I was dusting the shelves in my china cupboard the other day when I stopped to look at Grandma's dishes. Tracing the fine lines of crazing as I remembered her, I began to think how the crazing seemed to add to their beauty for me. Caught up in the notion, I looked up the meaning.
Crazing: To develop a network of fine lines on the surface. It happens most often with age and with change--such as temperature, humidity, and location--or from too vigorous movement. Crazing is most likely to happen in areas where tension and yielding have been localized. (from Ebay)
At this point I was completely off task and lost in my imagination. How many faces do I know that are covered in fine lines brought on with age and change? How many of us wear the effects of movements in life that came too vigorously or in less than optimal environments? Movements that came in response to loss or changing circumstance. Tension and yielding happen to us all. The more we experience them, the more likely we will show it.
Society says these lines, this physical crazing, should be minimized. So much money is made by companies who have convinced women that any sign of tension and yielding is unattractive. Look again at the definition of crazing. These fine lines are only on the surface; by their very definition they are a visible statement that no matter what life gave me, I did not break. The lines come at the cost of fully immersing yourself in life experiences. The tension and yielding are stress and struggle, yes; but they are also smiling and deep belly laughing. These lines don't just happen, they are earned.
Grandma was ninety-nine when she died. If I am given the gift of a long life like hers, I will be delighted if my face shows as much crazing as the dishes in my cupboard. I will proudly claim each line as evidence of years of fully engaged living. The joys and sorrows that made me the woman I am will all be visible on my face. I may be crazed, but I will be beautiful.
Inspired by the writing prompt--No one ever asked me. Because once again I have found a topic where my opinion runs contrary to that of the general public's.