Pillowbook of Prudence…

I am prompted to write on envy because I look at my daughter’s skin and wish mine was as smooth and unmarked, with far less cartographic detail of my life’s journey. Sometimes I wonder if people look at that wrinkle and wonder at what vicissitude might have caused it. Or those freckles there and think ‘she spends far too much time in the sun.’ Because that is inevitably the kind of thing that I muse upon when I look at someone’s face or hands. What caused that? What happened there?

But of course I never ask … just wonder.

One thinks about envy too, when one sees others more fortunate in income, assets, health, beauty … even status. Do I envy those in the first class seat of life?

On this 20th day of March, I think I can say I don’t envy people with wealth because I know very few moneyed types where arrogance doesn’t partner the income.

Health? Ah yes. I envy people with good health – on a minor scale in respect of myself because I’m essentially healthy but would love to walk without a limp and would love to work without aching. But when I think of those that suffer ill-health, I am envious of those that don’t on the others’ behalf.

Do I envy those possessed of beauty?

Only if the beauty is deep in their souls. We know that beauty is often skin deep and in those people I know who could be classified as beautiful, they are as shallow as the sea at low tide which then makes those soul-full others truly remarkable.


No, I don’t envy status. I’m for the quiet life where I am the unrecognised dog-lady whose happiest moments are walking with her husband and her canine companions on a deserted beach in an unsophisticated corner of the globe.

And I should also add that I don’t envy those who wear black. Life can be full of colour if we let it. Nothing garish. Just the subtle tones of spring blossoms. And with that in mind, today I wear a watermelon tint, reminiscent of that first seasonal fruit…

I wonder if people are envious of the colour.