17 February 2010

Internal Bikini

Well, its bikini season...or soon to be in the mid-driff of the Northern Hemisphere. Every year i get out some bikini i found on clearance in a cloud of optimism, and imagine that possibly, this year, if i do more power yoga walking running and say NO to donuts...then maybe when we go to Florida in March, or perhaps this summer by a lake or our pool, I could wear this thing...its so darn cute it is.

ok. why do I need to wear a bikini? When i went on honeymoon with my husband of now 16 years, to the beaches of the Aegean Sea in Greece, i never wore one, ever. I wore a one piece - and I was 25...and actually had the body that could pull off wearing a bikini. I was not necessarily modest - I just remembered trying one of my friend's on as a teenager and my dad thought it looked terrible, or at least thats what i thought he meant. Funny huh? I never seemed to take his advice if i didn't agree with it - but this, i quietly stored inside and accepted it as God's truth.

So to wear one now, seems like a rebellion against this poorly given commentary - like a reclaiming of what was lost, what I mis-spent in a one-piece, what i never could enjoy - the beautiful body that i never thought I had - and to feel the cool of the water against my belly - before its too late - and too-late it is getting!

My body has created and fed three darling children, loved and touched many. It has swam and ran and hiked and biked and canoed and skied and cooked and baked and painted and gardened and created. It has loved my husband and children. It has turned 41 -  i have wrinkles and spots and and a belly - my thighs are pocked...I feel all used up  - as my friend Kendra says. Who do I think I am trying to wear a bikini in a month's time - anytime? What will I prove, or what will I gain if I manage to do it? Will it just reveal how taken in I am by our culture of eternal youth, by the gloss ads, the still prevalent idea that a woman's worth is in the beauty of her body - as a pleasing picture for others to enjoy?

I have come a long way. My journey has not been easy. But my body brought me here, faithfully carrying me along to this moment. It has been a witness to all of my life and bears the moments in topographic memory. My body has been good to me. But I know my worth is far beyond my body - and as I age, this is becoming more and more true.

As I concede that the aging woman in the mirror is indeed me, I am delighted to discover that something within this body is growing larger, stronger - entering a room steps before my body does. As the body fades, our spirits can become brighter...the picture we are for others to see is more and more about the inside picture, the visions we dream, the things we've accomplished, the way see the world with newer, wiser eyes, the photographs of our life spent - all seeping through and greeting another in our crinkly smiles, our well-practiced hugs, the electric energy blazing through our eyes - we turn our insides out and wear them as our new adornment, all the clothes and make-up and our aging bodies  fade away for the brilliance of our spirits.

Now that reclaims a youth mis-spent in a onepiece . . .  its like an internal bikini....with donut benefits.


  1. Wow, Marcella, how well you've captured the spirit of what we call "aging" (a process that I think needs a new damned name, just haven't thought of one yet).

    Hope you forgive me this, but I just have to put it here (written years ago):

    I look in the mirror and what do I see?
    An older, grayer, wrinkled me!
    Age has its own beauty, so I‘ve been told
    and we have nothing to fear in growing old.
    I tend to agree, there‘s nothing to hide;
    the wrinkles and bags are only outside.
    I‘ve known this truth for many years
    and the inside of me laughs at all those fears.
    Sometimes I sag and my old bones creak,
    and I wish to be kind of young and sleek,
    just a little while longer, I‘ve sometimes said
    in charming sweet dreams in my old head.
    The truth be known, it‘s freedom I seek,
    and I get closer with each passing week.
    Nail polish was tossed a long time ago,
    hair color rejected as frivolous show.
    Debt is no friend, and I long for the end
    of those monthly payments I dutifully send.
    I‘m now quite convinced I have all I need
    and less is more, so I‘ve been freed!
    Youth doesn‘t leave, it just hides itself,
    like a mischievous imp up on a shelf
    waiting with glee for someone to see
    its delightful, insightful energy!
    Older is wiser? Yes, sirree —
    Older has seen life‘s misery
    and won‘t collapse on aging knee,
    because older knows just how to be
    in tune with all the ups and downs,
    accepting all the smiles and frowns.
    In peace, in trust, in harmony,
    Older dances with the clowns,

  2. right back at you! Love this post, the internal bikini - brilliant. I agree with your sentiments and can relate so much. I like your wavelength and so glad to now follow your blog. Looking forward to getting know you!! Cheers. Love it!!

