Saturday, July 1, 2017

Smoke and Mirrors

Sometimes I worry that age will dictate who I am.
That I'll end up being one of those women desperately trying to hold on to their youth, in ways that don't flatter them. Wearing shorter hair because it's suitable for a woman of that age  (there's that word again), or wearing something that looks ridiculous on the frame of a seasoned woman. Buttoning up plaids and shortening pumps to the cold cold floor, afraid to wear horizontal stripes or show lily-white bare legs in the public arena of judgment. 
I don't want to be that woman.
Once a pencil skirt, always a pencil skirt.

I've played with mirrors and light all my life. Examining who I am and thinking out loud for an audience of blog souls who cared enough in the House of Blogs to offer a hand-up from some dark places I stepped into, who saved me from the comical tragedies I wrote about in precarious attempts to make sense of my world. You let me.

Thank you.

You can't bare your lily-whites to just anybody you know. Oh, the scandal! It takes a special blog breed to accept the timbre of an occasionally out-of-tune skirt.

And that's where I've been lately.
Sorely out-of-tune.
Purposely so. Wallowing in imperfect fifths just to confuse hollow chords into resolving. Perhaps a little angry. A lot introspective. A tiny bit off my game. Riding on the crux of an avalanche, though not permanently derailed. It's that fascination with mirrors you see.... you need them to help you stay centered. 
And honest with yourself.

I snapped this picture when I was shopping last summer.
It was only when I got home that I realized how "divided" I look (ha!) fragile.

And how stubbornly, surprisingly strong.
Only a seasoned woman in an aging frame would post a picture of herself with a price tag and no head on her shoulders. Like Minnie Pearl's swinging hat tag or the mysterious old woman in the poem "When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple."

I hate purple.
It's so....well.....old.
Wear red. Or mirrors. Or groovy glasses.

So what if I lose my head once in a while? It gives me pause to wonder what really lies in between? What part of me closes the gap when there is loss or emptiness or fear? Is it wholeness to bare your vulnerability...or self-destruction in the hands of a cynical cruel world? What connects the two parts of me and makes me whole? Is it Spirit? Luck? Destiny? Serendipity?
I should know that by now. 

So, here's the thing.
I'm about to start a new adventure, closing a chapter and turning a page. It's not at all scary.
 As I move forward into the next decade, please God, don't let me wear long skirts or cut my hair too soon. I will wear large sunglasses and play my piano at midnight (sans the glasses) for the squirrels and the raccoons and the owls in the woods, for the people in the audience and the pews in the church and....for me. Just me. I will crank up the volume on my microphone and sing what makes me happy. My broken fingers will fly over keys of memory. Every raw emotion will pour out and drop as water on the ivory, because that is what storytellers do.
And furthermore,  I will sit on the floor in a hippie skirt and flowered jeans (not at the same time), strike matches on a matchbook and pretend I know how to smoke, and write lyrics and stories until my not-so-flexible-anymore fingers are happy with the ache it brings, until I taste and smell and feel what those perfect imperfections mean to me and until my hands burn from some kind of spirit I can't explain.....the One I respect but can't see.

Because I've learned that the most beautiful chords are unresolved.

And this time, Dear God, let the man by my side refuse to hold my hands.

I'd rather he clothe them with kisses and let them fly.
It is not for me to separate the young from the old or the naive girl from the wiser skirt - but to honor both.

Go find your mirror.

I hear there's a sale this weekend.

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Mark In Mayenne said...

Love from Mark xx

ilovemylife said...

I love reading what you write. I know your journey in my own way. Retired from public school music teacher, 68, finding my way through the changes of the face in the mirror. The five time broken heart is working through number six. Different because he is my only child. Adopted when he was almost 12. Years of rejection. Me, by him. ~ Wear anything you feel like wearing. It's your rules that count because they are yours.

Mimi Lenox said...

Hi Mark! Nice to hear from you. I hope you are well in the lovely land of France...

Mimi Lenox said...

Sandra - heart crunched in pain when I heard you describe your struggles with what must be the hardest heartbreak of all. Those we love most sometimes end up causing the most pain. I don't know what to say except that if you need to talk, I am here. Just write. We do have a lot in common.

Hugs and love to you.

Mark In Mayenne said...

Hi Mimi, all is well here thanks!

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