In the mirror I
am only a face–
a fleeting facade,
always incomplete.

I recognize it, but I
do not feel attached–
I dislike the lines,
the dark circles,
the sagging jowls.

Our interactions are
conditional, brief.
My face is
interesting in the way
of all faces,

but not memorable or
distinct—brown hair
brown eyes behind glasses–
averagely past its prime–
I could be anyone.

I see the years in
my hands and I
celebrate them.
Why is my aging
face a source of shame?

Our bodies are merely
waiting to be
discarded—waiting to release
our spirits to the wind.

This is some more old work I never posted because I was moving. It was inspired by two prompts: The Kick-About prompt of Joseph Cornell’s “Romantic Museum”, which was part of an exhibition dedicated to portraits of women, and the dVerse prompt from Sarah asking for self-portraits. As I said to Phil when I submitted my response to the Kick-About: what woman do I know better than myself?

The hand holding a needle in Cornell’s work, above immediately attracted my attention. I wanted to do something on newspaper, but I couldn’t collage (my first choice) as my glue was packed.  My needles and floss were not, however, and this also seemed appropriate to Cornell’s work.

I was pleased to find a newspaper page with a photo of hands.  I drew my own, and also my face, and stitched and wrote my reflections based on the drawings.  It’s not quite finished, but maybe that’s the correct response too.

linking to dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Grace

39 thoughts on “passing

  1. You do know yourself, and the face in the mirror changes depending on which mirror you look it, and as for how other people see you, each one sees a different person and latches on to different facets. The stitches hold it all in place.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A very honest portrayal of yourself. The effects of aging on our face, hands and skin can bring us shame and doubts. But you are right, our body is merely ephemera—transitory.

    Love the creative art work you do, to complement your poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am amazed by the hand stitching, quite unique for me and I love the idea of our relationship with our own face and how our face changes and hands but there is an odd disconnect with our mind. Who are we really!


  3. your compiling, synthesis, and creative output never cease to amaze while they communicate important things. I adore the wise accuracy of these lines about one’s face in the mirror:
    “a fleeting facade,
    always incomplete.”
    “Our interactions are
    conditional, brief.”
    We are ghosts in the shell and that’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Plenty of great artwork accompanying this awesome poetry. Thanks.
    I think you just need to change mirrors. Trust me on this. I just replaced mine and I think I look about 28 years younger. And My Beloved Sandra says it ain’t just in my head, either.
    Soooo…. give it a try, eh?
    Whatever the outcome, please keep the cool stuff comin our way, YES?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your art always complements your writing and vice versa – I can’t imagine one without the other, Kerfe. The alliteration in ‘a face – a fleeting façade’ accentuates the ephemeral quality of a reflection and the idea that it is disembodied and incomplete. You have also captured the response we all have when seeing ourselves in the mirror: ‘the lines, the dark circles, the sagging jowls’. I feel the same way about my hands, which show my age – and I see more of my hands than my face every day. I would like to see the exhibition dedicated to portraits of women.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim. Sometimes I think our hands say much more about who we are than our faces. Cornell’s work is both mysterious and evocative. I will be glad when I feel safe going to exhibits again. Photos are not the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is so much to reflect upon here, including “It’s not quite finished, but maybe that’s the correct response too.” I have this reaction more so when I see myself in photos now–it doesn’t match the vision I have of myself. I like the collage–the hands seem more beseeching and comforting. The face–sort of a vision. As Jane said, the stitches hold it together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Merril. Luckily no one takes photos of me! I wonder if we always have this disconnect between the inner and outer, it just becomes more pronounced with age. I also think about trying to match photos of my parents and grandparents at a young age with how I knew them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree about the hands – beseeching and comforting. To the viewer, and especially perhaps towards the artist as viewer (in this particular case), as if to say, “Accept, and find peace.”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I feel the same way about my aging body. I am fascinated by the signs of age on my hands but dislike looking at my face in the mirror. I love the last verse of your poem. Ultimately that’s what it is all about. Your art work for this post is terrific – really inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so evocative. We need to remember that a person’s beauty lies not in their looks.. but in the manner in which they conduct themselves.. i.e. personality and basic nature. Only then, will the world be a better place to live in. 💝

    Liked by 1 person

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