I LOVE MUD FLATS

Self-portrait With Mud Flats (1024x763)This photograph is one from a series of self-portraits, this one taken at the beach on a bright cold morning when the tide has pulled back to expose the rippled and pock-marked surface of the sea-floor. I have loved this low-tide phenomena for all of my life, and lately I find myself rediscovering my love. Mud flats are more accessible in colder weather, so the air is bracing and fresh, adding an extra dose of exhilaration to that which comes from gazing at the spacious and stretched out beauty of the flats. I walk where I can, as do my little dogs. Music and Star sniff happily at newly available scents, drink eagerly of the salty tide pools as their human companion drinks in beauty. Ohhh… I do love mud flats.

Mysteriously, my love for the mud flats is becoming associated with my growing love for my dear old face. As with many woman the aging process has seemed less than kind. The years have altered and marked the surface of my face: wrinkles, brown spots, moles and unasked for chin hairs, not to mention the sagging jaw-line and neck have greeted me in mirrors and reflective windows for quite some time now. For quite some time I have not much liked what I see. But now I am shoving aside the embarrassment of photographing myself, and becoming accustomed to my face…as it is…right now. Gradually, I am learning to look at it – not as an alien and barely recognizable mask over what I really look like – but as the glorious evidence of the life I have lived and continue to live. I can almost believe that just as the wind and the tides have marked and beautified the mud flats stretched behind me, so has the life with all its trials and fulfillments brought a new and more authentic beauty to my aged face. To me the mud flats gleam with promise. I may not fully understand why this is, anymore than I understand why turning the camera on myself and seeing the evidence of my varied experiences looking back at me infuses me with gladness and…yes…with promise. Perhaps it tells me that I can go further than acceptance of who I am; I can be happy with a face (and a life) continually altered by the tides of existence.

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3 Responses to “I LOVE MUD FLATS”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Oh yes. Beauty is in the ripples, in the patterns, in the pock-marks and the dimples, the bumps and the wrinkles. In the mud flats. In our old faces. In the world we love.

  2. Kendall Says:

    I must add that the picture is just GORGEOUS! The lines in the sky and the earth and the water all point to acceptance, more than acceptance: appreciation of all of it. If we had not lived to be this lined and pocked, we would not know how much there is to love.

  3. leiflife Says:

    So much to love… Dearest Kendall… So much to love…

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