Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Band Of Fireflies

I'm still thinking about Betty and the picture of her as a young woman and how she said, "Want to see how I used to look?"

She wasn't being overly wistful about it. 
Unlike me, Wistful Winnie. 

Whenever I see a picture of myself, even from a year ago I'm startled by how I used to look, then -

what the hell happened to my neck? 

Oh vanity!

My friend Ann, a woodland sprite at fifty-two is a dancer, actor, artist, magical mother of two boys, parading as an Instructional Aide in a kindergarten class. She has a great take on the neck thing.

"What's the big deal about skin anyway?" she said one day after yoga. She took a hold of the skin on her arm and tugged.
"It's just skin," she said, "I don't get it. Who cares if it's wrinkled."

This may have come on the heels of me wistfully recalling a time in college when a woman touched my arm and said, You have the most beautiful skin. 

I, an olive-skinned, smooth-faced nineteen year old, blushed with specialness from a stranger's comment and the touch of her hand on my skin. 

oh vanity!

I remember that summer day very well. At my college tucked in the Green Mountain State, it was the fashion for me to wear overalls and nothing else. I was young skin in overalls, glorious air everywhere.

I am not my skin. 

oh vanity!

Dad says, the body is an overcoat for this life.

In response to every magazine with an air-brushed, botoxed, bikini-clad woman on the cover, I must constantly remind myself that this body is a container for light and love and life. 

It's just skin. I don't get it. 

When we die, we'll slip out of our overcoats and float gently up into the sky, a band of shimmering fireflies.

Read: Betty's Still Beautiful/ May 10, 2011

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