Saturday, September 20, 2014

Third Person Mel

If sixty is the new forty then she's a few years shy of her fortieth birthday.  She prides herself on not looking her age.  A bottle of hair colour, “Nice and Easy – Light Golden Brown – non-ammonia” gives her twenty four shampoos to cover the grey.  Without her glasses she cannot see the lines beneath her eyes.  She thinks she is slimmer than she is, having dispensed with the discouragement of full length mirrors.  She knows that the scales don’t lie and never asks them for their opinion. 

She has lived most of her life compensating for the lack of inches.  She rarely wears high heels having listened to the sages about the damage done to spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet.  Two or three inches would so little to address the height deficit. She yearns for slim ankles and long legs.

A number of skirts, business shades of navy, grey and black, hang in the wardrobe.  She would like to resurrect the girl in her, but prefers trousers and jeans with elasticated waist bands.  Confidence comes in feeling comfortable not in power dressing.  She likes long cardigans that swathe her hips and rear end and avoids blouses that cling to every contour of her body. 

Some would say she is a quiet woman.  She perhaps stares at people or things for longer than she should.  It takes a while for her to feel comfortable with people.  She is slow to make friends but very loyal once she has.  If she said only half the things she thought about saying she would be a chatter-box. 

For a long time her family cherished the notion that she would be a missionary in some remote part of Africa.  She lived the whole spectrum of religious commitment from zealot to pew filler, settling for someone mellow and wise.  Black and white are not quite grey.  Hot and cold are not quite lukewarm. She is not as driven as she used to be and drives no one to meet her high expectations any longer.  She is becoming softer and kinder with every encounter. 

She loves writing.   She is in it for the thrill of the chase, hunting down the perfect word or the right sentence structure and deletes as much as she writes.  She carries a cast of characters in her head, like diamonds in a velvet lined drawer waiting for their right setting.  The opening paragraph that captures the reader is always being re-written.

She is a poet at heart and thinks in rhyming couplets.  Reading poetry isn’t really her forte but she is beginning to make friends with poets.  Deep imagery and symbolism confuses her so she keeps her poems simple and to the point. It’s unlikely her poems will make it into the textbooks and be dissected but she doesn’t mind. 

She is happy.  There are moments when she wonders if she missed the path she should have been on.  She gazes at her husband and knows that any road without him would not be worth the walk. He is her soul mate.

Look beyond the size and the shape, the quiet stare and the writing.  At her core, the centre of her being, is her faith in God.  It’s His approval she seeks and knows she has.

If sixty is really just sixty and forty is really just forty, it has taken her almost forty years to weave God’s life into her own.

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