Monday, September 24, 2007

Forty and three weeks. Time for another self-portrait of sorts.

I looked at myself today.



My life weighs heavily upon my face, but I have high cheekbones, quite pronounced again now I am half the woman I used to be. They give my face definition; and I like my laughlines, all the way to my hairline now. Sometimes, for them, I forgive my face - and life - my forehead's scar-like creasing.

In the course of my life, I have achieved two sons. One is a good boy, one is a bad boy. Sometimes they change places.

There is a game I play of looking at my reflected image without blinking, until it distorts and becomes someone else, or shows me myself in a few decades' time. I think everyone does it, at least as children or youngsters, but very few - I also think - mention it to anyone else. I still do it - it is terrifying in an oddly pleasing way - and have also spoken about it, not long ago, with someone. They actually brought it up and asked if I'd ever done it. We agreed it was the strangest thing you should see what you yourself will - or could - be like when you are very old. I the almost-atheist said, maybe this is one of the hidden messages from God proving his existence, and we just don't know what we're looking at. I don't know what made me suddenly think, or say, that.

Either everything makes sense, and is full of hidden meaning, or nothing is or does. Or possibly, something in between.

26 comments:

trousers said...

I like these weird thoughts. I don't actually think they're weird, just the product of deep introspection: so they take a little while to adjust to exposure to the outside world, just like you have to blink your eyes when someone turns the light on.

Ario said...

Lovely thoughts. I've been thinking that a lot recently, currently I am tending to everything being coincidence and therefore even more miraclous, if that makes sense. The more beautiful something coincidental is, the more precious, no?

I don't know. I am off to look at myself in the mirror now to and do that non-blinky thingy. Just wondering whether to shave beforehand.

fluttertongue said...

I've never looked at myself in that way - somehow I always manage to notice a stray whisker or clump of mascara that needs urgent attention before long. But I love finding new lines and signs of age. Perhaps I am just a naive youth. But I love the fact that the older I get, the more seriously I am taken and the more people talk to me rather than my gender or age.

Something tells me you're older than your years in experience but much younger in vitality.

NMJ said...

hey cyberfriend, this is so odd, i just blogged about age, though in a much less poetic and more frantic way - this is synchronicity i would say! . . . i have looked at myself for a long time in the mirror until i don't know my face anymore, but never imagined myself older x

Mellifluous Dark said...

I especially like what you said about your boys and your laugh lines, Anna.

This is going to sound odd, possibly... But every time I see Kristin Davis I think of you. I hope you don't hate her, or anything, but if you do, please know that I really do think she is sweet, clever and pretty.

I've done that mirror thing, so much so that I've had to sit down and pinch myself, as I've almost felt out-of-body. Scary.

Melly Darkest

x

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

Trousers, Ario, Fluttertongue, NMJ, Mellifluous Dark......hello lovely weird bloggy people.

Anna MR is not here, unfortunately, so I'm just carrying out some secretarial duties on her behalf. She says hello to all of you and that she'll be back to respond to your comments towards the end of the week. Also, she says thank you for coming to visit her. (She's very polite, I think, and shows a keen sense of obligation towards her guests. Personally speaking, I find that to be a very good thing indeed.)

Right, that's everything. Deep and lingering kisses, using tongues, to everyone here (on Anna MR's behalf, obv.)

Hei, Ice Maiden - intriguing piece of writing, by the way. I used to do that starey thing, too, but then you knew that. See you at the end of the week. I think I did okay. It went well.

The Secretary

(PS. Trousers - very, very nicely put. I liked that a lot.)

Merkin said...

I luuuurve high cheekbones.
Unfortunately, my eyesight is wobbly from my accident.
However, I will trust you that you are not playing a trick on me.
One day I will wake up.
In my fantasy, I will not know if it is CookerHoodNmJ or TugBoatAnnie who is my favourite 40 something.
.
Or even a permutation.
CookerHoodAnnie or SteamboatNMJ.
A whole new life beckons.
Tomorrow.

Mellifluous Dark said...

