Proverbs 9:1-6 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. She has sent out her servant girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, “You that are simple, turn in here!” To those without sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”
Nora Ephron, but I call her Nora because I believe if she was still alive and we both lived in New York City we would be the best of friends. Nora is primarily remembered for her screenplays about neurotic but intelligently witty women who draw men in with their quirky sense of charm – movies usually starring Meg Ryan (i.e., When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail).
Before reading Nora, I watched Nora’s movies with pure, disturbed, self-association delight. I did not know then that this quirky, intelligent woman wrote about quirky, intelligent women similar to herself with which I could identify. And after hearing of her death this summer, I took it upon myself to read more of Nora Ephron’s short stories and essays.
She wrote her most popular collection of essays, I Feel Bad About My Neck, in her sixties. With the independence of her thirties, knowledge of her forties and age of her fifties behind her, Nora shared the intimate idiosyncrasies of her life as woman aging. Her opening essay says, “I feel bad about my neck. I truly do. If you saw my neck, you might feel bad about it too.”
Tempered with humor, Nora Ephron reminds me of the woman of wisdom in Proverbs 9. She writes about her joy of entertaining guests and cooking delicious meals. But she also embraces the wisdom of age while equally reminiscing the fade of beauty into a new version of matured exquisiteness. Although she felt bad about her neck and its ability to reveal a woman’s age too easily, in the end, Nora celebrated the benefit of wisdom which comes with experience.
I can only hope I reach mature understanding and maintain my somewhat irrational yet somewhat endearing personality throughout the years.