Pictures, pictures, scramble for pictures and outside is so beautiful, each ray of sunlight a stream of perfect diamonds but you've seen them all, haven't you? Well, not these particular rays but their brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles...
My favorite, the way the light hits the moss, the leaves, the branches of one of my oaks.
I am late with everything today. Hell, I haven't had a period in years. Haha! Menopause joke! But you know, sometimes I do think about that- those so-many years of my life when I lived and died on whether I got my period or not and cramps and PMS and ovulation and how wonderful it was to ovulate, even when I got the pain of it, mittelschmerz, so bad I would have gone to the ER if I hadn't know what it was- that power that estrogen can give you and I remember all of that and it's like another lifetime.
It was another lifetime.
I was talking to May this morning and we had one of our long-calls where we discussed everything from her work to Owen to her dads to filming to blogging to the weather to chickens to her new thug-hat to chefs, to....I can't even remember.
And at one point I said, "Getting old is so cool," and then I couldn't believe I said it. What!? Why would I say that but I said it because I was thinking of how Freddy showed me a shot he took of me the other day and it was the most unflattering thing you can imagine, shot from below my face and all the wrinkles and wattles and folds and everything were right there to see and I loved it! Vanity and estrogen probably go hand-in-hand. Lose one, you lose the other. Not saying I have no vanity, it's just different now. I am not only content to have an interesting face, I am thrilled. And I can joke around with men in a way I never could before because I am a GRANDMOTHER and it's cool, it's okay, I am no threat to anyone and thus, I can just have fun.
Things change and I am learning that it's okay. No. It is right and it is good. I don't want to be Cher or one of those entertainer women whose entire lives have been built around their looks, their estrogen-rich powers of attraction and who, when the estrogen goes, the looks change and morph, have to get surgery and take hormones to try and maintain something which is just not there anymore in the same way and never will be.
There is such a freedom, somehow, in letting that go. To embrace a different sort of beauty. To understand, truly, that there are different sorts of beauty.
I am thinking of letting my hair just grow and grow. May's hair is so beautiful now. She can sit on it. She's always had beautiful hair and there is something so her about it- she does not let style dictate her hairstyle and she wears it twisted up and pinned with a big silver hairpin I bought her and when she lets it down it's a glory on this earth, an entire river of light and movement. My hair will never be as beautiful as hers but it is mine and god knows I don't let style dictate much to me either. Well, we will discuss this again in summer, I am sure.
But here I am today, this morning, and I can't figure out what I'm doing. Go to town? The library calls and I've been reading a book for years now, it seems, and it's about a woman trying to find her father and I don't even care at this point and that's odd. I wanted to find my own father for so long and then I did and it was fine but then he wanted money and so I know this story but do I quit reading the book after investing so much time in it? I thought maybe I'd finish it last night but I was too tired and put it down and pulled the covers up over my shoulders and fell into sleep, the book where I dropped it on Mr. Moon's side of the bed.
The woman in the book was at the point where her goal had switched from finding this father to having him buy her pearls.
Do I care if she gets the pearls? Will I even remember if I finish the book? In two months I bet you I will have forgotten.
Maybe two weeks.
Another thing about getting older- nothing sticks the way it used to. The brain's surface becomes slick and only the most tenacious of facts or prose can cling to it.
Again- so what?
Another lifetime. Another set of circumstances. Another set of hormones of mind-chemicals of ways to relate to others and in some ways, a much better way. The wall that youth constrains you within is gone and there is that freedom which you never thought you'd have.
It's not all good, believe me, but surprisingly, there are new delights which come with age. A few. Some.
And if I want, I can put on my own pearls which, in a way, my father did give me as they were his mother's. They were sent to me when she died, she left them to me in her will. They are tiny and beautiful, natural pearls, and when I die, one of my children can have them. I should wear them more and because I am an older woman, I can.
Pearls and turquoise and diamonds, too, if I want, and I can carry a red leather hippie purse and all of those things are part of who I am and I don't have to care if they "go together" or not. I realize it doesn't matter. What matters is what makes me happy on some silly level and sometimes I wish I had a ruby ring and an emerald one too, to go over my knuckles and draw attention to these old wrinkled hands.
Yeah. I am learning the ways of the country of the older and babies- it's not a bad place in which to dwell. At least on the days when the joints aren't screaming and today, they are not because the air is clear and no rain is coming for a few days, anyway, and the light in the sky looks like it did four days ago but that takes not one thing away from it. It is as beautiful today as it was then and perhaps it will be even more so tomorrow.
I am late, but not in the way they use the phrase in The Number One Ladies Detective Agency which is a euphemism for being dead, or in the way of the young woman, either worried or thrilled that her period has not come when it should have. Just late in the way that the day is getting along without me but honestly- so what? I have noticed and noted the light and perhaps that IS my task today. To be the one in Lloyd, Florida to look up and see it and be thrilled once again because it is beautiful as are the very old trees it illuminates.
Here are my pearls. I think I have shown them to you before. I am going to wear them today, whether I go to town or stay here and just clean out the hens' nests.
A small celebration of age, of me, of a woman I never knew, of a father I never really knew.
You, too- go put on something or do something to celebrate your place here in this world right now. Take a picture of the light in your yard, put on those earrings you keep safely hidden away somewhere for special occasions, break out the silver to eat your yogurt with, the good china to eat your leftovers on, get out your favorite pen and write a poem and let it lie as you write it, no cross-outs, just thoughts pouring out of your heart at this very moment in time.
Then tell me about it and I will wear those words in my heart like tiny pearls strung together and worn around my neck, those words about the land in which you dwell, right now, young or old or middling or whatever you are or feel or want or yearn for.