There are very few regular events that happen in my life, or at least are marked in identical ways – I’ve narrowed it down, as far as I can tell, to birthdays and Christmas. As such, both have become events whereupon I can mark the passage of time, where I stop, take notice of the changes in my self, my life, my family, my circumstances.
My mother, bless her heart, included in the little package she made me when I came home a tube of eye wrinkle cream, which she suggested I start using in the interest of prolonging any youthful appearance I may have. (Given that somebody recently told me I look 12, which is a full decade and a .. bit… less than I am, I think I’m alright.) But it’s true, as I look at my face again this year in the same mirror I peered into last year – sadly.. it is a little older.
But, at the same time.. I have these two lines. They run from the edges of my nose, to the corners of my mouth, a perfect inverted parabola creased into my skin. They were faint last year, deeper and more sincere this year, as if they had tentatively staked out and surveyed the route, then finally committed to it in the past 12 months. They are most definately there, where they weren’t before – laugh lines.
I can’t believe that they were so faint before, that a survey of my face would have passed them off as simple sleep lines, a small scratch, estuaries worn from tears. I can’t believe that a person, by virtue solely of being in my life, has changed the geography of my face, has physically altered my appearance so tangibly and beautifully, in less than two years.
Until this point, I would have to say that wrinkle cream, face lifts, Botox.. were definately in my future. Now, as I think of the man who has changed my face, I could no more erase the smile lines than I could erase my memories of his smile. And I think that this year, looking in the mirror, tracing my new map of smile lines and wrinkles on my face, and my new map of memories and laughter in my mind…that the journey may actually be the important part. Which may be the soundest advice my mum gave me.