Age Cannot Wither Her

Woman in Bundi in Rajasthan, India with vegetables set out for sale

Woman in Bundi

A Woman In Bundi

The marks of life are evident in this woman in Bundi in Rajasthan in India, and her poverty is evident in the small stall of vegetables set out by the roadside.

Were she to turn around, would her face enthral and entrance? There is a beauty in old age, isn’t there.

Never. He will not.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies, for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

This is said by the character Domitius Enobarbus in Act 2, scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra.

Enobarbus is speaking about Cleopatra and explaining why it is that although Anthony should leave Cleopatra, he never will.

The reason he says, is that unlike the case with many relationships, familiarity makes Cleopatra all the more desirable. And even when she is promiscuous, even the priests are so entranced that they bless her.

Weathered And Weatherbeaten

These are the doors to a building in Bundi. You will find the photo in the Windows and Doors range of images in our ecards here at Quillcards. Click the link to take a look.

Doors to A Building in Bundi

Like a lot of photographers, perhaps like a lot of us, I am drawn to structures that have settled in over time.

Wood sawn to size, iron beaten into shape, clay daubed on a lattice of wooden sticks tied together with knotted rope. And then yellow paint with spatters of it on the door.

When things like this grow old we can see the marks, but they don’t destroy the authenticity of the materials. They don’t show the materials up as being fake. They show the beauty, don’t they. Or as they say… beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Close up of woman in Bundi in Rajasthan, India

Close-up of woman in Bundi in Rajasthan, India

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    Comments

    1. Esther Hecht says

      Thank you for this food for thought.
      The hands of the old woman in the close-up are extremely interesting and would make a study in themselves.
      However, I think one has to take care not to romanticize old age, and certainly not old age in poverty.

      • David Bennett says

        You are right.

        I was talking to a woman just yesterday who was one of my mother’s neighbours when they were children.

        She mused on how everyone she knows reminisces about the good old days in the in Leeds. They were poor but they lived in a community of similar immigrants and children and grandchildren of immigrants. Now there is an abundance of riches (relatively) but no more community… a different kind of poverty.

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