  3. ps - I have trained to be an ESL teacher, Cowboy and I went to Vietnam to teach, but alas... our baby boy surprised us and it is yet to be!!

  4. Two things I have learned in my "middle age". First, it is not about age, it is about "mileage", and second, everyone is a dimmer switch and a good imagination from being a super model! LOl - thanks for your post as always!

  5. Hey Jeanne - thankyou for sharing that lovely poem! - i think you were saying what I am saying...but your's is in elegant rhyming verse :)

    Sharnanigans - you and Cowboy were ESL teachers! well I'll be darned! babies! they do that - they just take over and nothings the same - but they are so delicious (most times) that it works somehow (is there a bikini in your closet or did he change that too? :)

    Tony - mileage - a much better word than age - and that dimmer switch trick - I've used that...:o

  6. this is such a lovely and touching blog. I particular loved the words "As the body fades, our spirit can become brighter..."

    So true, and thank you!


  7. We have to find whatever works for us individually as we go through our various stages of transformation, it is a constant adjustment if you are one who wishes to continue to evolve. So do whatever you need for you, it's your journey and no one else's. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I'm now following along with you as well.


  8. Dear Marcella,

    Thank you for illuminating a path with your writings. In recognition of your work, I’d like to present you with the "Writer of Light" award. Please visit my blog for details, and also to pick up the logo if you like.
    Love, light, and Peace.

  9. Wow! Thanks Sai - so sweet! I'm coming over.

  10. Those donuts, strategically placed, could BE the bikini - plus they would take the attention away from the aging body!

    Kidding aside, I really enjoyed this beautiful post. It reminds me of the expression "At 30 you wonder what people are thinking about you, at 40 you realize they weren't thinking about you at all, and at 50 you don't care what they think" - or something to that effect. Just that we get more comfortable with ourselves over time, both our insides and our flabby outsides.

    I'm a follower too. And a Cancer :-)

  11. Wrote about you on my blog today. :-)

  12. I think we should start a movement to reclaim the bikini from the slim young things. Why shouldn't we also enjoy the feel of the sun, sand and water on our skin? When all of us older, pock-marked, comfortable-in-our-own-skin women are letting it all hang out in bikinis, literally or figuratively, I reckon we'll have the last laugh!

  13. so true muliercula!
    and lets not start with men - who can let it all hang out - belly, bosom and all and no one scolds THEM wear a tankini...:0

  14. holy poop. this was a fantastical, amazing post.

    I am speechless. (which is rare!).

    Thank you so very much, from the bottom of my soul.

    (ps- the weather is.... snow-y... ick. can't believe Canada just lost against the US for hockey....)

  15. no kidding - US shut us out! - my whole house is in mourning here - they're forcing me to wear black, so I got to go...

  16. oh, and ecoYo - I'm adding you to my blogroll - need all those handy tips at my fingertips :)

  17. Especially liked the idea of your spirit preceding your entrance into a room. Powerful and nicely drawn image.

  18. Thank-you Mary - and thanks for visiting!

  19. Mary? duh, I am slow on the uptake here - is that you? scrunch-face and say "Mary" Mary?
    lol - nice to have you here!

  20. Yes, scrunch-face Mary. It's me!! I am really enjoying your writing and taking time to think the pieces through

  21. glad! - now maybe you can start your own blog and share how you are "thinking the pieces through" :)

  22. Here's what I like about ageing: as my body and face change I see echoes that weren't there before - the shape of my older face is now like my father's - he died many years ago so seeing the line of his jaw or shape of his brow in my own face catches me, brings me back home. I stand just like my mother did - when she could still stand straight. How can I dislike my looks when I care so much for the people I now resemble?

  23. that's so interesting !
    Your body as an echo of your parents...
    so far what I have from my father is his receding chinline (yay.)...and from my mother the predisposition to walk fast...
    see you in class Mary :) ~m.