the evolution of a woman

They say we grow up, but I don't believe that. I say we wander all different ways through our ages, our life like a country to be explored, not merely traversed along some highway of light and sound.

We slip and flow through memory, learning, and all the things we want. It's taken me years of loving lace table cloths and cream scones, then hating them, having them in my kitchen then getting rid of them, to understand what a long-ago afternoon drinking tea in the sun really meant to my soul. And I've been seven some days, even when my skin says fourty seven and my thoughts suggest something a whole lot older again. And I've flung myself from one room to another before finally, finally seeing that there's a whole wealth of architecture inbetween.

A woman does not evolve. She tangles and stretches out; she dissolves and regathers her soul-bones.

There seem to be some people who find their valley or mountainside and settle there, growing favourite flowers, enjoying favourite weather; their country is a small and cosy one. I've long envied them. But I know that even these women have mines beneath their earth, places they fall down sometimes, and secret hollows in their own dark woods. They are not a certain age, but all ages they have ever been, and the dreams of who they eventually will become.

None of us is a story. Although we may feel compelled to think in narrative, we ourselves are really something far more strange and wonderful. We do not progress; we are an accumulation of beautiful ruins.

When someone told me this morning that my weblog was like a soft feather cushion, my immediate reaction told me I've gone too far in the wrong direction. There's really nothing soft about me, although I may sometimes like lace tablecloths. But I can see how one would get that impression. White dresses and soft woodlands will do that. Trying to please other people will do that. Until one day you come across a waymarker that tells you how far you've gone astray, and you realise its time to unravel your evolution all over again, and rework your bones.


  1. This is gorgeous, Sarah, thank you. I find these thoughts very reassuring today, very inspired. Such an important reminder in this straight-line world. Such a relief. x

  2. Amazing, once again. 10,000 thank yous!

  3. "We do not progress; we are an accumulation of beautiful ruins."
    Just so.
    Sometimes, I am bone-weary from this bone-work, if you know what I mean. Yes, it isn't always pretty. But, isn't beauty something else? (The creases in Mother Teresa's face come to mind--and her doubt-filled letters). In today's know-it-all, individualistic world we spend too much time worrying about and trying to "find ourselves."
    As if.

  4. I would just love to know more about you, always :) I Even if it isn't softness and white dresses. I'd love earth and bones too, anything, really. I feel it would inspire me to share more of who I am also.

  5. I like the idea of living in circles. We loop around and around ourselves all the time - criss-crossing and coming back to things we thought we had left, only to find them stretching out in front of us again, cementing the fact that we never leave ANYTHING behind. We are the sum of ourselves - not just our experiences or just our thoughts.
    Well said, Sarah.

  6. what a lovely thought, and true, i think...that we contain within us everything we have ever been. this or that bubbling up from the depths, sinking down again. all ages and stages at once. an embarrassment of riches, really. i'm rather comforted by the thought.

  7. Beautiful. Thank you for this richness. I probably wouldn't have used words like "soft feather cushion" here, more like deep, green moss on top of dark, rich woodland soil with a slight scent of fungi.

    1. Oh my, I love that. I love that so much! Thank you!! <3

      I also love the beautiful woman who left the soft comment, and the spirit in which she left it, and want to say I was very grateful for her kindness. :-) She was an angel to me because normally I would take those words fully and joyfully, but yesterday they spoke in a different voice, one I needed to hear.

  8. Thank you everyone, I always love so much getting your comments.

  9. this touched me:
    A woman does not evolve. She tangles and stretches out; she dissolves and regathers her soul-bones.

    and this one too:
    None of us is a story.

    this sang to me:
    we ourselves are really something far more strange and wonderful.

    we are an accumulation of beautiful ruins.

    sometimes i forget to mention your photography or art you share, but it always supports what you share beautifully and most often overflows with feeling and some sort of beauty, not always light beauty, as in the ocean above, which for me is moody beauty.