I was typing yesterday and I suddenly got a glimpse of my fingers typing; well not exactly my fingers, but the skin on the fingers that cover the same bones they covered 31 years. The skin was different. This was NOT my skin. There seemed to be three alphabetical letters that were stamped on every single cell of this alien skin. A. G. E. I stopped typing and examined this alien hand and realised that I did not recognise these fine lines, the extra creases on the knuckles, the slightly darkening skin where the bones bend and straighten… Who’s hands were these?!
But there was absolutely no point – whatsoever – feeling the slightest disturbed by this. “This”, what ever this was, be it nature, the way of life, the meanness of the world, whatever, but THIS, happened to everyone. But this is how I spent my birthday this year. I spent it looking at the little lines and wondered if God added a little one there for every joy, every heart ache, every dream achieved and each one broken… every line telling a story about life as we grow to know it.
The white hairs that have multiplied ridiculously over the last few months don’t disturb me. On the contrary, actually, I am very fond of them. So much so that I brush my hair in a way that they are more visible. They match the new “Professor Persona” that I’ve downloaded as part of a new theme to my life (lol). But these little lines… my hand – I cannot seem to forgive age for this cruelty.
But it’s because I haven’t linked the lines appearing on my hands as I have the white sprouting among the black in on my head. It’s all a visual exercise. The power of the mind over the body. Something I must learn to do as well I have learnt to look in the mirror and think “Ah, not THAT fat”. No, I’m just joking. But I do want to look at my hands and be proud. I want to look at them and think that these lines are a mark of honour for the kindness that they extend, the hard work they have dedicated to the world, the times little fingers wrapped around mine. Just like the manual laborers are proud of the calluses on their palms for the honest bread it brings their family, so may the fine lines become river banks where good can be written.
What is age, but a number of years and months… and a few white hairs.