Tag: women’s history month

My Trees of Shes: Aunt Rene, on Age

This year for Women’s History Month, I’m gonna’ be celebrating women in my life who make me a better woman. To get us started, meet my Aunt Rene (short for Irene). She was a mess, and today I tell you her view on age . . .

 

If you can’t or don’t want to play it out loud, here’s a non-verbatim version . . .

 

Here we see Aunt Rene flirting with the statue of a handsome man.

My Aunt Rene was a mess, which is the highest compliment you’ll ever hear at my Southern table. When Aunt Rene was rounding the corner headed to 100 (we think), my daughter Alison would often show up at family meals and events with a date. Aunt Rene would always end the conversation she was having, pull her gold lame jacket up on her shoulders, and walk in her gold lame shoes straight over to the date. She’d sidle up to him, flash her biggest smile in his direction, and ask, “Darlin’, do you have a younger brother?”

Yeah, Aunt Rene taught us how to flirt. She also taught us a little something about age: don’t tell anybody.

The first time I was with her and an adult bent down to my face level and asked, “How old are you, Sugar?” Aunt Rene put one hand on each of my shoulders and turned me to face her. She didn’t squat down with her hands on her knees, instead she used one of her hands to tilt my face up to look at her. “When somebody asks your age, don’t tell ‘em, Darlin. They do’no need to know ‘cause you see, when you give them a number, they’ll reach way down into their bag of stereotypes and pull out a description – a preconceived notion – of how people who are that age ought to act. Make ‘em treat you the way you are when you’re with them, cause age is just how many trips you’ve made around the sun. That’s just a number. Life is what matters, and life is how much sparkle and sass you put into every spin.”

despite

Wrapped4

sometimes
they wrap
themselves up
into small packages
so small
that they
blend right
into the background
becoming invisible
but . . .
if you pause a beat
and use the time to
look very closely
you’ll see
their bright colors
seeping out,
unable to be
contained
despite
the swaddling.

///

maybe you want to visit the women’s history month series my friend angela is hosting.
there’s a whole lotta’ women letting their colors seep out over there, and it is quite beautiful.

In Our Cute Shoes

Today I’m honored to be a guest blogger over at Angela Kelsey’s place where she’s celebrating Women’s History Month by asking women to share stories about women who educated and empowered them. Though I count myself incredibly fortunate to have a long list of women who have supported me, nudged me, shored me, I chose to use this opportunity to tell you about Fran and Marcia and how they wore their cute shoes to step right into my life without waiting on an invitation. May we all have them, may we all be them.

~~ ::: ~~

And today’s altar is dedicated to storytelling from the inside out . . . to letting our loose threads, our frayed edges, our scratchiness show . . . to removing our masks and veils . . . to undoing the ties that bind and hide and silence . . . to stepping out of the darkness and into full bloom as we crack ourselves wide open and sparkle.

Insideout3

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