Age Does Not Define

In 1975 four sisters stood together poised and elegant, youthful. Each year they came back together to poise in front of a large format camera (nothing digital about these black and whites). Now forty years later this remarkable set of documentary photographs have been gathered together into a book.

These images talk of that which is ageless while at the same time tell of human life and of our mortality. Spell binding to view. When exhibited in Spain viewers openly wept apparently.

Throughout this series, we watch these women age, undergoing life’s most humbling experience. While many of us can, when pressed, name things we are grateful to Time for bestowing upon us, the lines bracketing our mouths and the loosening of our skin are not among them. So while a part of the spirit sinks at the slow appearance of these women’s jowls, another part is lifted: They are not undone by it. We detect more sorrow, perhaps, in the eyes, more weight in the once-fresh brows. But the more we study the images, the more we see that aging does not define these women. Even as the images tell us, in no uncertain terms, that this is what it looks like to grow old, this is the irrefutable truth, we also learn: This is what endurance looks like.

Forty Portraits in Forty Years.

Thanks to Julius for the link. I’ve scrolled through these images many times.

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4 thoughts on “Age Does Not Define”

  1. Glad you were shown this. I stumbled upon it myself a few days ago and was moved. I like the way they look directly at the camera. Also there is real love and friendship evident.

    1. Thanks Reverend. As you may know I was an aspiring documentary photographer before I became a monk. I’d be proud to have done this piece of work sustained over such a long length of time. Wonderful. Any time you bump into something interesting drop me a message would you please? Most regular readers will know the kind of thing I’m inspired by and interested in so this is an open invite to send me links. Many thanks. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…where you are.

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