Filigreed tissue and the wedding dress

The fading of an elegant dress-satin, tulle, a fine nuptial tiara, now crumpled and old in tan tissue paper decorated with scalloped filigreed edges courtesy of Mr. or Mrs. Moth.

I sat next to a lady at a community luncheon at the Convention Center this week who might have worn this dress. Her withered and shriveled form still had a hint of former glory and elegance. Her ivory colored coat was draped over the back of her chair, revealing the Montaldo’s label and a creatively artful moth-eaten design on the inside collar. I asked her about her involvement with the Women’s Fund and what brought her to be a member. She delivered a dissertation on the power of women, how women must support one another, and how women are the cinderblocks of our society. “Besides,” she said, “I need to do something exciting, so when I chat with my grandchildren on Facebook, I will have interesting things to tell them!”

Then the program began, but I really didn’t need to hear any more that day. My luncheon partner was finishing up every morsel on her plate, pushing the last bit of chicken salad on her fork with a crust of bread. “We mustn’t waste any food,” she told me. “That was how I was brought up. Someday all that waste will catch up with us.”

Our elders possess much wisdom, I thought. We must listen more carefully. Could it be that moth holes are really the openings through which our ancestors, our oracles, speak?

~Beth Baldwin