Friday, September 21, 2007


There's no telling what a person will turn up when she sets out to organize drawers, files and boxes! This is a school picture of me at age 15, a sophomore in high school. I thought I'd print it here because I think it bears quite a resemblance to the photo on the top right side of my blog.

Oh, sure, I didn't have big bags under my eyes back then, I had only one chin, and I was a whole lot slimmer (skinny, actually), but I think the inner essence of "me-ness" is the same. For sure, I have come full circle to almost the same hairdo. There's not much a person can do with absolutely straight, fine, thick hair and a darned cowlick!

I still have the same facial expression too. People who don't like me would call it a smirk; people who like me (or myself) would call it an enigmatic, Mona Lisa smile.

I'd like to think that the 15-year old Julie is still inside this 58-year old. I'm still the avid reader, I still love to learn, I am still the unquenchable romantic. I still love the songs of the British Invasion. I still love nature, the country, dogs and family, birds and flowers.

The first time I saw the formal Sears portrait of my infant niece, Kelsey, the thought instantly came to my mind that "this is an old soul." There was just something in her eyes that told me so. And at 16 now, she is a wise young woman.

I think I am a young soul, still "trailing clouds of innocence", as Wordsworth said of children, but perhaps not so young as my soul at 15. I'm not so painfully shy, or so terribly sensitive. I have also definitely become tougher, though it may not show on the outside. I'm not a naive, inexperienced young thing anymore, but then what woman is? One certainly would not want to be arrested at that stage of development forever. I had not yet had my first kiss at age16, from Jim Peterson after a church group hayride.

People have debated from time immemorial about what the soul is, and where the soul resides. Where is my soul? I think it rather abides with me, rather than resides in me. One quote I read that has stayed with me for a long time is that we are not bodies with souls, we are souls that happen to have bodies.

Did I exist as a soul without a body before Julie was born? Will I go on as a soul when Julie's body is gone? I don't know. I don't know when the soul is born or dies; I'd like to think it never dies. But I do believe that my soul was with me in the beginning, and made - and makes - me what I am. My soul has created the expression on my face, the particular light in my eyes, the words I speak, the words I write, the thoughts I think. And I think I like my soul.


Lila Rostenberg said...

Definitely the same smile and twinkly, mischievious (?) eyes!
It's fun to see the old photos, I believe we are always still every age we have ever been.
[I can identify with the shy but mischievious 4-year-old I see in some old photos!]

Janet said...

I can definitely see the same person in both photos. And I can empathize with you over the fine, straight hair and I have a zillion cowlicks!

I especially like what you had to say about your soul....I like your soul, too.

Anonymous said...

The same smile! You are so nice person! I love to read your blog :) send you warmest wishes and greetings from Poland :) We have golden autumn here :)

Leanne said...

oh, you havent changed much at all! what a lovely post Julie!

Leanne x

Bimbimbie said...

Dear Julie I loved this thought provoking post. Just the other day I saw some earlier me photos too and you can't help but look closely and wonder about how the me then differs or not, from the me now.
I like your enigmatic Mona Lisa smile, it's still there*!*

Marianne said...

I certainly don't see a 'smirk'.

It's always good to run across someone with 'soul awareness'.

ebrarian said...

Whoa!! Those are my eyes. I'm looking at my own eyes in your picture.

Julie said...

Hi, Kristen sweetie,

Just yesterday a lady at my office saw your picture on my desk and she said - like so many people do - that you look so much like me. And you have a beautiful soul as well.

Love, Mom

GreenishLady said...

And I think yours is a beautiful soul. Thank you for your words of comfort yesterday. They mean so much to me. I am so glad to have met friends like you here in blogville.

Anonymous said...

Of course the 15 year old girl is still inside you :-)

The likeness is amazing.

Patty said...

Excellent post! I love the way you have looked deep inside yourself

Annie Jeffries said...

Julie, this is so sweet. I love that the Mona Lisa smile has stayed with you down through the years.

Miss Robyn said...

yes, the young julie is still inside the 'old' one... of course she is! the inner child - the one who wants to create art & roll in the autumn leaves.

the soul has been here since time began and before - You are a divine immortal being... the book that i am 'working through' right now - by Sonia Choquette - deals with this.. if you can find it to have a look, it may be one that you would like to 'do'..yeah, yeah.. another self help book but it is a good one! (can't remember the exact title, the book is in the car but it starts with Soul, great help I am!)
oh if only we lived nearer - we would discuss this til late at night!

Tea said...

Oh yes, that`s definately you all the way Julie :) I like what you`ve wrote here!


Sheila said...

I don't see a smirk, I see a shy smile..!
You haven't changed very much Julie.
I think our souls have been here forever, we just come back now and then in a different body to experience new things. Obviously there is a lot more to it than that, and it gives much food for thought.

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

Love that picture! I enjoyed every single of your post about being creative! Now please tell me what's the blog called just Julie about? I am nosey Sorry