Life lurks around the corner from furtive first wails to parting salutes. Life is a mischievous punch line. A crude map with vague instructions, impossible to predict,Β  quick to slap if we aren’t paying attention.

Language, education, interaction, morals – steer and correct, live and learn, digest and observe. Puberty, but a memory, our adult journey begins. Life takes no prisoners – sobering smacks deliver life lessons. Correct, make amends, lock course and set sail. Career, family, goals – life laughs as we stumble along the path. Just when we start to feel comfortable, life slaps us with a sobering lesson.

Life has one sick sense of humor. It relishes our foibles, ears prick at the slightest hint of frailty or doubt. Stumbles are welcomed, it gives life something to entertain itself with. Tragedy, failed marriage, financial fluctuations – all grist for the life mill. We formulate generalized notions of life at 30, 40, 50. Marketers sell us cream, lotions, hair dye – all aimed at maintaining that youthful package. Though none of us admit it, on some level we all know the day will come when skin sags and hair sprouts in places we don’t want, by all accounts snatched from places we do. Piss off life. We’re happy, well adjusted and in control.

Life has a few cards up her sleeve – tricks nobody talks about, hysterical last laughs waiting for precisely the right time to shatter foundations to the very core. Life wets its pants, disappears behind waves of mirth, begs us to stifle horror in consideration of propriety at the moment we discover a gray pubic hair.

Horrific, unexpected, beyond the realm of possibility. The moment life waits for. A knee slapping joke that never grows old. Gray pubic hair, haha life – you’re so funny.


23 thoughts on “Life

  1. This really made me belly laugh. When you’re in such a mood you are equal to Duncan on Nobodysreadingme. If you don’t read it you should, you’d love. Have a great day–do you think Greecian Formula will come out with a coloring product for that as well? >KB

  2. Grey Pubes? Well with the World Cup only weeks away and being staged in John Z’s country of residence, maybe it’s time for a Brazilian to celebrate?
    Oh, and talking of advancing years, must tell the Missus to pick up new batteries for The Ark’s Hearing Aid.

    • Indignant blusters spew from highly outraged Notes! I’m off to pout – not once did I say “life” played her cruel prank on me πŸ™‚ FYI – heard a story on the radio today – apparently the “bush” is back πŸ™‚

      • Holy crap – either I’m drunk, you’re pulling my leg, or slang erodes across continents. “Bush” is slang for untended female pubic hair. Lets call it the opposite of Brazilian grooming πŸ™‚

      • you weren’t referring to the return of Dear George?

        Sheesh…one doesn’t need a bloody degree in topiary to know what a woman is referring to when she says ‘bush’.

        Dammit, how sheltered a life do you think I lead down here in jo’berg?


        The Ark shakes head dislodging several gray hairs…..from his pate.

  3. Ya just never knows what you’re going to read when you show up on Ponder’s porch. Not sure I was ready for gray pubes.

    I guess I always figured that I worked hard for every gray hair I have — wherever they might be. Head, arms, legs, or pubes. The only problem being that with my tummy I’m less likely to see the gray pubes than some of the other options! πŸ™‚

      • I’m not so sure about nobody being ready.
        Not everyone buys into the forever young fallacy.
        Not everyone fights aging.
        It may not be the funnest part of life but there are aspects of aging that are infinitely better than being young.

        A really good friend I have known since High School was — in those days before we all got older — one of those women who turned every head in the room when she entered. She was a knockout. But alas, as with all of us who survive, she isn’t so much the knockout as she used to be, and it’s no longer her to which the heads turn, She hates getting older because all she see is her ‘lost’ beauty. She’s a very unhappy 64 year old.

        I know a few women whom the world might call ‘homely’ and their reaction to aging has (generally) been very different. A couple of them see aging as a sort of karmic compensation. They feel themselves growing into their face, or finally vindicated, They never bought into the myth of beauty (I mean what’s there to be ‘proud’ of — individually we have no input at all into what genes we received at birth) and even the pain of others at growing more like everyone else makes sense to a couple of them.

        I don’t know of that is ‘normal’ but I do count myself lucky to know a few women who have their head screwed on straight, and who welcome LIFE — not the life of dreams and vacations, but the real one we are all ‘stuck’ actually living.

        Admittedly — I don’t talk a lot with them about their gray pubic hairs — though I have photographed some of them — but I do think some of them are more than ready for the invasion, and some might even be enjoying it!

        Peggy love porches. And sometimes a LITTLE bit of boredom isn’t a bad thing. Where better can you set apiece and enjoy a good chin-wag? πŸ™‚

      • I feel sorry for people who fight tooth and nail to hold back middle age. Expressionless Botox faces unblinking eyes peering from sockets framed by shiny stretched skin, chin and necks absurdly void of life lines.Every hint of softness falls victim to cosmetic denial – all I see is unhappy people believing a youthful package will bring happiness, people who missed the memo on living as who they are rather than what others perceived. Sigh.

        Of course I would like to be young and pretty again – to know who I am while still in fancy wrap – I never dwell on it. I don’t judge people by looks or dismiss them because they’re “old”. The opposite in fact – I’m fascinated by stories told in aging faces, hands and bodies. I find them beautiful and interesting.

        Middle age levels the playing field – once superficial packaging isn’t a factor, we get down to the business of front porch talks – interaction and learning take on a whole new dimension. I like that πŸ™‚

      • πŸ™‚ ‘all I see is unhappy people believing a youthful package will bring happiness’ — and to make it worse so many of those altered expressions LOOK TERRIBLE! It’s like double-sad, first for feeling you need it, and then for not getting a good result.

        I like front porch talks!

        I was thinking, before I had ever picked up a camera very much I was already struck by the awesome beauty of OLD faces. My mom’s mom survived to 102, At church we had a BUNCH of OLD immigrant women (80’s, 90’s and beyond) who had been peasants in their homeland and didn’t become a whole lot more here — they worked hard, often in the sun — and their faces showed it. And — to me — the most beautiful part about them was that they always had time for an introverted little kid like me. They would sit and talk with me, ask me questions, tell me stories in their broken English — and I think that’s part of what turned me to photography. And near the end of my career — after spending too much time shooting landscapes and wildlife and architecture — when I realized how few of my images had people in them — I took about 5 years and just did portraits and nudes — but not of ‘pretty’ people — of average, overweight, under-height, older human landscapes. And I loved it… Not only in finding beauty in what others did not see as beautiful, but also in showing my models what they really LOOKED like — the appreciation I got in return was amazing.

        You mention INTERACTION… that seems to be the biggest lack today — so many people want their own way and have no interest in INTER acting. Sigh.

        Have a great day Ponder!


  4. Medically speaking: gray hair can come from a lack of nutrients–I think it’s iron, but I’d have to look it up again. Also, trauma can cause gray hair. The only gray area on my head, currently, is the area that was sliced off partway (avulsion) in an auto accident. They think the sun visor did it. Thirdly, genetics do play a role. I had a friend who developed white hair when she was 19.
    I look at it this way: like Peter, I earned it, and I’m thankful to still have hair that can turn gray.

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