They are all over - physically and figuratively. Some, are expected to happen with aging, but even so, when wrinkles do appear, even when expected after birth, shall we say, it takes us somewhat by surprise. We tend to forget in those moments, that the main cause is dryness though we see so many times the scorched earth when there is no more water or, simply, there never was in the desert. Trickling skin knowledge from the medical sciences preoccupied with esthetics, combined with the passion that cosmeticians have understanding, combining and applying remedies to delay the body wrinkles and the eventual skin cracking as we age, do contribute to the sense of beauty we adopted for ourselves for as long as we live. It is a contribution to the ambiance we float in the surroundings of our habitat decoration, fashion we choose for various seasons forgetting that our brains and minds also have their own cycles. A slip of a particular word, absent mindedness or forgetting something for even a moment, is small crack that infiltrate subversively. By the time we realize this, we are already mid-aged and the notion of emergency cosmetic and other health care become of importance, more than seeking other pleasures anywhere. And, like with the other species, it still makes us stare in the mirror and, despite or in spite of crčmes and other promises that they will disappear, we, ultimately, have to accept them and even adopt them so that we can have some sort of an explanation how did they get there and why. Hence, wrinkles seem to be the predecessors to the cracks’ phenomenon usually forcing us to take a good look to both, cause and effect, as well as natural or unnatural factors affected by acceptable or unacceptable circumstances.
The truth of the matter is, while we may be able to diminish those physical cracks’ evidence of architectural hardship on look, we do have difficulty to benevolently accept those mental and artistic ones! And it is not a matter of cosmetics as much as a visual distorted unbalance to our individual perspective of what, in our vista, we do consider the degree of acceptable ‘beauty’ we can live with and be proud of it. For, let us face it, there are so many nuances of what is labeled a so called beauty appearance that it is no wonder it is the subject of many disputes reflecting an artistic affirmation vis-ŕ-vis a viewer‘s individual whim or, a society’s trend. As a matter of fact beauty or ugliness is in the eyes of the beholder depending on their geographical habitat and characteristics. Of course, there are common denominators at large that wherever we come from, we are stunned by the exposure of a piece of art, poetry, music, design and so on…
I wonder if when the other species ‘talk’ to each other, whether they do admire or make a case about the wrinkles and the cracks in their skin or face expressions. How about linguistically! Let us face it: few of us escape those other improvised lingual ‘cracks’ when the occasions arise, willy-nilly! True, many are semi-calculated, but many more come out instantly as organic outbursts of quick clever-minds direct to our lips which even surprise us, their owner. On a second thought, funny or not, it does take a few seconds for us to realize if what we said was an acceptable crack or not in that particular situation. Hmm…was the crack meant as a joke or a venomous one - sometimes more poisonous than a snake or a spider may inflict while in the mood? Ultimately, we make an apology which will produce laughter rather than inflict pain more than expected or unexpected, steering unwarranted retaliations in return! Hence, is it due only to human nature or, the nature of things presented by our acute amalgamated senses influenced by our genes, mind, culture and general lack of education and mannerism? For a crack is a crack…is a crack, anyway one senses and looks at it. True, a verbal crack instigated criminal reactions around the earth, its retaliatory degree depending on circumstance and content. Some even die that none of us planned or desired at that particular moment… Though, we do have other moments in the privacy of our own whims. Do we recognize it? Do we admit that we planned it? Never! Because to plan means to think about it before and these things happen incited by a dialogue weird momentum that led to a status of a spontaneous irretrievable status of affairs driven by a natural improvisation factor and not a well-though prank. After all, it was smart aleck’s crack, that’s all!
The question remains, however, what do we do about our brain volcanoes, the natural ones and the earthquakes when they tremble and erupt creating a lot of so many new cracks?
©by Ray Arco
from the Volume: Essays
Editing: Ileana Matac Arco
by Ray Arco 3/27/2015