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A beautiful reading

I was at a reading, not sure who the readers were. The room was filled with all ages. The young crowd, with glistening skin and shiny hair, as if dipped in gloss. They sat tall, enormous, laughing and showing off white teeth, looking at each other—how could they not?

An older crowd, too. I’ll just say it--less beautiful. Gray haired, gray faced. One woman with stringy shoulder-length gray hair and thick glasses, a thick body. An older man hunched over his plate of food, eating with fierce determinate, subtracting everything else in the room. Another older woman, who had the resignation in her eyes of someone who’d passed through many difficulties. Time, I thought, had done a number on her.

It was her, this woman who I’d lumped into the unbeautiful, the old, the one who had weariness encircling her, it was this woman who was the reader for the evening.

She stood at the microphone, adjusted it to her height, and began to read. Quickly the room grew lush with green grass and longing for children, the blue sea and hot sand, a Latina fortune teller and a red sparkly curtain, gambling and a father sitting in the casino, barking orders with a New Jersey accent. The sun shone in through the windows and a small tree sighed in the wind. This woman was standing up there, turning herself inside out. It was incredible! She was reading, turning the room into something green and blue and sparkly red, and her hands were moving  as she spoke, as if she was conducting a puppet show, as if she was sculpting something in thin air, as if she was spinning glory. She was glory, gloriously beautiful, and by the end, when she bowed to applause, I had taken it all back.

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Love her transformation in your eyes. The older I get, the more I understand that we get more beautiful and glorious with age, but it gets harder to show it.

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Thank you, Jane! Yes,

Thank you, Jane!

Yes, Kate--and as I watched her and she turned beautiful in my eyes, I saw this was how to age--turn the inside out. Anyone who creates--writes, paints, sculpts, acts--has found a way to do that. All her many experiences had been transformed and turned into art. But she had to have the sediment of experience to create something so wonderful!