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Excerpts from The Navel Diaries
It was the one thing I had. Every girl/woman gets at least one thing, you know.  
That's my theory.

Diann Logan is a university faculty member, published author, quilt designer/creator who lives in Denver, Colorado.
How I Lost My Belly Button and Found Myself
I have an ugly navel. It's the ugliest thing about me.

It wasn't always so. I was blessed with a stunning flat belly and an absolutely gorgeous navel--an in-ey--not a deep trench but a perfectly shaped little circlet of tissue nestled in a lusciously tight ring of muscle, perched in exactly the right locale on that magnificent belly.

I actually didn't know I had all that till the boys told me. I thought I had a belly button ... till the boys told me. Teenage boys, what do they know? The boys told me, "You're built just like Sophia Loren," and "You have the tiniest waist," and "Your navel is even sexier than Raquel Welch's." I lapped it up. If you're old enough to recognize those names, you also realize how I developed an unreasonable admiration for my own navel.
Did you know that thinning eyebrows are one of the harbingers of menopause? Doesn’t the purpose of eyebrows go beyond décor? I always heard they were to keep dirt and sweat from rolling down the forehead into the eyes. I still need that protection but the ordinary eyebrows are thinning and being replaced with one or two extra long white eyebrow hairs. I just don’t see how those will be of any use to me in a sandstorm.


I think I might be starting to smell old. This is a frustrating situation really because I can’t think of any way to verify my suspicion. It’s not something your friends will tell you, is it? It seems to be beyond conscious awareness too. I can’t say I really know how to smell my own damn self. It’s easy to identify the superficial smells I'm surrounded in, soaps, shampoo and fresh nail polish, cigarette smoke and perfumes, but underneath those surfaces there’s the essential smell of me and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Something to do with years infused into skin chemistry probably.
Sometimes I say to the dog, “you smell like a dog” and he does. For me that’s a positive assessment since I love the smell of the dog but it’s a different assessment than when I used to say to him, “you smell like a puppy.” Also a positive assessment at that time in his life but it’s different now, he’s not a puppy anymore, he’s a dog. See, just by his smell I can verify for him who he is and the stage of life he’s in. I wonder if he does the same for me? Is he curled up in my lap, drifting off to sleep thinking, “you smell old”?  


Recently I looked at my side view in the mirror and I can definitely say I'm breastfallen. You can use your elbow as a spotter and see if your nipples are in the same relative relationship to the elbows as they used to be. Presumably elbows stay in the same spot and breast tissue slides toward the center of the earth, unable to resist gravity’s lure. How many ribs are supposed to be below the breast? I wonder if the breast has a destination point that it’s heading for. Will it stop falling when it reaches the waist or is it bent on merging with the pubic bone, thus concealing the navel entirely?  


  
Recently I looked at my side view in the mirror and I can definitely say I'm breastfallen. You can use your elbow as a spotter and see if your nipples are in the same relative relationship to the elbows as they used to be. Presumably elbows stay in the same spot and breast tissue slides toward the center of the earth, unable to resist gravity’s lure. How many ribs are supposed to be below the breast? I wonder if the breast has a destination point that it’s heading for. Will it stop falling when it reaches the waist or is it bent on merging with the pubic bone, thus concealing the navel entirely?