I don’t know about all you other people out there who are over 60 but despite eating a good diet and regular exercise I still look like crap—I look like an old man.

I avoid looking at myself in the mirror and dislike pictures of me. So as I’ve aged I more and more come to think of myself not as a physical presence in the world but an intellectual and aesthetic presence.

I love the internet—because people cannot see and evaluate you based on your appearance—and you can present to the world the you that you want to share—the guy (or gal) inside that you’re proud of. I present my writing, my images to you good folks out there and to you—that’s who Orion is.

And I’m good with that.

I am forever meeting people who are over weight who will puff themselves up and insist they are JUST FINE—THANK YOU!! with their appearance. And give you a sermon on the person inside and how shallow and pathetic it is to worry about weight—except (of course) for the health issues.

Then you run into those same people a year later and they’ve shed 60 pounds and they are so (justifiably) proud of themselves and will tell you (in all confidence) they were just plain lieing when they spouted all that crap about how insignificant the exterior is.

I don’t know about anyone else but the world I grew up in places a high value on appearance and being obese makes you a less attractive person to most people and to some you become a repulsive freak.

Been there and done that.

Wouldn’t it be great if people did judge you solely based on the “content of their character” as Martin Luther King observed a very long time ago?

Well—in the world I move around in—appearances matter. So—let’s wind it up. Yes—take care of yourself for health reasons but a slim (healthy) person (all other things being equal) will like him or her self much better than if they’re over weight.

There’s nothing to be done short of extensive plastic surgery (which few can afford) about the effects of aging—physically.

But—you can nurture, cultivate and make more beautiful the creative self you share over the internet with your creativity. And I have taken great solace in doing just that. Each time I post a new image that I feel good about or a story, I take away a sense that I really am holding my own—if not improving.

Here’s my self-portrait—can you interpret the parts of the composition symbolically within the context of this rant?

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2 Responses to “Self-Portrait”

  1. Larry Blackwood Says:

    Love the photo and the rant, and I too appreciate the advantages of the physical anonymity of the internet.

  2. orion Says:

    Thank you Sir. I was a bit surprised at the response I got–I didn’t think the image was all that great and was
    afraid people would think my comments were just self-piteous venom. Instead I got a lot of enthusiastic
    appreciation and good-natured support.

    As far as the physical issue is concerned–in my opinion you have nothing to be concerned about–you look great.

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