Tove Jansson is a great inspiration not only for her Moomins but also for her coolness as an old woman. I think it's important and brilliant to have some old women to look up to because of the way society is constantly trying to make out like youth is the most important thing in the world. I'll be 24 next year and people all around me are starting to be fearful of their birthdays, scared they haven't done enough yet, scared they're suddenly failing a little more just because time has continued to happen. But really, every age is unique, and I'll be an old woman someday too. I think celebrating great old women who came before me is the perfect way to embrace the inevitability of ageing and all the possibilities that come with age.

I recently read Sculptor's Daughter, a take on the wonder of Tove's childhood narrated from the point of view of a child. There is constant description of pleasing or interesting visceral moments surrounded by community and nature. There is the strange black thing crawling across the ground (which is really the child narrator crawling through the house underneath her mother's dress), an unfamiliar boulder crashing down the stairs, the unique personal beauty of the mother and the sister, the father playing songs, the foal sculpture the child makes from twigs and stuff as an offering, and so many other slightly odd and almost mystical normalcies. There are so many joyful details carried through all the different types of scenarios and relationships. It's a big adventure in one life and upbringing. Just like in the Moomins' world, nature is important and strange things happen. There is a big sense of wonder to Tove's work in general - a weird and beautiful fantasy land covered in trees and stars and log fires. The best thing, though, is that everything feels like it exists in real life. The Moomins themselves seem real, like shadowy, blinking forest spirits.

Thinking about age and ageing, I think that every age and every year offers you a new world, or an opportunity to rearrange your existing world into something new and endlessly you in that year or even in a single moment. By the time you are old you could have changed a lot, and your world could be thick and strong around you. That's what I'm hoping for. You will always be the same person, but in the future perhaps you will be the most beautiful and the most knowledgeable and the most exciting version of yourself as an older person. I can't wait to be every age!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for your comments, especially if they include limericks about skeletons.