This is me, scars, wrinkles, freckles, age spots and all. (I even think my lazy eye might be making a comeback!) I would never have plastic surgery because my face tells the story of my life. I have deep smile lines because I love to laugh and smile. I have freckles and age spots because as a teen I laid out in the backyard with baby oil coating every inch of my visible skin. I have a scar because I had to have a skin cancer removed. I have a scar on the left side of my face because I slipped and fell off the back deck of our house 10 years ago. Because I was 46, it didn’t disappear like scars from my 20’s did. I have wrinkles around my lips because gasp I was stupid and was a closet smoker for years. I’m not model perfect. I’m a real woman.
For the record, I’ve never ever, ever been “pretty” by the worlds’ terms, but I do think I can be “cute” if I wear lipstick, mascara, and a smile. Otherwise, hide your children ’cause I’m kinda scary first thing in the morning!
Why am I confessing all this? Because I think as human beings we should accept who we are–wrinkles, spots, imperfections–and all! Finally, at the age of 56 breathing down the neck of 57, I like me. I like my face. Please, no matter what your age, like yourself! Like your face and body! God loves you and if the King of the Universe loves you just as you are, well, you should love yourself too!
Why must a woman’s life be so hard?
Because she bears the future in her soul, body, heart.
© Elaine Wood-Lane
And for today’s prompt (optional, as always!), I’d like to challenge you to write a landay. Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy. Check out this long investigative article on landays for a fascinating look into a form of poetry often composed in secret, and rarely written down. You could try to write a single landay – a hard-hitting couplet that shares some secret (or unspoken) truth, or you could try to write a poem that strings multiple landays together like stanzas (maybe something akin to a syllabic ghazal?)
I read the article linked in the prompt and learned that most landays are written with nine syllables in the first line and thirteen syllables in the second. These are usually not written down anywhere because women aren’t allowed to write poetry in Afghanistan, but are composed to be easily remembered and shared with others. These come from a long oral tradition dating back thousands of years. Some that they quote are quite heartbreaking. I hope I have captured the spirit of the landay because I really find it inspiring. Elaine