Would I drink from the fountain of youth?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forever Young.”

fountain of youth - Would I drink from the fountain of youth? Artwork: Joe Boruchow

The concept of ‘permanent youth and beauty’ is found all over the world and has its roots firmly planted in the realm of materialism, but as we all know, material objects warp and fade until one day, they no longer resemble the items we once coveted. No matter, we can just replace them with another, newer model that is more conducive to current tastes!

But alas, the same cannot be achieved in regards to our physical bodies – we may try to ‘update’ our shape and features with cosmetic surgery, but this shortsighted and deeply misguided attempt at prolonging our youth only inhibits our capacity to radiate our emotions through physical expression. It can’t keep us fresh and spry on the inside.

The illusory fountain of youth is something we may feel compelled to pursue if we haven’t fully appreciated our formative years and feel somehow cheated. Maybe our health begins to deteriorate and it feels unfair. Life owes us another shot at youth! This tendency is born from a tense mind that over time ripples outwards towards the denser, more physical attributes of our being. Paradoxically it ages us. Blinded by the bright lights of an egocentric fantasy, we stray from sanity and common sense and pace around in neurotic circles, not unlike a dog chasing its own tail. Whether through disease or old age, robust youthfulness will cease to expand and eventually wither, making way for more autumnal times.

When we consider the impermanence of life and everything in it, we can begin to accept the passing, transient nature of reality. It isn’t as solid and permanent as we first thought. Everything that comes, eventually goes. Everything. At first it can seem scary and somewhat nihilistic, but upon closer inspection it can be the most liberating realisation. Nothing lasts, so why not make the most of everything right now? Not so much need for duality and divided, polarised belief systems. Not so much time for emotional attachment or the hatred that ignites war.

Letting go of our attachment to this life actually makes us lighten up and take everything (including ourselves) a lot less seriously! It is a process that unfolds gradually, but each time we loosen the knot of attachment inside of ourselves, we take a sip from the fountain of youth – the one that keeps us emotionally pliable, peaceful and happy from within.

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