27 May 2010

Each Wrinkle Tells a Story

This post is in response to the prompt "wrinkle" issued by Theme Thursday.

I speak in praise of wrinkles.
Wrinkles are the calligraphy of our lives.
They identify us as respected elders, wise mentors, ancestors in training.
Each wrinkle tells a story.

Would I erase these story tellers as if they didn't matter?
Which ones?

Not the ones earned in the birthing, raising, loving and letting go of a daughter.
Not the ones from building countless sand castles at the beach with my grandchildren.
Or those whittled over years of working with and coming to love
the severely and persistently mentally ill.
Or even the ones etched at the death of a child before she was born,
whole and perfect but not yet able to live.
Those wrinkles mirror my being carved into a woman capable of compassion,
connected to every other person suffering loss and collapsed by it.
Each wrinkle tells a story.

I honor the wrinkles on my beloved's face
hard- won as he tenderly cared for his dying sister.
I cherish the ones from his teaching our grandchildren to love the ocean as he does.
I am privileged to know the story told by each of his.

We instinctively have a sense of witnessing when we see an elder's wrinkled face.
Each wrinkle tells a story.
What might happen if we stop and listen?


  1. I'm not the biggest fan of wrinkles - they lend themselves to the cloak of invisibility that surrounds us as we age - but I LOVE the expression you use - ancestor in training.

  2. Lou spoke for me here. I was about to mention "ancestor in training." What a lovely thought.

    But I also think that a wrinkled face is so often a curtain behind which no one looks. I suspect it's a cultural thing, for which we have Madison Avenue to thank to some degree. Other cultures know that with age comes wisdom, and revere their elders. As the huge generation of baby boomers approach their senior years, I hope we learn to do that too.

  3. I like it too- I read it somewhere a while ago and have no idea where! Lou- don't let yourself be invisible! Unacceptable!
    Patti- That needed change starts with us!

  4. Beautiful, just beautiful. Wrinkles tell our story, and we should honor that story in ourselves and others.

  5. I have a new found respect for wrinkles!!! I wouldn't erase them either! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  6. Mar- This is beautiful. I love every one of my sweetie's wrinkles. Yes, there is an invisibility that comes with them; we can cease to catch the eyes of the hatchlings in their tiny shorts and skintight T-shirts. BUT WE ARE VISIBLE TO EACH OTHER.

  7. Beautiful....I am constantly battling folks on wanting to color this, change that and not honor who they are in my work. I am alive today. That is a pretty amazing miracle as I know it along my journey. Every scar, grey hair, wrinkle and mark on my body tells my story that I want the world to know, learn from with me and embrace as BEAUTY. Beauty is not just at a certain age in our life. Beauty is always...well said. Peace!

  8. Nancy- thanks.
    Nanny-You're welcome. I'm really glad you liked it. Elisabeth- Good for you and your Sweetie. How wonderful to be visible to another.
    Andrea- thank you. Yes, it's our beauty.

  9. What an amazing way to look at aging. I feel better about my wrinkles after reading this. Fantastic TT post.

  10. I love how you applauded wrinkles! (My TT post shares a similar theme.) Though I don't know anyone who is fan of them, it is what they represent that really counts. :)

  11. that is absolutely beautiful! such richness and honor. wonderful!

  12. Not much left to say after reading this except beautifully done.

  13. Leeuna, K., CA Girl, Everyday Goddess, Cheryl- thank you so much and thanks for stopping by!

  14. Which one to get rid of indeed. What a great way to honor the wrinkles of life - ask yourself which one you'd get rid of. It's like trying to choose which or your limbs to get rid of! And makes you that much more thankful for them all!

  15. Thanks, Judah. And thank you for following my blog!


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