Ursula K. Le Guin:
For old people beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young… It has to do with who the person is.
But all the same, there’s something about me that doesn’t change, hasn’t changed, through all the remarkable, exciting, alarming, and disappointing transformations my body has gone through. There is a person there who isn’t only what she looks like, and to find her and know her I have to look through, look in, look deep. Not only in space, but in time.
That must be what the great artists see and paint. That must be why the tired, aged faces in Rembrandt’s portraits give us such delight: they show us beauty not skin-deep but life-deep.
[Helen Keller surrounded by a group of young dancers at Martha Graham’s studio, including Graham herself. (1954)
Image: Perkins School for the Blind Archive]