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Tree burls and pearls. Drawing by Julie Seyler


An integral part of our blog’s beginnings were incessant e-mail exchanges between Julie and me, with ideas for what the blog should be about. Threaded into the scores of business e-mails and blog ideas, were some slices of raw revelation, as the ever-evolving voice of the blog drifted from a focus on food and travel to one about navigating our 50s. The e-mails generated tons of ideas, so we diligently filed them away in our queue.

One day in May, Julie dashed off a short poem and e-mailed it to me, thinking it was quite a witty characterization of being on the right side of 50. Her poem, and my e-mailed response, copied and pasted below, sums up how differently we view the physics of aging. For Julie, the two lines conveyed how fleeting the time is between the dewiness of youth, which we take for granted, and the next moment, when it has evaporated. As she sees it, it doesn’t come at one point in time, but throughout the transitions in life. You assume your oyster pearl complexion will always be a part of you, and then … it isn’t.

My poem was better:

On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM, Julie Seyler wrote:

One day you are the oyster pearl
the next time you looked you were the tree burl.

On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM, Lois DeSocio replied:

OOH – that hurts. Props on the poem, but I refuse to be deformed. I will be: 

One day I was just a girl;
The next time I looked I was the oyster pearl.

Lemonade, Jule