Sometimes you stumble upon simple but powerful truths that demand both attention and application. This was the case as I read a quote from Marcel Proust tucked into the editor’s commentary in my latest issue of Savannah Magazine. The real voyage of discovery, Proust wrote:
Is not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.
Hang with me on this one..but it just so happened that I had to cancel a consultation with a plastic surgeon a few hours before I sat down to read..so I couldn’t help but place this quote smack dab in the center of my midlife experience, which includes ever increasing anxiety over the wrinkles under my eyes and the droopy skin on my face and neck. That was why I had the consultation with the surgeon on my calendar in the first place..I felt I was ready to invest in new “landscaping.”
Let me be honest..
It bothers me and makes me feel sad that I am aging so rapidly and poorly. Don’t get me wrong, I fully acknowledge and understand the reasons why it’s happening- my life so far has been an amazing “ride” ….most of it in a convertible under the sun!
And yes, I’ve heard all the lectures about inner beauty being more important than what’s on the surface… and I get that too- I do!
Other than how my face looks, I really feel great at 54. I feel good about my life, I feel good about me, I feel good about everything.. so it’s not some deep, hidden psychological issue I’m tangled up in..it’s just simply my old, saggy face that bums me out.
Now I will say that one of the deterrents to my pursuit of “new landscaping” is what others have done with their “yards.” In fact yesterday a picture popped up of one of the Kardashian girls who quite obviously re-landscaped her lips..again. This girl is like the reverse of Michael Jackson with his nose..he kept wanting smaller and smaller..she is obviously all about bigger and bigger.
What does this girl see when she looks in the mirror ..besides her XL smackers? Does she ever think she’s gone too far? Does she sense how close she is getting to a comic book caricature of her former self? Does she need what proust describes as “new eyes?”
And she’s not the only person with money and access to the best physicians who has taken it to the extreme.
Why does that happen? Is renovating your face like renovating your home where an improvement in one area highlights the problems in another leading to more and more and more work until you ultimately run out of stuff to fix or money to pay for it.. or both?
Which brings me back to Proust’s quote again.. the part about seeking new landscapes. I mean, when I look at myself in the mirror these days, I feel I’m ready for something new..not new as in different, but new as in what used to be..
..does that even make sense?
Is it even possible?
Or does the pursuit of that which once was,
inevitably lead to us into a maze of strange landscapes we don’t recognize?
I just don’t know anymore.
Maybe the answer really is in having new eyes..
less critical eyes..
that, and a jar of this amazing, new wrinkle cream I saw on Tv… 😉