Cannot believe you are secretarialising for Anna, Horse. Does she know this? Or have you hacked into the MR account, and are you in fact parading as Anna?
x

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

Anna MR knows I'm here, Mellifluous of the Dark - she asked me to pass on the message as a favour. The Finnish Blogger is temporarily unable to attend to her duties here, sadly, but didn't want her guests thinking she was just ignoring them. She'll be back, all things being equal, by Friday at the latest.

Anyway, in times of crisis, I readily assume the role of Handsome Jesus - hence my astonishingly helpful and kind gesture here. I don't feel diminished or emasculated at all by acting as Anna's man-secretary. I have a high sperm count.

Glad to see you do the scary-starey thing, incidentally, Ms Dark. A strong stomach is required to see the thing through, really, as it can feel perfectly unsettling as one's face begins to change. I've not done it for ages, but Anna's post and some of the responses make me want to give it another whirl.

I hope you're having a wonderful day. x

Mellifluous Dark said...

Dear Secretary,

I would like to thank you for your response in the absence of Anna MR. It was kind of you to keep us informed of said lady Finn's whereabouts.

Glad to hear the swimmers are aplenty, Secretary. We'd have all worried had you not confirmed that this is the case.

Regarding the scary-starey thing. Well, I don't do it any more. It is quite bizarre and can leave you very disoriented. Who needs that when life itself can be disorienting? Hmm? And never, never do the S-S thing when inebriated. I think that would be deeply disturbing.

Kind regards
Mellano Imelda-Blahnik
x

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

Dear Commenter,

thank you for your kind letter of support concerning my secretarial skills and very, very high sperm count. I can confirm that I remain all man and continue to leer at women. This is not sexist, however, because I love women. They're pretty.

I'm also pleased to note that you seem reassured by my explanations concerning the absent foreign blogger, Anna MR. She's doing well (for a girl) and should be back here, as scheduled, by the end of the week. It would be nice to think that you might keep your fingers crossed for her, commenter.

This blog accepts no responsibility for the actions of those people who might try the scary-starey thing on the back of reading this post. We can confirm that undertaking S-S whilst bamboozled with alcohol is a viciously surreal experience and the staff here at Future of my Past in no way whatsoever recommend supplementing this disorder with an intake of LSD. That would be wrong.

We are also happy to confirm your observation that life is disorienting. If you don't try to walk in straight lines, however, and simply rejoice in the zig-zaggy madness that a lack of direction allows for, you'll soon find that things start to make an awful lot more sense. Word.

Yours platitudinously,

The (man) Secretary. x

That's so pants said...

Hi Anna

I was going to say lovely but Ario got there first. What the hey, lovely.

xxx

Pants

Anna MR said...

Dear all - thank you for your wonderful comments here - you have somehow all exceeded yourself, and your words deserve proper replies. Sadly, right now is not the moment when proper replies can be given, which is why I restrict myself to just thanking you and assuring you I will be back, to all of you.

x this kiss is meant as one for each reader

Anna MR said...

Handsome Jesus, my not only beautiful but also highly multi-talented and efficient (and not forgetting funny, with an inimitable way with words) man-secretary. Thank you hotly for your hard work here at Future of my Past. Minun kotini on sinun kotisi, as you should realise by now - and your wages will be forthcoming. The deep and lingering kisses, using tongues, are yours just as a show of my gratitude and will not be counted as formal payment.

Kiitos, ystävä rakas, vielä kerran. En tiedä missä olisin ilman sinua.

xxx

trousers said...

Looking forward to when you are back - in the meantime, take good care - we all miss you :)

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

Hei Anna, thanks honey. I enjoyed acting as your secretary and passing on your message to your sociable guests. Look, I gladly accept the lingering tongue action as an informal (and part) payment, but I think we both know that this is never going to be enough. We need to get a room, Snow Muncher, and we need to do so quickly. I’m starting to crave you just as surely as you have always craved me.

Apart from that, sorry to bother you - I’ll let you get back to your sparkly happy visitors. (Don't be making the mistake of thinking that I'll be leaving you alone, though. That's just silly.)

I'm off to stare in the mirror. Quite lovingly, really.

