The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.


The following was a new story for my book (Oh, if you want a snag a copy or send one to a friend, you can order it here at Amazon.) and I found myself in a similar, grateful reverie this weekend. Thank you to the talented and charming Matthias Hilse of Room Six for making these promotional images for me. I’m sure many of my future wrinkles will be from my delighted laughter during meals with Matt. 🙂

I’m feeling connected. I’m feeling like the Trappist monk Thomas Merton when he left his monastery to go into the city and observed the frailty of all the activity there. Or I’m wishing to feel like Thomas Merton, and thus projecting. Either way, I’m grinning at everyone in the bus.

There’s a woman riding this morning who is surely ancient. I’ve never seen a face like hers before. She wears a remarkable set of wrinkles, like a gathered curtain around her eyes. I watch her looking out the windows and observing the people who enter. She doesn’t seem frail, but hearty and grounded instead. She has me thinking about what my lines will be if I get to reach a drapery age.

Will my wrinkles come from laughter with my friends? Which lines from the gasps over a beautiful passage in a book? Will my lines come from crying over heartaches that I have later forgotten? Which from the scowl at a hard passage of philosophy? Which from the grief of losing people that I love? I wonder as I watch her, with a delight instead of a lament, how I may also grow older and what it might reveal on my face. How will I develop and how will I fold?



2 comments on “Wrinkles

  1. Darlene
    February 22, 2016

    I love this one!

  2. joannerambling
    February 22, 2016

    I also liked this a lot, just saying

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