This is Brian Doyle's love letter to women, including his wife, and it's lovely. It made me think of our gorgeous friend Clara, who is 97 and close to death...and the lost glory of her once-red hair and the the beauty of aging women like Clara.
|Visiting Clara last month|
|Clara last year with another beautiful woman I know|
|Clara in her younger years--not only beautiful but industrious!|
Which is, of course, a prayer of thanks for women, every one of them beautiful beyond words, not that I am looking closely or anything. But they are. Brilliant and silly and generous and graceful and sinewy and amused by clunky burly male animals. And o gawd their hair spilling and cascading and rippling and sliding over their shoulders, their hair cupping those extraordinary faces!
I have never once seen a woman who was not beautiful; even those who were churlish and surly, those who most obviously and assiduously used their beauty as tool and weapon, those who drew plaudits in business for being as cold and greedy as male captains of industry were girls still somewhere inside, and liable to flashes of tenderness and grace.
I was granted one above all, to witness and to celebrate, to sing and to explore, though there will never be an end to her mystery, never; and I was granted a daughter, to witness and to protect, and finally to launch into the world, far away; and I was granted a vision of all those scrunchies and clasps, clicking and snapping hairpieces, buried headlong in the wildernesses of their voluminous hair; and it is another mysterious gift of Yours, I know, that the women I have met who have lost their hair, and beam at me bald as doorknobs despite the wither of their illness, are more beautiful than they were before; how could that be? Yet it is so.
For their fullness and their litheness, for their patience and their testiness, for their endless complexity and their oceanic empathy, thank You. And this is not even to get into the whole kissing thing, another great idea. And so: amen.
Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary!
You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on Amazon. Brian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.