Younger now than we’ll ever be


It’s hard to find anyone over the age of 29 who is in favor of aging. Even some children resist the prospect of getting older: at the ripe old age of nine, my daughter Maya described turning ten as “entering the dreaded scary two digits.” Those of us in middle age and beyond tend to focus on the losses of what we once had: smooth skin; firm flesh; all our hair; sharp eyesight and hearing; a reliable memory; unlimited energy; and the freedom that comes with nothing (yet) to lose.

And even if we are lucky enough to be in great health, we have more and more friends and loved ones who are not. Weddings and baby showers give way to hospice visits and memorial services, reminding us that we are gliding inexorably towards the ultimate loss: the end of our own time here.


shooting star this brief bright life

Meanwhile, the hard-won rewards of getting older are subtle and intangible: the wisdom to make better choices, a clearer understanding of who we are and what’s important to us, perhaps a measure of serenity. Those compensations are not readily apparent in the bathroom mirror.

Still, given the tradeoffs, I would not want to go back and live as any of my younger selves. And gradually, I am realizing there is a different way to think about getting older. No matter how creaky I may feel some mornings, it’s a gift just to be alive and kicking in this world.

whispered message
of each new wrinkle
rejoice! you’re still here

As I approach my 50th birthday this summer, I am focusing less on all that I am losing and more on my vitality, creativity and wisdom. Maybe I’ll even earn a few more laugh lines along the way.

you’re younger now
than you’ll ever be


“celebrate!” and “whispered message,” shown here, are both 5" x 7", painted with sumi ink and gansai paint on heavy textured paper. Each is stamped in red with my personal seal. Each original is also available as a 5” x 7” greeting card or signed print.

Makino Studios News

Makino Studios Debuts in New York: Starting in April, Omega Institute, based in Rhinebeck, New York, will carry ten of my haiku card designs. Considered the nation’s foremost educational retreat center, Omega hosts more than 23,000 people each year for workshops and retreats that “awaken the best in the human spirit.”

North Coast Open Studios: Humboldt folks, you can visit five local women artists under one roof at the Samoa Women’s Club between Arcata and Eureka, California on the first weekend of North Coast Open Studios, June 1-2. These include painter Tina Gleave, beeswax collage artist Gigi Floyd, silkscreen artist Cindy Shaw, and potter and printer Marty Flora. I’ll be showing new haiku ink paintings inspired by my recent trip to Mexico, among other work.

Rejoicing in Song: Although I don’t have a religious or musical background, since 2005 I have been singing with the Arcata Interfaith Gospel Choir. In this Kickstarter video, I share why. I hope you will join me in supporting the work of this choir to spread joy and healing through music. Donor rewards include cards and prints of my haiku painting of the choir, as well t-shirts and water bottles using my logo.

Online Store: There are several new card designs available in my Makino Studios Etsy shop, including those shown here. Also, because I will be doing some consulting in Washington, DC next week, my online shop will be on vacation mode March 26-31.

Connecting: Thank you to all who responded to my last email newsletter, “This one wild and precious life”! I so appreciate your comments. You can "like" the  Makino Studios Facebook page and follow @Ant99 on Twitter for fresh haiku, art and news.