Over the weekend, I agonized a bit over making a picture of myself. I tend to love being on the other side of the lens, and in my agonizing I realized why. I like the view and I see (I think) with kinder eyes, especially when looking at those I love. I suspect it’s because I have a deeper appreciation for story.
I thought about a black and white picture that adorns several things here, and why I love it. Surely, I was younger, but the appeal is not that. I love the picture because it represents a time when I was new to the big city, and yet at home most in jeans and flannel. In that perception, not much has changed.
But, a new picture reminds me that I’m not that girl anymore (and yet, I am).
Putting on eye shadow has never been difficult for me. And yet, I can’t help but notice a difference in recent years – the skin moves with the brush as always, but it doesn’t bounce back. I like thinking that the lines in my eyelids, as well as those around my eyes and smile, are etchings of experience, lines of character. They’re proof of the story.
Life is full of wrinkles, and wrinkles are reminders that life has been lived. Regardless of what miracle creams we use, we can’t “un-live” life, and trying to erase the journey seems rather sad to me.
Age is a funny thing. I think of how many times we hear the words, “If I had known then what I know now …” The truth of the matter, though, is that what happened then is why we know what we know now. Perhaps, we should try to appreciate all of the experiences, even those we find to be least comfortable. Life is filled with happy stories, sad tales, and the making of more than a few lines.
“Some women and men over forty spend money fighting gravity with cosmetics and cosmetic surgery. That’s their ball game. That’s their parade. More power to them. There was once this woman named Gertrude Stein. She was the aesthetic opposite of Marilyn Monroe. I never knew Ms. Stein but from what I’ve read about her life I would venture to say that she was approximately (there’s no way of measuring such things…well, there are a couple of ways) a million times happier than Marilyn Monroe. Sexy on the outside doesn’t do much for ugly on the inside. This isn’t to say that Marilyn Monroe was ugly on the inside. I’m sure she was really f…ing gorgeous on the inside, too. Bottom line: sparkle on the INSIDE can enhance ANYTHING on the outside.”
I can’t imagine ever not loving hip hugger jeans, but the days of wearing them with a bright yellow halter are past. Instead, they’re worn with an old t-shirt, a bit of sparkle, and a story. The story is worth every single line.
In that, I am also reminded of words a sweet soul once shared with me. In a moment of madness, I fretted over competing with women younger and prettier. The response is one I hold near to this day, ‘but you’re a poet’……….
a truth divine
was never meant
for losing –
and somewhere still
the sea retreats
and never feels the sand
. . .