old age - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
There they were, the nanas, around their table of flour making the pastas. The air was thick with their tales and gossip, sometimes an old song, no doubt helped along by the wine they shared. As they day went on the food appeared and the eldest would ring the bell for the community to come. That's how we did things. The old folk were happy and we were well fed, it took a lot of work from the mamas and the papas. We were a community from the cradle to the grave, what else could a good life be?
Old age had once seemed some distant destination on some horizon uncharted, yet just as one step in front of the other will take you thousands of miles if you keep walking, it had arrived. Her hair was the colour of silver in various stages of oxidisation, every hue from fresh coins to almost slate grey. Once in a while I would close my eyes and listen to her voice, to the quick wit and laughter, and suddenly we were kids again and she was telling me some tall tale or irreverent joke. Esme was like that, always.
In the age of more basic machinery, of those polluting combustion engines, the old could be of less help than now. In the robot age they are the hardest working generation, freeing their children up for parenting and enjoying their youth. People learn and work from their late teens and early twenties as before, but few hours. The silver army is what we rely on, for they oversea the robots, the drones, the systems that grow and transport food, provide energy, make clothing and such. It keeps everyone healthier, more active and involved in living. For the very old there is care and love, we do it right, it's who we are.
She is yet another woman of steel beaten down by old age. Her hair, once a shimmering black curtain, is now just a frilly white thing. Her porcelain face had withered by time and it'd left her nothing but a frail layer of skin. Her tight embraces and firm arms were worn down by years of work and stressful migraines. Not to mention her eyes. They were once full of light -so bright it would save any soul lost to the shadows. They used to reflect the kind of warmth and love only a summer sun could give away. But now her days are over and those eyes would open no more. Those arms would not hug any more than those lips would kiss another. Remember the days when her heart beat the most melodious rhythm. Old age is humanity's frenemy, and today it brings her down.
She'd heard it said before that age was a cruel mistress, or was that time, she couldn't quite recall. She hadn't understood it back then, but now the cruelty was beginning to make itself apparent to her. She didn't feel a day over twenty in her mind, but now her face was beginning to look like an over-stored apple, her grin was gap-toothed from extractions and her joints ached in the foggy weather they'd been having lately. All that was on the horizon now was more of the ravages of age steeling into her skin and bones bit by bit, until eventually even her mind wouldn't escape it. She'd watched her mother's decline decades before, she'd been spry and mentally alert right up to her eighty-one, then the downhill slide was as rapid as a toboggan on a slippery winter hill.
I revel in the glances I steal at her. With a face as withered as a flower left to waste, her face clothed in wisps of white hair she seems nothing more than commonplace. To my eyes however, she seems to dazzle with an indescribable light, so rich with emotion that even I, with all the years she will never be able to get back garner immeasurable envy. Like a worn out book whose warmth and words I would seek yet never reach as time and again my fingers could but only brush over the tips of the pages...
With ill-kempt hair and pallid craggy skin he definitely reflected his age. Some men age gracefully, and some don’t. I didn’t get a chance to see his eyes, mainly because of the rolled awnings of his upper lids sagging enough to obstruct a view. I imagined his eyes a milky blue, solemn and moist somewhere underneath. The stride of a young man was stolen years ago and replaced with an unbalanced amble. Liver spots crept over the backs of his hands and speckled the length of his sun kissed arms.
Her once alert and agile mind began to blur at the edges. Memories once sharp and crystal clear were now disappearing into a fog, being erased, as if they had never happened at all. It's true what they said, time is a thief, it was steeling everything she ever was or hopped she would be and there was nothing she could do about it.
The air in Granny's tiny living room is damp with an undercurrent of mildew. She sits on the old armchair Gramps loved so much, her think and wrinkled hands resting on the balding fabric. Before her, absorbing all the heat from her one bar fire is a clothes horse just as elderly as she is. It zig zags before her, the yellowing varnish over the oak barely visible under the weight of laundry. Her eyes rest on it as if they plan to stay there until the clothes are dry and ready to be ironed. I switch on the radio and tune it to some jazz, Gramps loved jazz. Her eyes come alive and for the first time she notices my presence.