Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Lately I have been looking at my house and noticed a number of cracks appearing in our walls and ceilings. We live on a particularly unstable piece of limestone in Texas and that limestone is covered with a thick layer of black gumbo clay. When we have wet years, our cracks close up and are less noticeable. In dry years the crack open up. This past year was an exceptionally dry year and our cracks are more evident than usual. It has been several years since we last repainted the inside of our house, so I guess it is time to repair the cracks and repaint the walls in an effort to cover up our cracks.

As I was looking at an annoying crack in my bathroom the other day, I happened to glance in the mirror and notice that my face had lots of "cracks" (wrinkles) that I also attempt to cover with "paint" (makeup) in an effort to hide the shifts in my skin due to gravity. Looking at my wrinkles caused me to do some musing about aging and how I hide the effects of aging with paint and cosmetic fixes. My mind then moved to the need to celebrate my own "cracks" the way that I often celebrate the wisdom that has come with earning of the "cracks" in my face. However, I would like to look 35 again--and keep my wisdom.

Perhaps I will give my wall and ceiling cracks a cosmetic touch-up and then celebrate the age and wisdom of my house. I will sit down with a glass of wine and offer a toast to honor all the life that has happened within these cracked walls during the 35+ years that we have lived here.


  1. Oh, Pat, I didn't notice that you had a puttied face last time I saw you, so surely you didn't, but you have hit on one of my major hot buttons here. Smooth, well-tended skin is a delight to behold. But women of any age who slather on face paint when they are not attending a costume party appear to be trying to cover up pain and insecurity; to be something they aren't. And women whose faces look plasticized, grafted onto aging bodies, are downright pitiful.

    There is something noble, honest and true about faces that are in harmony and resonance with the bodies that support them.

    I'm not against cosmetics at all, and when they are used to subtly enhance, they are delightful. But there's a fine line between subtle enhancement and looking garish, and the older we get, the less paint it takes to cross that line.

  2. Good post. I too would love to look 35 again but can't and I don't wear much make-up either. Our cracks make us who we are and yes we earn them:)
    SOme great thoughts here. Missed you!

  3. I just found your blog and enjoyed it.

    I've been wondering lately if someday society will look back on our youth-obsessed culture in the same way we see bustles and powdered wigs: kind of a ridiculous trend.

    I'll be applauding from heaven when wrinkles are recognized as badges of courage!

  4. Oma, that idea of looking back at plastic faces in the same light as bustles -- hysterical! I remember my great-grandfather once remarking when I was seven or eight about how much he had enjoyed watching women when they wore bustles. Even at that tender age I caught the innuendos.

    How funny that my generation's memory span intersected at that point with the living memory of bustles, which is a totally dead memory for most people my age and anyone younger. Does anyone follow that? LOL