♞☏☃?

xxx

(Hope everything's alright, by the way.)

Anna MR said...

Hello, all - here I am. The week's been busy in various ways, the description of which will surely land up being a post or three, so your no doubt enormous curiosity as to what's been keeping me from my bloggy house will be seen to in the near future.

Right then. Onwards and upwards...(hoping that you've all waited patiently and not dumped me in my absence).

housut, dear heart, thank you. I can only echo the sentiments of my Man-Secretary - that was very nicely put indeed. My feelings have an added tang of "aw shucks" as you are talking about my words. It is often (usually) (always) so difficult to know whether one has written a total load of monkeybollocks that will make the reader go "that's a total load of monkeybollocks" or whether it is not all that bad, really. So - thank you. I was most pleased to learn you didn't think it was monkeybollocks. Or if you did, you hid it both politely and convincingly.

Thank you for the well-wishing, too. It is good to be back, esteemed legwear (but have you done the staring thing?).

Ario - thank you as well. I see and know what you mean by the beauty and miraculousness of the precious coincidental. As I wrote in the post, I swither between the two polar opposites (the middle ground, although mentioned, isn't really where I generally operate) of interpreting the world. Sometimes I think the opposites meet, somewhere, at the far furthest end of the spectrum of everything, behind our backs.

So - did you, or did you not (stare, and/or shave)?

Fluttertongue - that was a really properly lovely thing to say about little old yours truly, seriously. I would love to be able to come to a point in my life when I could describe myself in those words.

You yourself seem to be in the "wise beyond her years" department. Obviously, I don't know your age exactly (not everybody publicises it to the date, like some do, mentioning no names of course) but you must be round about half my age, yet I don't get the "kiddy talk" feeling around you at all (this, incidentally, is me complimenting you, not me saying you sound like an old fogey fart). Your words about enjoying finding signs of age in your face remind me of when once, as a nineteen-year-old, I looked at myself (not doing the stary thing for once, just looking at my reflection) in the window of a metro (Helsinki tube), and, possibly through a trick of light or distortion in the window or whatever double-image thing, seeing what could have been a couple of lines under my eyes. I remember thinking how much I wanted them to be laughlines, in the future. In spite of a number of things, I got what I asked for, and I am grateful to the whichever polar opposite it is for making it so.

Forget about stray whiskers and clumps of mascara, girl. You are beautiful.

Beautiful Cyberfriend, esteemed Ms Legs - the reasons that have kept me away from my bloggy house have also stopped me from visiting yours in the past few days. I shall be coming over soon, though, because times they are a'changing. I am so looking forward to catching up with your stuff and you.

I'll tell you why you couldn't imagine yourself older, it's because you are eternally youthful. I know this to be the case, I've met you (see my blog, a few posts down).

Ms Dark - thank you. I am pleased you cared for that bit about my boys, because (shhh...this is a secret) I think that was the one bit that I liked in this post. And the laughlines, well, do you know, it could be *so* much worse.

I had to google Kristin Davis, for shame. I am Ms Out of Touch. It turned out I do in fact know her stuff a bit as my younger son (for shame!) watches Sex and the City. Or is it Sex in the City? Anyway, that one. I think Kristin is a) rather more gorgeous b) rather more glamorous c) two years older than I (ha). However, I appreciate the implication that you think I am sweet, clever and pretty (Ms Dark, are you married, by any chance? Flattery will get you most places around these parts, you know).

I am glad to know you have frightened yourself witless with the stary thing. Go Ms Dark. It's brilliant, is it not?

Merkin - that was quite psychedelic. I have no problem transmutating into (or with?) Ms Legs of the (Cooker)Hood. I didn't know about your accident, though, that is a wee bit crap, you know. Try not to have any more in the future. The cheekbones of the world need you to see them.

Ms Pants, Pöksyt my dear, thank you. Praise from you always tastes really special, you know?

Okay, dear esteemed commenters - thank you all, both together and individually, one more time. And please forgive both the lateness of these replies (although you have, of course, been beautifully tended to by the Handsome Man-Secretary), as well as the fact I have gone against my own custom and put them all in one comment. After a bit of a time-lapse, such as I had here, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

xxxxxxx

(Hei, Secretary par Excellence - I'm coming... x )

❄♀ said...

