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True Beauty...


We all know that some women age gracefully, and others do not. For me, this has absolutely nothing to do with appearance, sagging breasts, or how thick or thin an older female is. It's about the eyes, the soul and overall spirit in life. On a brutally hot day in May, I was walking around Old Town San Diego when I encountered a remarkable woman named Sonia. Immediately she captured my attention with her colorful brush strokes and vibrant paints sitting in tin foil. I sat down to take a rest, and we struck up a conversation. After only 15 minutes, I had a mental snapshot of her entire life.

Sonia was born in Canada, but in her early 20's she packed up everything and traveled solo to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. She had a burning desire to explore, and began her journey in Portland, Oregon. She later moved onward to Washington, and many other U.S. States. Sonia has traveled to exotic locations in Africa, Iceland and even Antarctica (my dream!). During her life, she has buried two husbands and one child. Despite these tragedies, she was focused only on positive memories and emotions. To remain mobile and mentally sharp, she visits this local Square several times a week, a crowded tourist area where she can feel a connection to other humans and share her artistic pieces. She sells her art very cheap, including paintings and decorative bookmarks. I have a small painting which now sits on the desk by my bed. A reminder that beauty, style and grace can exist at any age. That everyone will experience many physical transformations, tragedies and joys in life, and especially that youth is not eternal, but an amazing spirit, legacy and human experience can be...:)

Have you encountered someone like Sonia at a random moment or place? Someone who left a memorable impression after only a brief meeting? Btw, I have a lovely hand-painted bookmark from Sonia. I will mail it to the person that shares the best story in the comments. :) Let's focus on something positive today!

P.S.: Sonia sends her greetings to all of my readers in Russia!


( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 7th, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
You met him? The last photo is great, you can see real kindness in his eyes, not evil or hate. :)
(no subject) - asharky - Jul. 7th, 2015 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 8th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 7th, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
This guy.... Not as old, but anyway.... http://pin-gwin.livejournal.com/408667.html

Jul. 7th, 2015 05:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, he seems to be a cool dude! :) You met him in Mexico? Did you learn anything about his life? I love photos of humans from around the globe. If you're on Instagram, you can search the tag "facesoftheearth." It's awesome! And I used to run the page here https://instagram.com/humansofelsewhere/. You can see some of my photos with Russians there.
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jul. 7th, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 7th, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jul. 7th, 2015 05:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 7th, 2015 05:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jul. 7th, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 8th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jul. 8th, 2015 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 7th, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC)
Nice story, thank you! Let's focus on something positive every day!!!
Jul. 7th, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! Unfortunately, most people are only interested in reading about scandals and nonsense, not pleasant things or people. It's a real pity.
Jul. 7th, 2015 06:26 pm (UTC)
Do you admire her because she was also a peacetraveler or for something else?
If her past as enthusiastic traveler going to be removed she looks like a regular American woman.
I also met in New Jersey one old cute man who traveled a lot. He even visited USSR under fictional name. Because he was a CIA's agent. Unbelievable to me he was very positive about USSR, Russians and even modern (it was in 2011) Russia.
Jul. 7th, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
I liked her because she was a positive and vibrant person, and also because of our shared love for travel. I grow so tired of posts on LJ which are critical of women (esp. older females), claiming they are somehow worthless or washed up. This woman is interesting and still very active in her life. A positive role model, however I've noticed old people in America and Russia are quite different. In Russia, I rarely see older people engaged in social activities.
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Jul. 7th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 8th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Jul. 8th, 2015 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 7th, 2015 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 8th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 8th, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 8th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 7th, 2015 07:15 pm (UTC)
thank you so much!
Jul. 7th, 2015 07:15 pm (UTC)
My pleasure! I'm glad you liked the short story. :)
Jul. 7th, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
people like Sonia, very little
I was lucky. My aunt was so. She did not grow old, it has always been mobile, fun, doing gymnastics))
She's always watching their weight.
Excess weight is a death she said.
He died at 90 years
Doctors she had surgery in 90 years ... the idiots

