Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Not Too Late

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...

But here.

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.
Pearls? Really?
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.

Do it!

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.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I like it -- this sermon, of sorts, from the Church of the Batshit Crazy. I know it's a Tuesday, but I get that kind of inspiration each day here.

  2. Ms Moon, you are my poem today. Thank you.

  3. I'm writing today, a column for the Valentine's Day food section of the newspaper, about a mid-50's woman who makes the BEST CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD -- in a metal building in tiny Comfort, Texas (population ~ 3,000). She sources the ingredients directly from the growers in the tropics, grinds the sugar and cocoa 30/70, a preposterous high percentage of cocoa. Her chocolate is rich and nuanced, deep like midnight with wild flutterings on the tongue and the shine of the full solstice moon as it melts in your mouth. She swears it's better for you than superfood blueberries and I believe her. But the best part is seeing one woman's passion change a sliver of the world. And getting to taste the change myself.

  4. Well, I love this post, full of love and wisdom and light from you. Funny, when you were posting this, I was out in the yard in 19 degrees, taking pictures of the light in my yard, even though I feel like crap because I've been down with a viscious cold for a week now, but the sparkles of the rime frost in the sunlight and the twinkle in the dogs eye just called to me. Sometimes, when you are sick and tired and old, doing the least likely thing is the best choice. Even though I have no voice, I barked laughter with the silly dog and smiled at the sunlight reflected on the icicles and that will carry me through the day. That and a good book and an occasional visit to my blog friends. Maybe I'll work up a post with photos for you later today.
    I could go on and on about the things you wrote today, but I will save my voice and just say you look lovely in your pearls. And I'd skip that book and read a better one! Hugs and air kisses, because I'm germy.

  5. Well. As ever, more than ever, there is too much here to cohesively respond to in a comment, but what a wonderful post.

  6. I ditto thew comments of others on what a wonderful post this is. I am going to come back to 12/28 on Bless Our Hearts to remind me of the good things about getting older. So true about how many months one used to need to know so desperately about whether you got it or not. These days mine likes to surprise me every 2 or 3 months and replace the sightings with hot flashes. I hope I can accept changes as well as you have voiced it today.
    Definitely return the book and start a new one when you feel like it.
    P.S. I asked for a ruby instead of a diamond years ago.
    P.P.S. Wear those pearls with your cashmere. And even your overalls at he same time.

  7. I am writing with a good pen in the journal I keep. I will write something in a bit about some thoughts on this day. Glad that you aren't pretentious--why fight gravity? It gets us all in the end, even Cher.

  8. This is a really really lovely post. Thank you.

  9. That book again! Love it!

    And oh soul, the topic ... um, I'm emailing you now because I'm laughing aloud.

  10. Love your story telling and your ponderings

    hugs from another Ms. Moon

  11. OK, I need a refresher course on the kids:
    Hank (boy, he's easy to remember as he's the only boy) and one of the girls - I thought it was May, but maybe not, are from your first marriage.
    Then Owen's mother (name? dark hair) and Jessie are from your second marriage, even though Jessie and the daughter from the first marriage look so much alike - well, actually they both look like little clones of you.
    So how far off track have I gotten?

  12. i love you for every thought strung together...into and out of the light.
    i know it is only tuesday but i was in great need of a ms. moon sermon and i am again lifted up by my overalls straps and set on HOLY FIRE!

  13. I have a set of pearls just like this, from my grandma. I didn't wear mine today, but I did (with my husband's help) hang the oil portrait of me that my mama painted when I was a little girl, and that she gave to me this Christmas. And I'm looking at it by the white lights on our little Christmas tree, and my little girl face is staring back at me out of that old old frame, 100 years old, and I feel old and young and loved, at the same time.

  14. Elizabeth- We here at TCOTBSC do not bother with specifying only certain days for our sermons. They come when they come. It is one of our tenets.

    Angella- Thank-YOU.

    Kathleen Scott- That is wonderful. And it's terrific that she lives in Comfort, chocolate being the ultimate in comfort food.

    Mel- And what a lovely post it was! I did finish the book over lunch. GAWD. (She didn't get the pearls.)

    Jo- See how much you have to look forward to? Ramblings without end.

    Michele R- It has taken me quite some time to come to any peace with this subject. But yes, at this very moment I am wearing the pearls and the overalls.

    Syd- No. I do not think I am pretentious. I wonder what sort of pen you use.

    call me any name- Thank-you! I'm glad you liked it!

    NOLA- I have to ponder your e-mail before I can answer it.

    moondustwriter- And back to you. Thank-you for coming by.

    Lucy- No. You're right. Hank and May come from my first marriage, Lily and Jessie from my marriage to Mr. Moon. And it's funny how both of the older children in the sets resemble their father's side of the family so much.

    rebecca- Holy fire! Love it! Love you more.

  15. The freedom that comes with age; That is the part that I so look forward to. My mother, my grandmother, I watch them in all of their aging glory becoming stronger and more beautiful with each passing year. Thank you Ms. Moon, for reminding us of all we have to look forward to. I will read this post again I know when my memory of it fails me.

  16. Thank you. I needed that. I've been panicking lately about getting old/dying and what I needed was to be reminded to "celebrate my place hrer in this world right now." Far more sensible. I'm still hyperventilating a little having read your post. Ah well.

    I can tell you that we always use our best dishes and cutlery, because we decided not to buy the "everyday" stuff off our wedding list in the end. We wanted to have the good stuff every single day. And we did, and I'm glad we didn't get the duller stuff.

  17. Amber Elise- I don't think I've had a lot of good role models for aging. I am glad you do. And I am glad to serve as a reminder that once the estrogen goes, not everything that replaces it or does NOT replace it is so bad.

    Mwa- Brilliant!

  18. I love that photo of you in your finery. You should see how I dress when I go to the sea to the sea to the beautiful sea! WHAT HO! And here is the poem I scribbled in my notebook on the ferry on the way home this afternoon not a word taken or a word added (except for the title which is new.)

    Pearls on the Moon

    inside expensive
    fat chocolates
    the cherries are old
    nearly pits to crack a tooth
    a child's sharp trick
    something red dangled
    in the toe
    of her hoodoo stocking

  19. Radish King- I swear. I feel graced by that poem of yours. I'd sure like to know about that hoodoo stocking. Uh-huh. I would.
    You're already home? I can't wait to read the post(s) about your trip to the sea, the beautiful sea.


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