Sunday, March 29, 2009


Did you ever witness the horror of ... stretch marks? When I was pregnant with my first child, I fought off the dreaded malady by using self-proclaimed miracle products which were saturated with cocoa butter and lanolin. Unfortunately, those bogus snake oil merchants lied like a rug and had no such heaven sent properties. My stomach (and its stretch marks - badges of pride for having given birth 3 times now) never see the light of day, preferring instead to hide away forever.

As I was walking around the reservoir one day after a heavy rain, I chanced upon this old oak tree in all of it's glory. I saw the scars of its newly formed stretchmarks - marks of new growth and life. The trees have no shame or self consciousness about the way they look - no, they just are. I could take a lesson from them.

19 comments:

Doug said...

That tree could use some lanolin and cocoa butter, seems to me.

Tom & Icy said...

The birds still love the tree.

javajazz said...

i love Doug.

but seriously, folks,
there is so much
we can learn
from observing Nature.

jillie said...

That's what makes the trees beautiful!

Just like YOU!!

xoxo

SINCERITY said...

Hello! I wanted to visit and encourage you after the comment you left on Lone Grey Squirrel's blog. I'm sorry to hear that you've been out of a job. Don't give up hope. A cousin of mine was out of a job for 6 months and just recently found a full-time job.

If it could happen to him it can happen to anyone. Think positive! You've got a lot going for you! I mean... just look at your beautiful blog!

And your post got thinking. Life is so beautiful! I think its a sad shame that the media, Hollywood and the like, encourage so many people to think that beauty can only be a certain body shape, or hair color, or facial feature, etc.

Don't be embarrassed. Only a mother could wear stretch marks with dignity. :)

yellowdog granny said...

oh lord..you could have fried calamari on my stomach i had so much olive oil on it when i was pg with the kids..didn't work the first 2 times don't know why i thought it would work the 3rd time..but i still did it.

the walking man said...

Never could understand why stretch marks are a bain? You wouldn't want the tree to stop being a tree eh?

Catnapping said...

What we call flaws are signs of life...it is interesting that in our culture women are not supposed to have such signs of wear...or use. Like new cars or appliances on the showroom, we are expected to keep ourselves brand spanking new...ready for the market.

Men, otoh, are not even regarded as masculine...sexy...unless they have scars. Look at all your sex symbols that are men...pock marks, old scars across lips or chins or cheeks...as long as they're not disfiguring...it's considered a sign of virility.

Men in our culture are prized for their accomplishments...and the proof of life...but women? We're not people; we're appliances - animated masturbation appliances.

It's only an adult male who finds real women attractive, and they are rare.

lime said...

so well said! my belly sports what i refer to as a topographic map if WV. listen to the trees....

Ariel the Thief said...

LOL Terry! Funny how your brain works. Stretch marks. But as Tom said, birds love it anyway.

Nessa said...

I thought you had a werewolf in your neighborhood.

SJW said...

Terry - hope this comment is not too long, but your post put me in mind of this email I received recently:-)

Quoting 60 Minutes Correspondent Andy Rooney (CBS)

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think. If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting. Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it. Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one . You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her. Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?', here's an up date for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

And the email ended with another quote from whom I'm not too sure followed:

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

weirsdo said...

And when the tree gives new life, it does not have to worry about that life making fun of it for being old in about 13 years.

McRaven said...

I wish we were neighbors we have so much in common. Trees & Birds. I am going back to work full time next week and when I am caught up with everything I will send you your painting.

My daughter was here for a visit and she tried to take it and I stopped her at the door. "You already have two of my paintings. This one is promised to someone, you can't take it." She then hugs me and tries again...I was strong. Nope a promise is a promise. So it will be coming to you sometime this spring or summer...I promise. O yeah send me your adress again, all my stuff was deleted in Minnesota by my lovely daughter-in-law.

Dr.John said...

Never thought of those as stretch marks.

Anonymous said...

who are you fool'n
never noticed
any stretch marks
XoXo

Ranger Tom said...

Even as a guy I've got a few...

tsduff said...

Doug - Snake oil never cured anything.

Tom & Icy - yes, we do. :)

Javajazz - I agree - Nature is the most pure teacher.

Jillie - you are the worlds greatest encourager - thank you xo

Sincerity - Thank you for the uplifting thoughts about a job. I do get discouraged, and downright hopeless sometimes.

tsduff said...

Yellowdog Granny - I had to take a break in answering comments because I was laughing so hard at yours :)

I kept trying with the cocoa butter on all pregnancies too - but olive oil? LOL about the calamari!

Mark - Stretchmarks made me despair as a young 19 year old - I felt so disfigured. No two piece bathing suit for me. I couldn't care less now, but it was a big deal then.

Catnapping - I'm so glad I found one - (although I'm not sure how "adult" he is LOL) who knew me then, before the ravage of the stretchmarks at age 14, and now at 52. He IS rare. You put it so well - signs of life. That is right.

Lime - I AM listening. And looking. Topo map - LOL!

Ariel - I've never seen such fresh growth marks on a tree - ever. It was amazing - and now when I'm walking up there I always must check out that tree again.

Nessa - Maybe. Could be scratch marks. Aaaaooooouuuuuuuuuuoooo.

SJW - I've heard the part about the cow & the milk, but not the pig and the little sausage. I suppose it should just be people, not their skin, nor their hair, or their scars or stretch marks that should make the difference. It just takes a long time to finally get it.

Weirsdo - that is the truth. I should like to be more like a tree.

McRaven - Oh wow, you are one strong woman, to say no to a daughter ;) I'm excited about your painting! You are back to work? How are you finally feeling these days, now that everything is all said and done? Are you completely healed? I'll send my addy - it is wonderful to hear from you again. I agree - we would be great neighbors. :)

Dr. John: You were never pregnant either I bet :)

Anonymous - See? You are rare. xo

Ranger Tom - You are one brave man.