The upside of wrinkles

I used to be obsessive about a wrinkle that carved a permanent home on the left side of my chin. The wrinkle, one of many now, is in the shape of a thin crescent moon whose open side faces down as if to mimic gravity’s pull. It’s now become part of a network of smaller lines and squiggles that double in numbers when I laugh and smile.

1-dependent-826326_1280

I said I used to obsess about this wrinkle, and I did. But, I’ve moved on. Lately, I’ve asked myself this question: What are the upsides of wrinkles? I want a positive slant on this aging process, a reason to celebrate the change from smooth surface to lines and deep folds.

My first true wrinkle began its existence as a mere shadow. Slowly, the wrinkle progressed, and in spite of its quiet debut it appeared to gain precious facial territory – like  the armies of Alexander the Great they spread across my globe.

stock-illustration-25364632-isolated-vector-drawing-of-old-woman-s-face

The reality though, is quite the opposite. This wrinkle, like any other wrinkle, had developed through loss. Fat that once plumped up the area beneath my eyes, and around my cheek bones, diminished. As my estrogen levels dropped, elasticity gave way, and my facial landscape yielded to interconnected microscopic forces.

My skin’s loss, however, has been my gain.

In the same time it took the wrinkle to form it’s uneven little timeline, I’d run through fields of tall grass and splashed through creek beds, annoyed teachers as I daydreamed my way through classes, loved more than one pet, married twice, lost one child early on, watched the other three grow up, and started writing. As I see it, the disparity between my wrinkle and I is staggering.

drawing.oldwoman.1991

It was difficult to visualize the difference at first. As a child, I was taught that wrinkles would define my limits. So, year after year I watched for the signs of those boundaries closing in on me, and on occasion they have. But, I believe those walls are created out of fear, and speak volumes about those who tend them. Eventually, I’ve discovered, all walls crumble and fall.

Deep within its cell walls, the wrinkle is privy to a life lived. They are chronological markings – patterns that don’t judge. Ultimately, out of its loss the wrinkle tells a story of a life lived.

© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s