it is for me an example. Old age comes when you want it himself.
Jul. 7th, 2015 07:51 pm (UTC)
Excess weight does not necessarily equal death, or even health problems. One of my relatives was a very round woman her entire lifetime. She used to eat sticks of butter for breakfast, and she lived to be over 100 years old. :) Many health factors are completely tied to genetics. We can't control everything in life, no matter how hard we try. The main thing is not to turn into a bitter, angry old person. There are too many of those in the world. :)
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 7th, 2015 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 8th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 9th, 2015 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 7th, 2015 08:02 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't post a photo (can send it privately). But I knew such man. And more than knew.
Occupation during WWII in the Belarus. After Soviet troops coming he was taken at the age of 17 to Army and due to the fact that he was from occupied territories he was enlisted into sapper troops. His friend touched a wire of a mine... As a result - hospital (mine splinters). Than amputation of a left leg above knee. 17y.o.... Without education.
After he recovered in several years he learned how to be a shoemaker than left it, finished school (externally), than studied as a younger medical assistant, finished with great score, than entered medical institute, graduated with great score... Later - post-graduation education, than he became a Doctor of medicine, than he became a Professor of medicine (in surgery)... And a lot of people from the USSR came to be operated by him...
After in five years he discovered and started to develop a hobby - landscape painting that also got some diploma at exhibitions...

And he was full of energy, humor, hope...
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
Great! It's always inspiring when people overcome so many obstacles in their lives and remain full of humor and hope!
Jul. 7th, 2015 08:10 pm (UTC)
I don't know how it is, but such kind of people has beautiful kind eyes with deep view of wisdom, they are calm and silent, a bit strange, polite and exstremely sensitive. I like that people. You are such kind of person, if to watch your photo, btw )
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Yes, I'm mostly a happy, kind and calm person. I've had a very good life, not much to complain about really. :) And I truly believe the eyes are the windows to a person's soul. You can tell a lot by looking at them.
(no subject) - moya_gospoga - Jul. 8th, 2015 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aleksi Udovichenko
Jul. 7th, 2015 08:21 pm (UTC)
beautiful text.
thank you, Shannon
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! No one is interested in such feel good topics, but I still feel compelled to write them on occasion. To show the good in humanity. :)
Jul. 7th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC)
The most graceful old lady I had ever known was my (now late) great grandmother. She wasn't a great traveller, the fartherest she had gone was a cross-country hiking trip to the concentration camp, to feed the prisoners and, hopefully, help some escape, during ww II... Also, the last 13 years of her life she was completely blind (inoperable at that time) - never had she complained! Only prayed to God to take her soon. And always remained calm, serene and even cheerful, whenever us, kids were around :)
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I once knew a babushka like that. She was so sweet and kind, and also blind near the end of her life. She was the grandmother of my Ukrainian friend, and I visited her during my time there. We even did vodka shots together! An amazing woman! Unfortunately, she recently passed away. :(

Jul. 7th, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
It's very kindness post, in my opinion, thanks))!

But I don't know what is say on main question, because I don't remember people like Sonia in my life, maybe this just amnesia or I'm dictator "Mutumba" from Central Africa, who knows...))

Attempt to humor №42.
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC)
:)) Well, perhaps you don't encounter such people because it's not so common for strangers to speak to each other in Russia, and begin explaining their whole life stories. :)
(no subject) - emptykingdom - Jul. 13th, 2015 02:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 7th, 2015 09:58 pm (UTC)
I bet she was sooooo promiscuous back in the day, she seems like one of those lovely ladies who would do sexual favours to people as a way to say "thank you". God bless her.
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
What! Men are so perverse! :)) How could you even think that of this sweet old woman? There are so many other things to focus on. :)
Jul. 8th, 2015 04:21 am (UTC)
She lost a child... Wow. Even a thought that I may loose my kid drives me to a horrible mood.
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine this pain or despair. In fact, I can't even imagine how I will cope when my parents die because I'm so close to them. :((
Jul. 13th, 2015 02:28 pm (UTC)
"A British teacher who allowed pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad is ... Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool..."

she is an incredibly amazing woman.
Jul. 13th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of her. Interesting story.
Jul. 14th, 2015 11:02 am (UTC)
She reminded me of the turtle named "Тортила" from the famous russian children's film, an adaptation of Pinocchio (original title: "Приключения Буратино"). See for yourself:

From the second verse:
Young friend, always stay young,
And do not hurry to grow up,
Be happy, noisy and be daring,
Fight, if this is necessary
Do not rest, Cry and laugh even if it's out of place,
That's what I was like, three hundred years ago.

Of course the sizilian tune makes it even more dramatic :)
Antarctica is a strange but interesting place, I recommend the Werner Herzog Film " Encounters at the End of the World".

Jul. 14th, 2015 03:12 pm (UTC)
I have seen this film, it's amazing! Antarctica is so expensive and difficult to reach. I will only be able to visit if I win the lottery. :))
( 51 comments — Leave a comment )


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