Left with Lines and Wrinkles

"As we grow old, the beauty steals inward." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don’t know that I could ever tire of reading Emerson. There is a ridiculous amount of wisdom. You may have seen the status comment I put up which is also a quote from him, "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."

I have a two hour window MAX these days for how long I can stand being out and about. This degeneration may very well have been from Sunset Strip. I get invitations to see horrible sounding bands in awful rooms like the Cat Club where the sound system is unbearable. Couple that with the waitress who’s perfume smells like the inside of a dead skunk (Gramma used to say it, I don’t really know what that smells like) and you have 2 easy reasons why I want to dash home immediately!

But it seems like wherever I go, I completely max out at the 2 hour mark. While I feel like many areas of my life are improving as far as patience goes, I am growing increasingly impatient with the same old dribble. It could be that I am not so impatient but rather I simply have better things to do. Same with the radio; I can’t sit through 20 seconds of bad song-writing even if I was paid to do so. It’s a lot like intolerance, but that word is something I loathe! I would hate to place myself in that category. ;)

So there I am ‘stealing inward’ into my cave. I think the good part is that I am not doing it to be reclusive because I have sat in the West Wing of Seclusion before (Big Lebowski reference) and I am not sad, mourning or depressed. I steal away to do things I love and to try and not waste life.

I use this example to draw a bit of a parallel with the initial Emerson quote. It seems like as we grow older, we make up little jokes and sayings to excuse the fact that our outward appearance is aging. I hate when we do it, but I know why. Deep inside many of us feel a nagging sense that death is creeping up but more often than not many of us see regret when we look in the mirror. The lines and wrinkles just remind us of what we haven’t accomplished at this time in our lives. The lines and wrinkles feel like what is left of whatever life we had that we accuse others of sucking from us.

I am ready in my life to get past the big joke that is aging. I don’t want to go back to my youth. I didn’t like the person I was as a teenager but life just is what it is! I don’t feel especially regretful anymore. When Emerson said "the beauty steals inward", I am struck by how incredibly beautiful this is. Think of how unnecessary looks really are. Think of how much a good character matters and couple it with how remarkable it is that our soul has the unique capability of marinating a personality, stirring it, adding spices to it and it can just grow and grow! I hate the term, "It’s all downhill from here." Well of course it would be nice to couple a good character with a fit body so we can go experience life to the fullest. But the beauty that is inside of us, that steals away to its meditating place in order to strengthen its peace is bigger than our physical being. The beauty of character has the ability to transcend all the radio fodder and propaganda and sit cross-legged in the middle of a violent storm. How breath-taking it truly is!

And then in true Emerson fashion, he cracks a joke at the same time he draws a picture with his words… "steals inward" which is the opposite of "stealing away"; a term often reserved for young lovers and risk-takers. How eloquent that he would touch on something so youthful and allude to the essence of true beauty being in growing old.

We can make jokes about aging because after all, life is pretty funny! But aging is something I am quite enjoying for everything youthful that I am physically losing is like a metamorphosis, a transformation. This is going to be ok! You see, it could just disappear from our outsides and never place itself on the inside and then oh what a truly empty shell of a body we would be!

Take care of you, but please…take care of your spirit!
Karen :)

Oh why not add a third Emerson quote, right?

"Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think."


  1. This is a very interesting blog and so i like to visit your blog again and again. Keep it up.



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  3. lines and wrinkles rock ~! they tell a story of a person's life...same with scars, I got alotta scars, it used to bug me alot, not so much now... I can look at 'em and remeber where I was then it happend and be ok with the truth..and the healing prosses...I came along way from alotta those scars..and that's something I can be proud and I am a stronger person now, and a differnt person too. I don't have to be ashamed.....your blog rocked ~! have a rocking night ! xxxx~!