I spotted it on my 28th birthday. I was on board a ship in the Port of Piraeus outside of Athens Greece with my husband and 18 Swedish sailors (or at least I think they were sailors.) They were a group of young men sponsored by some churches to help with preparing the vessel for sea. My memory recalls they had naval experience. The ship was going to be used as a floating bookstore visiting ports around the world providing good literature at affordable prices. It would be dry docked ‐ taken out of the water so the hull would be accessible for repairs and painting ‐ and retrofitted to accommodate workers, conference rooms and a storefront. My husband and I were there to photograph it before the renovations started.
We took a ferry from Perugia, Italy to Athens. We stayed the first night in a Port hotel populated with men seeking female company. It was one of the most unwholesome experiences of my life. The next day we had accommodations on the ship. It had very basic amenities but was a much more pleasant environment.
It the midst of all of this I stood in front of a small cabin mirror and saw it, my first wrinkle. Perhaps it had been there for a while and the circumstances brought attention to its presence. remembered being wowed that it had happened just like that. Youth was now being flawed with the inevitable sign of aging. I wasn’t devastated, intrigued mostly that I now sported the skin condition that women for millennia have tried to delay with lotions and potions.
I think it was then I first took my skincare regime a little more seriously. Seeing that the first wrinkle was upon me I needed to step up my game; cleanse, tone and moisturize. It was years later that I was diagnosed with skin cancer on my lip. It was only then that sunscreen would also become part of my everyday skincare routine. The sun ages the skin and so limiting exposure is important to help prevent wrinkles but avoiding skin cancer is crucial.
In the years since I spotted that first wrinkle off the shores of Greece more have revealed themselves adding character and dimension to my profile. Certainly those experiences of youth added texture and shape to my world.