♥ ♞,

Hei komea ponisihteeri, rakkaani. I was incredibly happy to receive your letter. In fact, so happy I am sitting here in my best frock, eagerly awaiting. ❄♀ ♥ ♞♂, you know. Yes, do make sure to ☏ or ✎ soonest, as this brings out the ☼ and the ☆s of my life, even when it is ☂. You really, really must be aware of the fact I ♥ hearing from you most ♨ly. You are number ⓵.

Sending you ☮, ☯, and ♥,

☃♀

R.H. said...

A little kiss is enough for me
As your world
And mine
Collide.

I've never really wanted passion. Too frightening. Dangerous. And ends up in court.

trousers said...

Wonderful photograph too! And I love the grainy effect.

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

Hei, suomalaiskaunotar. Vastauskirjeesi oli silkkaa inspiraatiota alusta loppuun. Kiitos. Ja minä kun luulin olevani fiksukin näiden symbolien kanssa, mutta sinä peittosit minut mennen tullen. Pahus. No, lohdutan itseäni varmalla tiedolla seksuaalisesta asiantuntemuksestani. (Minun täytyy tehdä näin aika usein, niin että älä pahoita mieltäsi puolestani kovasti, k?)

Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised to hear you confirm that my Finnish is now word perfect. It's a nightmare being this clever.

You've added a picture to your post, Igloo-Dweller. I notice these things. (Like I say - clever.) I enjoyed clicking on it and seeing the full-scale version, by the way. It's weirdy-biscuit and atmospheric and the facial distortions are actually slightly disquieting. Perfectly apt, really. There is something of the alien about you. Anyway, I liked it a lot.

Why did you write that short paragraph about your sons? Every time I read through this post, that paragraph just becomes weirder. Out of interest, did you write the post and then add that bit afterwards? I don't mean to be rude or anything, obviously, just that it stands out. I hope you know what I mean.

I really enjoyed this post, Ice Maiden of the Frozen and Barren Wastelands. Just so you know.

Okay, enough. Tässä sinulle 42 miljoonaa suudelmaa. Eikä yksikään yli vyötärön. Word.

Heat and harmony from The Deep South (Clonakilty), Igloo Girl.

TPE x

Anna MR said...

Hello, RH Robert, that was a nice wee comment, and I appreciate the level of personal exposure you indulge in ("I've never really wanted passion. Too frightening. Dangerous.") there. I happen to think personal exposure is quite a good and healthy thing from time to time.

And so, here's your little kiss, which will be enough for you: x

Anna MR said...

Hei housut, glad you liked the illustration...

Anna MR said...

Oooh, Ponipoikani, alat olla jo liian täydellinen kun suomesikin on noin loistavaa. En oikein tiedä mitä sanoa ja millä kielellä vastata. Try not to break down under the pressures that representing that most elusive and unlikely (not to say impossible) of things, namely, human perfection, surely must bring with it. The world needs you, we need you, and dammit-all-to-hell, I need you, which really is the most important consideration of all.

Yes.

I am glad you enjoyed the picture of several me's blending into darkness. I like doing this, from time to time, it serves to empty the mind most deliciously of the clutteroneous bollocks that dwelling here amongst the Earthlings brings (I bet you've noticed this cluttering of the mind, haven't you? How do you deal with it, pray?). And yes, well spotted, of course there is something of the alien in me, but shhhh...we don't want The Authorities to hear of it, because who knows where they'd want to stick their probes and scanners. You know I'm right, so don't please shop me to them. I trust you on this, as with my bloggy house and all my other matters.

