By Connie Kinsey
My hands cramp, fingers arching backward. Arthritis. Two Advil daily. My lower back aches, stooping my spine. My arches continue their path to flat. It feels like betrayal this revolt. I was supple and graceful once upon a time. First a disco queen and then a yoga diva. This revolt surprises me. The me that was me that will always be me is still there. But aging and menopause have not been kind to me. I tell the young’uns not to get old --- there’s no future in it. My arm wattles jiggle when I do goddess pose. Oh, how I wanted something to jiggle when I was 13. Unnaturally thin for most of my life, I longed for hips and breasts. I had neither until the hot flashes were spent. This extra weight is foreign to me. There doesn’t seem to be a map for this territory. I am frequently besmirched by the indignities of old age. The beginnings of incontinence, dull dry brittle hair, my oily skin suddenly flaky and wrinkled. But the acne has persisted. I buy moisturizer and acne remedies. I’ve quit wearing eyeliner. The crepe underneath my eyes prevents a straight line. My beloved shoes languish in the closet. My balance precarious -- four-inch heels may be my past. This menopause cleavage astounds me. Oh, how I had longed for breasts and now am plagued by underwire. This revolt aggravates me. My visage in the mirror a shock. Who is that woman? I feel weighed down by this body in revolt, but I practice yoga and I continue to dance. My spirit intact. The me that was me that will always be me is still there. In revolt against the revolt.
Connie Kinsey is a former military brat who has put down deep roots in a converted barn on a dirt road at the top of a hill in West Virginia. She lives with two dogs and a cat and is pursuing happiness, one cup of coffee at a time. Her award-winning writing has been published online and in print. Most recently she was published in the Hippocampus Writing Life column. She is also a spoken word artist and Writer-in-Residence for the Museum of the American Military Family.
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MEMOIR: ‘The Garden and the Grief’ by Connie Kinsey: August 4, 2021: Gardens usually signify growth and the boundless, restorative invention of Nature. Yet what happens when they fall into tangles as life’s misfortunes overwhelm and distract us from turning their soil? Connie Kinsey’s short memoir on on the dance between her garden and her grief.
VIDEO READINGS| “Terracotta Tile,” a prompted tale by Connie Kinsey: July 6, 2020: “He was rage and she was ennui. She picked up her glass and took a sip. The wine tasted bitter. She couldn’t remember when he had last been happy. He stood in front of her. Silent, but radiating a need to speak. “What?” she said softly.
COVID CHRONICLES | One in Eight Million: October 16, 2020: We begin our new occasional series ‘Covid Chronicles’ with a personal report from WestVirginiaVille’s Minister of Paragraphs, Connie Kinsey, who was just recently diagnosed with a—we pray it stays that way—mild case of Covd-19.