AGE IN ITSELF means nothing unless you let it. Sent to me by an artist friend, these words from painter Paula Rego—born in Portugal, but living in London since the 1950s—help me to resist chronological determinism:
“There is a particular Iberian quality, duende,
a combination of soul and fatalism,
which has no exact equivalent in English.
To say a person has duende is the highest compliment.
Can a middle-aged woman do ballet?
Margot Fonteyn did.
A person with duende can do anything, at any age,
so a lady with duende can dance anything any time.”