Wearing Purple

Traveling through life, one comes across interesting scenes. This one caught my eye as we passed it in a small town. There is art everywhere around us. There are stories everywhere.

pots and chair copy

This photo reminds me of the poem “Warning – When I Am Old, I Shall Wear Purple” written by Jenny Johnson. An old chair painted purple sitting beside pots with purple and the red flowers being their red hats all fits together in a playful, old woman sense.

Since I am feeling pretty old myself most days, this speaks to me. It occurs to me that the rules we live by in our young adulthood become far less important as we age. I do wear more purple (and other bright colors) that I have not worn for many years. The very old and the very young can get away with so many things while people excuse it with “Oh, they are young.” or “As old as she is, she has earned the right to do this or that.” It is a comfortable place to be.

I have included the poem just in case you have never read it. Thank you Jenny Johnson for writing it. I especially like the first section. Maybe, just maybe, if I add just a little at a time, no one will notice until it is too late to stop my progression.

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people’s gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


Author: Pamela K. Young

I have not only lived many chapters in one life, but many lives in one body. The person I am today is far wiser than the me of young adulthood. My life is like your life with its ebb and flow. We are all connected in some way. I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, but what makes me, well, me is the way I wife, mother, and grandmother. I am a liver transplant survivor. Whatever devastation you have survived, we survived in our individual ways. I create with words and photos. I am a writer and photographer.

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