Elixir of Youth

The days tick byFeeling jaded? Lost the edge? Here’s an old remedy rediscovered.

The days tick by and pile up into weeks and months ever more rapidly. Reminders of age and mortality come by more often – pension choices, higher premiums for travel insurance, even one or two untimely deaths of those with fewer years on the clock. All manner of professionals – not just the policemen – suddenly seem far too immature to be offering legal, financial, medical or spiritual advice.

If you let it get to you, it could really be quite depressing.

In recent weeks there seems to have been so little to inspire. We all need that moment, that look, that magic spark across the synapse to fuel the drive, to open our eyes to possibilities once again. Five young drama students did exactly that recently with a twenty-five minute show to an audience of family and fellow students.

Sex and scandal, lies and betrayalThere was no one moment, no look or expression, no special word or improbable note, rather it was the whole joyful performance. The subject matter struck a chord right from the off, a theatrical take on the Profumo Affair, a scandal that rocked the UK establishment back in the 1960s. These five had researched the event and its context, written the script, the music and the songs, designed the dances and rehearsed endlessly. All that is creditable enough but not unique, given the standards demanded of our sixth-formers nowadays. But these five The iconic image of Christine Keeler, taken in 1963 by Lewis Morley.brought it all to life – the spies and sex, the death and betrayals – with great verve and perception and a sparkling performance.

What shone through was that these young people had no sense of limits. For them anything is possible, not in a naïve way, for they are intelligent, well-read and well-educated. Smart and savvy as they might say. Perhaps it is simply that they have yet to suffer repeated knock-backs that life so often gives, perhaps they’ve yet to have their sharp talents and abilities blunted by refusal and indifference. Maybe they hide their self-doubt – that evil twin of creativity – beneath the fizz and bubble of performing.

the elixir of youthWhatever demons may lurk in their private moments, for now that passion, that first confident flush, that creative energy, is electric, contagious and inspirational. Just witnessing their enthusiasm, their pleasure at displaying what they’d made, was not only a pleasure but a timely reminder that life remains full of possibilities, from whatever age it’s viewed. So if you’re feeling jaded, feel you’ve lost the edge, or even worse – started classing yourself as over the hill, then tap in to the art and energy of those who are barely into adulthood. Give yourself an inspirational tonic by taking a long draught of the Elixir of Youth.

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