Tuesday, 23 March 2010

invisible women

I was invisible today.
Trying to make contact on the MSN chat but no-one could see me.
It was weird.
I thought it was just me but turned out to be a world-wide problem, something to do with a server.

It reminded me of an article I read recently. An attractive looking middle-aged woman wrote about how she feels more and more invisible the older she gets. To my dismay I could relate to that.
As a young girl you take it for granted men look up when you walk into a room. It's no accomplishment, it's a given, human nature.
At some point you realise it is not something you can take for granted any more, something you have coming - hopefully by then you have acquired a different kind of presence.

Today it was suddenly spring.
Right on the dot but still took us by surprise. Some still clad in winter coats, others t-shirts and shorts, as if winter never happened.
I hung away my furry purple coat, with a: ' See you later, not too soon, I hope,' and went for a long walk - the Vondel park, this time.
I wore a v-neck top and little black jacket, great to finally shed some layers.
I couldn't help noticing I was getting some looks - no,  I am not being immodest, honestly, I am my own worst critic, but it has a point.
It meant I was not invisible.
Still being noticed, as a woman, at some level.
Ok, the level might have been questionable, the glances were not directed at my face, but still. And I was not about to be all insulted and huffy, more like happy and relieved.

Am I being silly?
My mother would have laughed, but then she had nothing to complain about. Good-looking, girlish, creative and lots more, till the very end, and most of all, infinitely charming.
She had suitors decades younger who adored her, age was never an issue.

There is one person I am sure would understand. W.B. Yeats.
The poems he wrote about Maude Gonne, an unrequited love, as she grew old - ah, if only I could spend an evening with him, in front of the fire, a glass of red wine, let his grave, melodious voice soothe me into believing each age has its own beauty.

Another poem comes to mind:  How Do I Love Thee?.... Let me count the ways...... E. Barrett Browning, and at the end she says: with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life......
It is so beautiful and touching, not a mention of appearance or age, but maybe a hint of life experience making it possible to love more deeply.

Oh, I am getting all dreamy now, time to wake up and peel some potatoes, get supper going.

Invisible or not, still got to eat. Bye now.

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