September 14, 2010

Extending The Story

Like some of you maybe, I was born into a family with much older siblings. The photo to the left is from 1961 of my sister Sarah, who was nearly ten at the time, and me, on vacation in Cape Cod.  For as long as I can remember, Sarah has been one to seek the truth, and examine what resides under the layers of life. This is one of the things I appreciate most about her.

Sarah of course is one of my biggest supporters of Lines of Beauty, but because we are so different in some ways, her thoughts carry her to topics for this blog that I might not ever travel to.

So today I introduce Sarah Becker, my first guest blogger, whom I’m grateful, once again, for peaking under the layers:

"I think about Lines of Beauty often.  I wonder about the possibilities for stories that talk about the territory between recognition that one is aging in some way at any given moment and accepting the process of aging as it appears at that time.  Actually it's not about accepting the process of aging because having to "accept" it sees it from a negative stance from the beginning.  It's about understanding the transition one is in at the moment and looking forward to change, no matter what it is.  But I think I can say that because I have come to this understanding with time and experience.

I’d like to hear those specific stories from women which would tell us more about the internal processes we go through in change - more than optimism and "can do".  Because I think that the most optimistic of us have times of needing a good talking it through with ourselves to move ourselves along toward growth and realization.  This process of aging happens any time in life, as we comprehend the changes and stages of our lives - really from the earliest years.  We start by seeing it as "growing up", becoming adult, and then so often it's "oh no, I'm going to turn 30, 40, 50, etc."  One hears the dread around one all the time as people we know turn specific ages.  Where is the welcoming of wisdom and experience, of moving forward?

But it is broader and deeper than that...what am I doing with my life?  What needs to change?  What can change? How do I have to see differently in order move myself along?  How do I understand my living-self knowing that some day my life ends?  All of us hit roadblocks or stagnation in this process but something moves us along to get to the other side toward new understanding.

So while aging can be seen from the point of view of our bodies and spirits and beauty, it's really about moving through the life cycle.  We inhabit our bodies from the beginning.  They come to define so much of living.  I'd like to hear the stories of our minds and hearts, and yes, of our bodies too - all within the crunch and grind and breath of life."

More about Sarah here.


  1. Oy. This was just beautiful. I would love to hear these stories as well. So much of our focus on aging is on the body and appearance, and lord knows that's a part of the process, but I want to hear what women have to say about the content of their lives. Will I ever feel like an adult? What do you do when you're 40 or 50 or 80 and have realized that you no longer want to remain in the same career/marriage/city? Who are we as older women when we refuse to be wholly defined by our sexuality as it relates to men (e.g., that "cougar" shit)? How do we handle our changing desires?

    I have fantasies of a better yesterday when we weren't so obsessed with crows feet and sagging skin and were far more invested in sharing our stories in how we navigate the changing landscapes of our lives. More than likely, the better yesterday is a myth, but...yeah.

  2. Louisie - beautiful post from Sarah. Also, beautiful photo of the two of you little yum yums. xxoo, J

  3. Thanks Jayne my little yum yum, and CF you hit the nail on the head with one of the biggest questions perhaps for so many of us- How do we handle our changing desires- in the terrain of our lives? I know my Dad would probably have said "carefully". Of course too much caution can leave us standing still and stagnant, so we REALLY have to watch out for this. I just think we have to keep listening to our hearts. One of the great keys in life.