I finally finished my cashmere blanket. It is incredibly soft, cozy, warm and funny looking. The cats love it. I love it…. when I feel it, without looking at it. When I see it, it’s hard not to focus on the crooked lines, and puckered surface. I know that I could have done a better job sewing it, but part of me also knew that no matter how much time I put into cutting perfect squares, piecing them carefully, and finishing things smoothly, eventually it would get dirty, ripped a little, probably one of the cats would throw up on it and it would need to be washed…it is a blanket that is going to get used, everyday, and eventually used up. It is full of imperfection.
Since I’ve turned 50, my center just keeps getting softer and more bulky. I have an ideal in my head about what my body should look and feel like, and that image is stuck at 25. But to be honest, I didn’t like the way I looked back then either. It’s only when I look at old photographs that I think, “I looked great. What was there to be critical of!?”
When I close my eyes, I like the way I feel. When I look at myself, I think “Yikes, you look like a middle-aged, grey-haired grandmother!” Why should this be a yikes? This is right, this is life. I’ve taken it as such a compliment when someone has said that I look younger than my age, but is “looking young” really a worthy use of my time? Isn’t that sort of like packing the perfect blanket away and only taking it out to show others? I want to open up my arms and welcome the supreme gift of being alive in this body, in this moment. I want to use this life to the fullest and not have a well-preserved shell of a person when it is my turn to leave.