Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Georgia's post on Monday ...

...made me realize how much I've changed, physically, in the last 17 years.

Half my life ago, I had headshots taken by Mom, who's not such a bad photographer, in preparation for going to music school. It was standard procdure then to submit both tapes and photos; I don't know if it still is.

The Jo at 17 has a perfectly unlined face, enormous blue eyes, and lips that take up most of the picture. She has no discernable bones. She's vaguely sad-looking, as though teenagehood hasn't been what the teen-books in the local drugstore and newsstand told her to expect. (*snork*)

The Jo at 34 that looks back at me from the mirror has smaller eyes and thinner lips. She doesn't weigh 117 pounds; her weight now is closer to what people call "that size". She has wrinkles that show up when she smiles or is dehydrated or tired. She looks like somebody who has been through a number of ill-advised relationships, a divorce, nursing school, several deaths, a couple of really hard jobs...and has come out of it happier and with a better sense of humor.

It's funny, how we age. If we're lucky, we see more value in a mobile, lined face than we do in one that's forever frozen into fantasy. If we're lucky, we can count the rolls and lines and curves as badges of experience rather than markers of incipient decay. If we're lucky, we'll celebrate the first grey hair (Hooray! I'll look more like Dad!) rather than flipping out.

It's like the picture over my bed says: "What a relief that as we age we retain our scars on the outside, rather than on the inner cuff."

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