Monday, 30 December 2013

Wood and Faces

Triumphant morning out in the wild wind and rain foraging for firewood – filthy and wet, had a lovely time!

And – oh, most excellent news – our friend and incomparable builder Terry Martin is willing to squeeze in a woodstove installation in early January!  O praises and glory hallelujah!

Terry can build anything.  He was raised in the African bush by an intrepid mother who killed snakes and surrounded the house with a ring of fire to stop it being eaten by marauding ants.

On another topic: faces.  I have felt disturbed lately by how ugly people are getting.  Place after place I’ve looked around and seen faces looking like melting rubber, like awful latex Spitting Image joke masks with nylon hair.  I mean, I know we all have to grow old, but . . .  And I wondered why it was.

Then yesterday I went to Quaker meeting for the first time in ages, and the faces looked all right.  Humour.  Kindness.  Seriousness.  Wisdom.  Thoughtfulness.  Normal undyed hair same as animals or humans have always had.  No make-up.

So I thought, it must be consumerism – materialism – that is making the faces go ugly.  Emptiness.  Tiredness.  And a mask on top.

Even some children’s faces look wrong – taut and tense with tight mouths.   But I looked into my grandaughter’s face yesterday and it is jolly, and full of eagerness.  Her eyes shine like lamps.

There is hope.

I have no idea what my face is like (I mean, I’ve seen the pictures but you can’t really tell, can you?) but I hope it is growing old like a Quaker face, not like a Spitting Image.


Julie B. said...

I think the growing trend for cosmetic surgery is making people look unattractive. I think a face lined with the evidence of a million smiles is something truly beautiful. You may not know what your face really looks like, but mine looks like my mother's. And my father's. Yikes. xoxo :) Squeezes for Iceni...

Rapunzel said...

Oddly enough I've always thought you look like a Quaker, which coming from me is a compliment not a comaprison to the chap on the oats box. You have what my family would call an "honest peasant face", a bright, open, unafraid and unhidden face. Need I add these are our favorite kind?
I myself have been without makeup, hair 'styling' and such for five years now. The longer I continue not doing those things the goofier they look on other people. I wonder if this is a path to a crotchety old age?

Ganeidaz Knot said...

Faces ~ ooh, yes! I always think of Dorian Grey & hope I look ok ~ not beautiful, but kind & quirky & funny. I think it must be ok because I'm always the one strangers approach for help.

BTW your own face is super: gentle but firm, *seeing* eyes, humerous mouth. Yep. All good there.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi friends :0)

Julie - I have always found the idea of cosmetic surgery horrifying - a sense of becoming trapped inside a facade that know longer expressed one's true being: but I guess some people feel they *are* allowing their true being to be expressed in having surgery - that the results of age and nature do not faithfully represent their inner reality.

Rapunzel - peasant face; something to prize, I can't think of anything nicer. Like Van Gogh's paintings.

Ganeida - Dorian Grey - exactly!


Rebecca said...

Oh! A Quaker face is the face for me, please.....

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Me too. x

tonia said...

Oh, I love it when I come here and find you thinking the same things I am. I have only recently been dealing with the realities of uncolored, greying hair, and how unacceptable that is to some. I so want to age naturally though, and allow my spirit to show through, without contrivance and covering. I think the time we spend on our inner persons begins to leak out as we age...I do so hope to be as lovely as you are.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) I crystallised these ruminations into the question "Would Mother Teresa have looked better with a perm?"
It depends on what one perceives as the source of beauty. x

Rapunzel said...

Mother Teresa kept her head covered, so we do not know for sure that she didn't have a perm.

; )

Pen Wilcock said...

Good point. I bet she did. Mother Teresa had a SECRET perm!

Bean said...

Interesting commentary. I think there is nothing wrong with aging gracefully, and no matter how much makeup and spandex a person wants to wear it just begins to look silly the older one gets.

My husband and I were grocery shopping for about a month ago, we walked past a lady who was probably eighty, she had on teenage girl low rider jeans, a skimpy top and a very small jean jacket, ultra high heel shoes, a mass of artificial blonde hair and so much eyeliner she resembled a raccoon, and she was skinny as a rake. After we passed her my husband and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows and could hardly suppress our laughter. What would have looked fine on a young woman simply looked clownish and freaky on an eighty year old.

As for you Ember, you have a kind, friendly face, a person to turn to when advice is needed, a person who can be trusted.

I think the trend to age naturally is becoming popular and even a lot of young women now choose to not wear make up and dress for comfort rather than show.

Blessings to you,


Pen Wilcock said...

Hmm. I think fat and thin have become such issues for women nowadays, that when an older lady manages to stay very thin perhaps it goes to her head a bit in as she chooses the rest of her presentation. Young and thin have become achievements, a source of pride to show off, as old and fat have become emblems of shame and social redundancy. I'm surprised, as I get older and fatter, not to care more than I do.

Rapunzel said...

Hahahaha! Priceless, Pen!
I think I stopped caring more than I do, as you so neatly put it, when I stopped watching television. With no one in my world telling me I should strive to look like an undernourished overworked twelve year old I find a plumpish body to be much more comfortable to live in than I had previously been led to believe.
And when one is a granny it is good to have a bit of padding here and there. For their comfort in times of little sorrows, and for our own protection when romping around and playing leapfrog. Three year olds cannot jump over adults, so they either walk across you, or they jump halfway and land on you, either way it's good to be padded.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx