I have been taking an online class. One of the exercises has been to cruise Pinterest or some other visual heavy website and lift out images that deeply resonate for us. So, I have been doing that as prescribed.
As usual with Pinterest, I fell down a rabbit hole this morning looking for images of strong women - especially strong large sized ones. I never did stumble across that. What I did get lost in was the sea of portraits of old women. I find them spell-binding and incredibly beautiful. Every line, every wrinkle a story of where she has been and what she has done. I fell in love over and over and over. I'm not talking about the former models or super pampered Westerners with their long silver-white hair and unlined faces. I'm talking about women who have lived and scrounged and had a life - a life that shows in their faces.
My mom's face now looks like these and I wondered if this affinity is because they remind me of her or has it been around a long time. I can distinctly remember loving my grandmother and her sister's faces. I can remember fingers tracing photos of really amazing older women in Nat Geo. Seems, I have always found them beautiful.
So, I toddle off to look at photos of younger women, of moms, of young girls. They are beautiful, too but in a different way that doesn't sing to me. The are beautiful the way an empty page is beautiful, or unbroken snow. Everyone finds beauty there. Anyone can be beautiful, is beautiful, at that stage of their life. But, once the story is writ upon the page, how many still find beauty? How many will write a sonnet about slush? about wrinkles?
I am not interested in the part of a woman's life between childhood and retirement. I am specifically drawn to women in their cronehood. I am and always have been a crone. The same way some people will never grow up and mature beyond childhood. Maybe I was a child once, but I have been a crone so long, I can't remember.