should survive to 105,
      Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive!
      And here is the best part, you have a head start
      If you are among the very young at heart.

      • bobmielke

        Frank Sinatra

        • You are correct! (As Alex Trebek would say.)

  4. Sheila

    Wow! That’s so much happiness in the photo, both subjects. 🙂 I often think that even though aging is such a natural process, we are fighting it almost in an unnatural way. Bill and I are sitting outside enjoying early morning and I read your blog to him. I’m sure he will ponder your words today. We miss his dad terribly. Thank you,again, for your daily gift!

    • Sheila, thanks so much for sharing this blog with Bill. I totally agree that we tend to fight age “almost in an unnatural way” and I am determined to avoid that. I hope to stay young in all the ways that count (none of which have much to do with appearances), but I am proud of every year and I love getting older. Perhaps that’s because I got so tired of people always thinking I looked much younger than I was when I was a child. To a kid it feels like a terrible insult to keep hearing “you look like you’re only 8 or 9!” if you are 11 years old, or worse, to be 16 and be told you look 12! So to me, getting older was a very empowering thing and so far that feeling has not worn off.

      I know you must miss Dr. Vann so much. I have heard that first year is always hardest (every milestone or holiday feels incomplete) although we never really stop missing those we love no matter how many years pass without them. I will be thinking of you both and praying you are comforted by wonderful memories.

      • Sheila

        Thank you so much, Julia. I’m glad that I came back to read the comments. Your mama is a precious lady, I’m sure. 🙂

        • Sheila, if “rare” equates to “precious” she certainly is that– in everything from her AB negative blood type to her unique and outspoken viewpoints! They definitely broke the mold when they made her, though a couple of her kids share some similarities. 😀

  5. I’m really encouraged by this Julia. I am as ‘young’ as I want to be. And, “if eternity means “always and forever,” that means it has already begun,” and I am part of it!

    • Thank you, I am so happy you liked it! I too find it very encouraging to think about, especially when I see people who are living out that very truth before my eyes.

  6. Mary Ellen

    The super spirit, the Holy Spirit shines through in both your Daddy and Grady!

    • Thank you Mary Ellen! I did think there was something remarkably similar in their faces in that photo.

  7. Agreed! I’ve never felt younger 🙂

    • Pauline, I think your art is very fresh and youthful, and now we know why! It’s coming from a youthful soul. 😀 Thanks for being here.

  8. Fairytales can come true, it can happen to you, if you’re young at heart…..I love that song. Who knows what the secret is, some days I feel young if someone I haven’t seen for a long time says, “how come you look exactly the same?”. Then I hear myself saying things like, “ugh, that rap music makes me crazy”…LOL. I like to pick and choose how to feel young, I certainly don’t embrace everything and anything. Maybe the fact that I’ve never had kids helps in that I’ve never had to be ‘The Grownup’.

    • I think you have a very youthful spirit, but maybe that’s because I too like to gripe about a lot of the pure silliness, or worse, I sometimes see in young people today. Isn’t that the great thing about being older? We can indeed “pick and choose” what aspects of youth we want to carry with us. Also – remember that being young is a relative thing, too…one of my funniest memories is a few years back when my sister and I were visiting our parents. (My sister is more than three years older than I am.) We were about to go out shopping one evening, and Mama asked us not to stay out past dark. We laughed and told her OF COURSE we planned to stay out past dark – and she warned us to beware of “a lot of bad people out there who really go after the young girls.” We had a great laugh about that one — we reminded her we were both in our 50’s so that meant we were TOTALLY safe! 😀

  9. Ha, that’s funny but sweet too. Your mom still see’s you two as her young girls. Maybe because she’s young at heart and doesn’t ‘feel’ much older than when she had to mind your curfew 😀

    • Aw, really? I thought it was just that my sister and I looked 20ish! 😀 Seriously, I thought it was sweet, too. Mamas are always mamas.

  10. Wow!… great photo of two important people in your life…one you’ll treasure. 🙂

    • Thanks Merry, I love it already and I know it will be even more dear as the years go by.

  11. Carolyn

    Love your picture

    • Thank you Carolyn! I have been thinking of you. How are you doing?

  12. LB

    “Our essence is indeed resistant to the passage of time”.
    Completely and totally correct!! And your comment above about being 50, yet your Mama cautioned you to be safe. It’s like my father giving us a $20 bill so we’d have a little safety cash on the way home. Our parents still parent in one way or another.
    I just spend time with my parents this weekend … our annual Mothers Day / Fathers Day dinner celebration. I’m so incredibly lucky to have healthy parents at 81!

    • Thanks LB, I feel the same way about still having my parents with us. So many of my friends have lost one or both of their parents, so I feel very blessed. Isn’t it great how they never stop taking care of us in their own way? I still call my Mom first when anything goes wrong.

  13. I turn 50 this week and I can truly say I am enjoying this age like none other. It doesn’t bother me that I can’t physically do what I did at 19. I have discovered ways to appreciate joy in life in spite of limitations.

    • Hi Tony, so nice to hear from you! I agree completely about turning 50, I loved it. 55 was even better since a few senior discounts kicked in at that point! I hope turning 60 is as agreeable – I should know in about 2 years. 😀

  14. How nice to see the baby and his great grandfather together! Both look so pleased in each other’s company.

    • Yes, that was a really special time. Nice to have a photo to remember it by.

  15. MaryAnn

    They both are precious! I want to hug them! Such a blessing to share w/ us!!!

    • Thank you Mary Ann! I am sure they would love to give you a hug too. 😀

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