They Call Her
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They Call Her "Baba" • Posted: Nov 12, 2013 17:15:51Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Some faces we don't forget. They sear into us, disturb us, haunt us with their persistence. To say they have character is not the half of it. Character connotes resilience in opposition to adversity. Evidence may show in scars, limps, blinded eyes, broken stained teeth, or ragged dress. But in some faces, we see a silent, brooding, perceptive knowing, not quite pity, not quite judgement, but a blunt assessment that, in truth, we know not what is before us in time, at least not so clearly as they do. And that unnerving assessment of us, along with their unusual face, will just not leave our consciousness. Such is the stare of the "baba", the older woman whom some would fondly call grandmother, but whom others would call hag or crone, and still others would keep at distance, believing her a witch.

Yes, life will temper one. Experience confers both wisdom and scars. It happens to all of us, save for the terminally stupid. But what is it about those few who, as children and young women, are decidedly unremarkable, yet mature into characters of such unfathomable enigma that we find just looking at them to worry and rattle our sense of wellbeing? Do they really know something we don't? Or, is it the way they look at us that makes us acutely aware of our own unsteady footing, our own vulnerabilities, our own ignorances?

In fact, the "babas" of our lives may actually know nothing except how to make us feel they might see something about us that, as yet, we have no clear notion of. They may be nothing more than exploiters of our own honestly felt insecurities. For, we all have them. And thereby, those "babas" may find, within their own mostly unremarkable lives, a time, a way, to finally feel and be distinctive. They are, after all, human.

Do not scorn, pity, or fear, but revere the "baba", for she reminds we are not wise as we may think.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
San Francisco