My friend who studies 4 languages and also loves crow’s feet inspired this poem:
I know a man who loves crow’s feet
he says the lines of maturation take on civility
the way we eat soft bread
sip sweet wine
drink thick soup
he bends his head to the left then to the right
and looks upon wisdom
in burnt pupils thinned eyebrows cotton skin
he calls on years of steadiness and experience as a golden rule to define
he stopped watching media long ago (which was only yesterday)
he wants to celebrate age
he wants to feed hunger
he wants to give grace
he wants beauty’s best
We, he says, become beauty’s best by being
benevolent bold and bedazzled
through our crow’s feet
Thank god I finally have my crow’s feet.
This poem is about age. One of my students talked about her favorite Chinese actor who appreciates crow’s feet. She told us the actor believes it conveys the sort of wisdom you can only attain when you have lived for a period of time. There is something to be said about fine wine (i.e. aged wine).
When I ask my mom for help and she agrees, upon completion she sometimes says, “I don’t think I offered you much. I wish I knew more.” That’s funny. Her 7 decades to my 4 decades tell me otherwise.
Do I believe every older person (however you define older) is wise? No.
Do I believe there are young people (however you define young) wise beyond their years or simply wise? Yes.
Age is a funny fickle thing. We are told not to speak of age and never ask a woman her age or weight. I guess it must be okay to approach men and ask them their age, which I have often done. Commercials advertise age and weight all the time. My body creams and facial cleansers boldly state ‘anti-aging’ components. My products, I suspect, are ‘against aging.’ Does that mean they can stop aging or reverse the process? I can answer that – I should demand all of my money back.
Curious, why is a woman called a cougar if she dates someone younger? How much do you know about cougars? I’m into cougars because they are from the feline family, and I have a feline at home. He’s 8 years old. In human years that’s 48, but he acts like a big baby and follows every person around in the house [maybe that's normal for some latter 40 year old humans]. Cougars are often referred to as mountain lions, panthers and pumas but they have roughly 40 other names as well. They are the most widely distributed feline species in the western hemisphere (North and South Americas), and they’re not quite endangered yet, but I wouldn’t put it past humans to mess around and do something that shifts this dynamic (I’m sorry, was that pessimistic?). They are said to be solitary animals although in truth, they have their own social system. Did you know that cougars give birth to a litter of 1 to 6 cubs, which are born blind. Sight comes roughly 10 days later. And their eyes shift colors – blue to yellow over a period of 6 months. Wow!
Are you wondering why I am giving you this information? I just want to know why women are called cougars. I’m still trying to make a connection. I did learn that there was a Canadian website called cougardate.com which targeted older women and tomboys who weren’t looking for commitment. Also, there was a sitcom called Cougar Town, but the name cougar was clearly well established by the time this 2009 sitcom came out. Maybe we can venture back to 1967 when The Graduate came out. Cougar-licious!
Did you know that cougars average a lifespan of 15 years and can live up to 20 years in ‘captivity’? One more interesting piece of information: there is a hybrid species that is created from cougars (i.e. pumas) and leopards mating. They are called pumapard. I wonder if this is like wolves (a.k.a. lycans) and vampires coming together to make some sort of lycire or lycampire breed (i.e. lycan + vampire. Yep, I’m into such creatures).
*Another thing, my brother named me Tiger. Yes, I am from the feline family. Either that or I am a witch with a tabby-cat.
Back to age. If women can be called cougars, then men should be called what? Nothing is coming to me. Maybe men are called Normal (sarcasm).
Another question: Why is it important to have flawless skin? And does ‘black really not crack’? This is an odd statement: “You don’t look your age.” What age is that? Is that not a comparative statement? If I am 40 and 40 looks this way, then in actuality, I do look my age. If I am 18 or 54 or the fortunate age of 90 and people constantly say, “Nooooo, you’re kidding me. Stop lying!” What other factors are in place for me to look my correct age? Isn’t it possible that 90 and 54 and any age you pull from the sky look good (whatever ‘good’ is)?
When I taught spoken word, at some point I would ask students to describe what they look like physically? The general descriptions are short-tall; big-small; black-white; brown-blue eyes. But I needed more because as one knows, we generally size people up before they open their mouths. Example, I have a light faded black birth spot under my right eye, and under both eyes the skin is darker brown in the shape of a falling half moon [maybe the sign of age or wearing glasses]. I can tell you the size of my hands and the pulsating veins that stick out, depending on how I flex and bend my fingers. I can talk about how my body reshapes itself in certain clothing, and I can share more stuff about my face. We definitely love to concentrate on the face. Is it true that attraction begins with physicality? Because if so, I am clear as to why many of us have self-esteem issues.
I wish the idea of getting older would be celebrated not by an endless amount of candles and the fact that ‘you aren’t dead yet.’ I wish we could sing praise to our changing bodies: Every soft curve and added line to our visage is a mark of inner/outer intelligence; and a gathering of wrinkles is an opportunity to caress. We become squeamish to the thought that people of a certain [elder] age kiss, make out, hold hands, and we balk at our youth liking each other at too young an age. We are also very particular about how our skin unfolds in the public, so we do an enormous amount of private work - sometimes, dangerous and destructive private work. We contort ourselves in harmful ways because we are listening to something/someone outside of ourselves. But what if we said, “It’s skin.” Not that it’s just skin, but that it is skin. It layers our organs; serves as a shield; it adjusts to the environment; it outwardly manifests the shifts that occur inside our bodies; it is malleable, pliable, flexible, supple, stretchable, yielding. It has fight club moments, but thank god it can heal itself under the right conditions. It is worth touching softly, kindly without additives and preservatives. It does preserve though. It can hold the best of adornments (i.e. tattoos, piercings, and more). It walks into each day acknowledging the phases in life, but it is not aging towards death. My pre-menopausal/peri-menopausal/post-menopausal does not apply OLD (although 'old' is a word in the dictionary). It isn’t something that I should hide from, right? This 'condition' does not affirm that I am incapable of creating another being. I know the medical field has its purpose and is praise worthy for all the diagnoses I’ve had over the years. And again, my one-step-further into this earthly experience is something to be in Aaawwwe of. Therefore, I nod at the one-two strands of silver that streak my forehead; and I smile at the sunken indent in my cheekbones that wasn’t there a decade before; and I stretch a little more due to stiff muscles and an aching back; and I freely hand out long thick sanitary napkins to other females who cleanse monthly [opinion: we must talk descriptively about the menstrual cycle more]; and indeed I give thanks for the coming crow’s feet that welcome a new version of myself called, Beauty’s Best.