Silent Spaces

A house in the Woods

A house in the Woods

I am alone, often. Don’t mistake this as a cry for company, I like my silent spaces and will paint them in deeper silence more frequently than I realize. I am I think strange in liking my silent spaces, no television, no background music, no white noise to distract me; only me, the clacking of my nails on the keyboard and occasionally the roll of my lighter as I fire a cigarette, or a candle.

I have always been this way, always liked the silence the quiet of empty beaches with only the waves for company. I have always liked mountaintops in the winter with only the crunch of snow as your feet break through icy top layers or you slide across the top during a solitary run on slick ski’s. I was always able to dance in a silent studio, without music except what I heard in my heart my body following a rhythm all its own.

Don’t mistake me, I like people truly I do like people in small doses. I enjoy a night out with friends; a great meal with magnificent wine is my idea of a fabulous way to spend money and time. Given the right cornersoftheroomgroup of women (or men) I could sit up all night and talk, I know this is true I have done it. With some people, I can spend hours on the phone and have far ranging conversations that touch on nearly every aspect of life, from children to government misconduct. I am not I don’t think a hermit.

Nevertheless, I love my silent spaces and have never felt the need to fill them. As I have grown older, I feel as if I am growing in. I am looking for balance; you know that ever-elusive balance we all seek in life between our mental, emotional and physical well-being and what the world requires of us. The requirements of paying the bills, keeping a roof over our heads and the lights on and if you live in one of the hot as Hades during the summer months keeping the air conditioning pumping, at least at a reasonable temperature so you don’t look like the Wicked Witch of the West or the Polar Ice Cap, you know…melting.

Growing in, what does that really mean? For me it means I am finding myself less and less likely to be tolerant of the bad behavior of others, this is especially true of what I perceive as the ‘entitlement’ syndrome. What is this you ask; well you should ask as this it is a growing phenomenon within society today. There are many infected and this nasty and pernicious disease of the soul spreads into both their personal and professional interactions touching all they touch and leaving an oily residue behind.

Growing in, I find what it means is I am unwilling to sell myself short or cheaply. What was acceptable even five years ago is not any longer “just part of the package, just part of the business”. I have ten, maybe fifteen years left to work, I love what I do, at least I use to truly love what I do. I worked very hard to carve a niche for myself in what had always been a man’s world, I had put in my time and when I say this I don’t just mean the years I mean the 70 hour work weeks and the millions of air miles. I now find I am truly unwilling to accept the disdain from some asshat recruiter who calls me with an opportunity but then has the nerve to say the following to me:

“Would you be willing to pay your own expenses to Philadelphia for a face-to-face interview?”

This for a 4-month project!

Then had the nerve to say to me, “Your rate is too high, I can find someone for half that price at an all-inclusive rate.”

“No, no you cannot, not with my level of experience, not with US Citizenship which you stated is a requirement and not with my references. But you know you should go ahead and try, call me back when they screw up the project my rate is double when I do project remediation.”

Yes, I did say that. I don’t know if that particular recruiter understood half of my response, however since it was in writing he can look up the big words.

perfectly silent and stunning

perfectly silent and stunning

Growing in, I find has created a great big question mark in my life. That question mark is leading me down the path of questioning what I really want to be and do right now and for the remainder of my productive / working life. What are the other things I truly care about and that matter to me? My independence in work, yes that matters. Being able to take time to myself, yes that matters. My silent spaces, yes that matters a great deal. The questions though are these:

Does my independence trump stability, focus and being able to chase other important dreams?

I am alone, often. This is not a complaint, not a cry for company. I like my silent spaces. I like my growing in. I like I am questioning my new places and maybe yet again reinventing myself, what I don’t like is I am being forced to this by an environment unkind to people like me, people of a certain age, certain gender, certain type; people who are growing in like me.

Faces of Beauty

I find I needed to return to the issues surrounding women and our fascination with beauty, more importantly society’s fascination with it. This is particularly important to me, as a woman in my 50’s, not even my early 50’s but hitting the very center of the mark this year. I look at our world, the young women who represent ‘beauty’ in the media and realize it is a rare thing indeed for one of them to be a natural beauty, to not have had some part of themselves changed in some way shape or form. By the time they hit thirty they are already chasing ‘wrinkles’ and in fear of aging.

What? Really? It just makes me want to shake them by their shoulders till their brains rattle, but then I think to myself, it is very likely their brains are already rattled and my intervention would do little to no good.

There was a time we venerated beauty in its natural state, with a fair degree of variety and acceptance there were differences among us. Every nose wasn’t perfectly straight and narrow, every face wasn’t perfectly symmetrical; indeed part of what defined beauty was its uniqueness. This is not to say they weren’t helped along by great lighting, perfectly applied make-up and of course, tight foundation pieces, they were nonetheless beautiful.

       

 Gina Lollabrigida (sodahead image)

 Barbara Stanwyck (sodahead image)  Lauren Becall     (sodahead image)

 Betty Grable       (sodahead image)

Something has been so firmly entrenched in our psyche over the last few decades we believe the hype, we believe we can stop time, stop gravity and if we don’t do so we will be somehow “less”. Now we have so corrupted our standard, so devalued women in their natural beauty many of us will do anything to stave off aging and pursue a version of perfection that leaves us disfigured forever.

     
 

 Lisa Rinna          (Sodahead image)

 Priscila Presely   (Sodahead image)  Jenna Jameson (BestandWorst Image)

 Dontella Versace      (zinbio Image)

We come to a time when even young women willingly inject a homogenized form of Botulism into their faces, that’s right a lab created version of the Black Death, into their faces in the hope of staving off the natural progression of age. What is wrong with society that we have gone to such lengths to convince an entire gender they are simply not good enough as they are and by doing so not only stripped them of their confidence but created a billion dollar industry.

Consider, though created in labs this is in fact what we inject into our bodies in pursuit of youth and beauty.

 
Five days after sustaining a compound fracture of his right arm, this 14-year-old boy noticed that he had blurred vision. Four days later, he could not swallow, move his lips, or protrude his tongue. Other findings inc)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Botulism1and2.JPG

Honestly, give me a bit of growing old gracefully and with a small bit of panache. Maybe even a little vinegar and vim. Let me please, just be able to squeeze my jiggly parts into some spandex and even if I have to lower the number of inches on my heels, let me still be able to put my feet into them and sashay for special occasions please. Let me not be so afraid to age I inject poisons into my proof of a life lived, freezing my face forever into a portrait straight out of Madam Tussauds Wax Museum.

In fact, let me emulate a true woman and lady:

   

 Betty White, 1955 (Sodahead Image)

 Betty White, 2010 (Wikipedia Image)

Let me count my wrinkles with relish, enjoying that I earned them! I did stupid things before I knew they were stupid, playing in the sun, riding my bike down steep hills and building sand castles on beaches so I could watch the rolling waves wash them away. I traveled, often getting lost in strange cities only to find the greatest bistros and bars. I drank Mescal straight from the bottle on star lit pyramids in Mexico, even eating the worm once. I have a antique sea chest filled with photo albums of nearly 40 years of life lived, life that is etched into memory and will someday be etched into my face and other body parts. A body that has already certainly felt the affects of gravity much to my constant dismay.

I ask only that I age gracefully in heart and spirit, retaining some humor please. Maybe also this, when I am finally tired.

Front Porch Ideas (Image)

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