Why did I write that short paragraph about my sons? Well, that is a good question (this being the standard evasive "gimme-extra-thinking-time" answer of all politicians and other suchlike people, and if it's good enough for those wankers, it's good enough for me). I see what you mean - it does separate, not to say cut, the post in two halves, without seeming to have anything directly to do with either. I would have to say I don't know why I wrote that bit, because no, it wasn't stuck on afterwards - but because you've asked, I will try to find out why I wrote it. Moment...right. I have now reread what I wrote, and I think I've been just following a chain of associations, from the laughlines and the scar-like wrinkles through life, through life to my sons. I know this is a feeble reply, but that really is all there is to it. I surprised myself, however, by writing about the staring game, because I hadn't planned to write about that at all, it feeling rather a personal thingy to be aired on blog. I hope this answer, lame as it is, goes some way towards satisfying your thirst for understanding (which is the male equivalent of female curiosity - but you of course know that).

I am delighted to know you liked my post. That is really special. In fact, so delighted I am it borders on indecent. Although, to be fair, it may be your final bit of Finnish adds to this burning delight. Suudelmasi polttelevat mieltäni, rakas ystävä.

Love from the land that light is forgetting, Man of Clonakilty.

Yours,

Ice Maiden

x

THE PERIODIC ENGLISHMAN said...

Thank you, foreigner, I really enjoyed and appreciated your response. You're pretty good, really, aren't you? (And for a Finn, your Finnish is surprisingly impressive. Keep up the good work, Sauna Head, and you'll soon be speaking Finnish like a Scot.)

Hei. How are you doing today? I really did enjoy your response, by the way, and feel pretty glad that you didn't seem to mind the rather abrupt seeming question about the paragraph dealing with your sons. Nicely handled, adorable Finn, and no, it didn't seem evasive or lame. Not even slightly. (I'm not saying you couldn't do better - no way - just that you made a fair attempt at answering.)

Now that you've explained it to me, it makes an awful lot more sense. Just as a by the by, but it's always a treat to be allowed a glimpse into the thought processes of someone else, so thanks for that, too.

The staring thing is rather a personal piece of information to put in a blog post - agreed. Does it matter? I have the strongest suspicion that it doesn't, you know, edible Penguin. I think the nature of most of the responses here should allow you to relax and not overly worry about such stuff. I would especially refer you back (again) to the first response you received. I couldn't have put it better myself if I spent a week trying. Really lovely.

Anyway, enough already. Oh, yes, I loved the picture, too, like I said. Hopefully, by now, you will have discovered the strange gift (connected to this picture) that I left for you elsewhere.

You're right, I'm perfect. I actually just don't know how I do it. Poor me. (*sigh*)

Love to you, top totty, and a whole heap more of the stuff I mentioned (in Finnish) at the end of my last letter. x

❄♀, the ☭☃ said...

Hei and hi, ♂ly ♞ of ♨test ♡ (yes, I will get over the symbols thing sometime, although probably not soon, so no holding your breath, okay?). What bliss it was, has been, and still is to find you here in this comment box, being your divinely adorable and uniquely inimitable self. Olen onnenpingviini, and make no mistake.

Yes and no and maybe (with regard to your assurances that I shouldn't worry my birdie brains overly about writing about stuff overly personal). You know me, and consequently you are aware of the fact, I trust, that sans worry it just wouldn't be the real Sauna Head Snow Muncher, it would be some impostor trying to pass as me, which really, really would be a criminal thing (because they'd only be here to try to snatch a bit of that Finnish stuff you left me earlier, the dishonest, thieving bastards - although the sudden outburst of their cleptomaniac tendencies would, admittedly, be made almost understandable by the nature of the goods-to-be-stolen in question). Anyway - you know I worry about it being too personal, or not being personal enough, or wankily serious, or not serious enough, or a load of loony bollocks, or just not loony-bollocksy enough...the list is endless. But I love and adore having your hoof to hold on these (strangely recurring) moments of doubt, beloved ihmeponi, and thank you for your kind words and strong hoof. Yes.

(Incidentally, that trump-all horrid thing I mentioned the other day - I am too keen, too keen altogether to share the full abhorability of it with you, and cannot wait for a more suitable moment to do so. You know where to look, my fellow partaker in unspeakable crimes. Look no further.)

I remain, as always, beloved you,

Your most loving,

Anna of Finland, IM, SM, GoP, FT, University of A*******y