Lately, when I catch a glimpse of my face it appears to be melting like candle wax or colorful taffy in the hot Florida sun. It evokes the hollow horror of Edvard Munch’s painting, “The Scream.” Since I haven’t taken any LSD, I figure this droop must be part of aging. I spoke with my doctor about the way my origami shaped eyelids are folding in on themselves, and she said that she thinks I could qualify for the medically-necessary surgery to put them back in their proper place so my vision isn’t impaired. I didn’t know whether to feel validated by her comment or virtually hopeless.
Earlier that day I was speaking with a friend who is teaching a class on the Book of Ecclesiastes and he mentioned its humanistic view of vanity which goes beyond society’s obsession with appearances. The only thing I knew offhand about the chapter is the passage that begins “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
It reads like beautiful poetry, a cadence of simplicity making sense of a senseless world: “a time to be born and time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,” (Ecclesiastes 3: 2-3). A time to be young and cute with body parts in their proper spot and a time to have your eyelids tied up with thread so you can see every new crevice of decay. Somehow that line must have been edited out. I suppose for the sake of brevity, not lack of validity. Read more