On the Ageless Beauty of Women

I have long had the unusual gift of seeing through age — recreating the youthful splendor of the women I know.

We’ve all observed someone who looks vaguely familiar but unidentifiable. We either figure out their identity, or we don’t.

But something odd happens if it is a woman I spot but can’t name, especially someone out of my past. If I observe her long enough, my mind’s eye plays a trick. The decades drop away, and she becomes the young person she was. Her name returns along with her youthful bloom.

My male friends also remain young to me. It is not a failure to notice a receding hairline or changed hair color. Instead, their quality of personhood remains. Seeing them again recreates their essence, their encompassing and lasting nature.

I am not alone in this magic trick. Robert Heinlein, the great science fiction writer, described it before me.

He also understood it better than I, including that some of us experience it more readily in women. Heinlein used the artistry of the sculptor, Auguste Rodin as an example:

As I reflect on Heinlein and Rodin — both great artists as I am not — I will risk a few more words.

I see the grace, the spirit, the kindness, and the sparkle in such ladies. The special ones create an aura of enchantment, and I am taken in.

I am not simply a flatterer if I tell them they are beautiful. They remain lovely to me.

That is all that counts.


The top image is Gaze – 3, an oil painting by Rajeskharen Parameswaran. It was sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

10 thoughts on “On the Ageless Beauty of Women

  1. Love this. A very cool different side of G!


  2. Thanks, Jack!


  3. Ah, I think it is you who has enchanted me with this post – of timelessness, deep knowing and charm. What a beautiful capability you have to truly see – in so many respects!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. drgeraldstein

    Thank you, kind lady. May others be so lucky to know they’ve enchanted one such as you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. https://tamarakulish.com/

    I’m always impressed with the mind’s ability to perceive what the eye has difficulty doing. Your gift is wonderful, both for yourself and for others, for they can no doubt see in your eyes what you’re seeing! If this ability were learnable and shareable, how beneficial would it be to us all?!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. drgeraldstein

    I certainly benefit, Tamara. I can’t speak for all the ladies, but it does seem some are pleased to receive a kind of attention, I imagine, not as frequent as they might like. As you say, “if this ability were learnable,” the world might value people for something more than first appears on the surface. Thank you for the thoughtfulness evident in how you pondered the implications of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just love this, Dr. Stein! There are elders among us who continue to sparkle with life, making it a joy to be in their company.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. drgeraldstein

    Thank you, Rosaliene. I can only speak for my friends, not myself. “Sparkling” probably isn’t the first thing people say about me. Maybe the 21st, if they don’t get tired before they get there. 😊


  9. Seeing the essence of someone (male/female/other) is a wonderful ability— but focusing solely on outside appearance, especially in women, is another. I take offense at Heinlein’s quote—all of it. Older woman are not “trapped in the cage of their bodies.” They are not ugly, though perhaps some men see them that way. One doesn’t need to look for the “pretty girl she used to be”! Growing older isn shameful. It isn’t a tragedy. It is a blessing, no matter the physical changes that come with it. A woman’s body is not “ruined” though our culture may try to tell her that. And yes, some people are fortunate to maintain their youthful vitality inside and out all the way into their older years. It shines through their older eyes, looking out at you. And what do they see? Hopefully, someone with your gift.

    Liked by 3 people

    • drgeraldstein

      Thank you for your kudos, Evelyn. I agree with your response to Heinlein, but the comment contained so much I hadn’t encountered, I included it for what I thought was worthwhile. The essence was the key, the central encounter when I look through the externals. Be well.

      Liked by 1 person

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