Tuesday, April 6, 2010
During those difficult teenage years when I was blessed with acne, my mother would tell me I was beautiful and lucky. Lucky? "Lucky," she said, "because when you are old, the bad stuff will be gone, and you won't get wrinkles." So, I hoped and hoped for the day I would get "old" and the skin would work itself out: acne-free and wrinkle-free. I'm old-er, and I do have wrinkles--on my belly from the stretching of skin as my children grew within me--and around my eyes from days of squinting at a computer--and on my forehead from thinking too hard and worrying too much. What does my skin say about me? Does it say that I am perfect, that my body is free from flaw? Does it say that I have had nothing hard to deal with in life? If it's either perfection or wrinkles that I have to choose between, I choose wrinkles. People with wrinkles are interesting. They have lived. They have experienced joy and sorrow and somehow made it through both. Wrinkles are a badge of honor for a life that didn't overcome the liver. When faced with harsh realities of life, the liver, absorbed them, dug in, and held on. The very best kind of wrinkles are those at the corners of the mouth--lines that etch the good memories and laughter. These lines keep the beautiful moments alive.