Category Archives: Touch

A New Beginning

 



Resolutions, resolutions.

I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions. They’re very cliche, they hardly ever last, and if something needs to be fixed, why wait until the beginning of the year to change?

Alas, a lot of change happened at the end of 2010 for me. So a new beginning at the new year seems apropos.

So here are a hand full of goals that have been rattling around in my head lately. I’m not promising anything to myself or anyone else, but getting them down on paper (er, on the blogosphere?) should be a good start.

Slow Fashion
Last year, I started a resolution that I kept for a good six months or so, and I’m going to pick it back up again. No Fast Fashion. Any clothing I buy in 2011 will come from independent boutiques, vintage shops, or thrift stores. (Or I’ll make them myself!) It’s so easy to go devour the sale racks at Target or Ross or Marshalls — any number of discount department stores, but while shopping is fun, promoting the type of craftsmanship and business practices that go into making cheap garments is scary.

Just as the Slow Food movement promotes mindful eating, both for your own health and for the health of the world around you, the Slow Fashion movement focuses on garments that are ethically produced and whose quality is far superior to your average T-shirt found on the sale rack for $4.99. Not to mention buying said inexpensive T-shirt is absolutely meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I’m likely to forget what it is I’ve bought on the drive between the store and home. If, on the other hand, I fall in love with a top at a local boutique and have to pine away and save before I can have it, I’ll treasure it more and keep it around longer.

Along the same lines, I’m going to begin sewing. I’ve had my sewing machine for two years now and haven’t used it anywhere near as much as I’ve wanted to or should have. So beginning now, I’m going to make it a goal to sew two projects every month, mainly clothing. The boy bought me a dressmaker’s mold for Christmas, (yay!) and I have a pattern and fabric all ready for a new dress, I’ve just got to get going on it. It’s a beautiful vintage-inspired wrap dress and the fabric is lovely. I’ll post pictures as soon as it’s done.

And, once again in the Slow Fashion realm, is the goal I’m maybe most excited about. (Drumroll please…) I plan to open a vintage shop on Etsy this year. I’ve been planning this for a while, and have high hopes for my foray into vintage fashion. I’ll also feature some vintage-inspired handmade pieces in the shop (motivation to sew, sew, sew!) which will solidify it as a very green endeavor. Vintage and handmade, what could be more eco-friendly?

Culinary Pleasures
I’m going to start cooking much, much more in 2011. I adore cooking, but I adore going out as well, which isn’t too kind on the wallet or the waistline. So I’ll be cooking healthier, possibly vegetarian during the week, much more fish, and much less meat.

Splurges and treats won’t be forsaken, however. I want to make one complicated/indulgent meal a week, and take pictures of it. (Possibly posting here.) And because of my brand-spankin-new Kitchenaid Mixer (double yay!), I’m going to be doing more baking. (See evidence at the top of this post. My cake decorating skills aside, my Happy Birthday World cake was a hit.)

Creative Endeavors
I’ve had this blog for three and a half years, and the frequency of my posting has ebbed and flowed. I’m going to focus much more on my writing this year, though, and am in the process of chasing down some freelance work. I have all the time in the world on my hands now (due to one of those changes at the end of 2010), so I’m working on building up my portfolio, and I want to be making at least a supplemental income, if not something more substantial, through this writing within six months.

And last but not least, I want to collaborate with the boy on some video projects, possibly turning that collaboration into a semi-frequent side project or even our own company within the next couple of years. I’ll be sharpening my photography skills, learning a bit about video editing, and doing some concepting, scripting, and storyboarding for viral videos and short films. All of which I’m over-the-moon excited about.

So there you have it. 2011 is going to be a big year. I can feel it.

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What is art?

Why do we sacrifice so much energy to our art?

Not in order to teach others but to learn with them what our existence, our organism, our personal and unrepeatable experience have to give us;

to learn to break down the barriers which surround us… and to free ourselves from the breaks which hold us back, from the lies about ourselves which we manufacture daily for ourselves and for others;

to destroy the limitations caused by our ignorance and lack of courage;

in short, to fill the emptiness in us: to fulfill ourselves.

Art is neither a state of the soul (in the sense of some extraordinary, unpredictable moment of inspiration) nor a state of man (in the sense of a profession or social function).

Art is a ripening, an evolution, an uplifting which enables us to emerge from darkness into a blaze of light.

– Grotowski

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Today

I want…

Peace, stillness, water, smiles, freedom, happiness, music, dance, coffee, cleanliness, clarity, organization, looseness, breath, deep breaths, buzzing, tipping, highness, driving, rolling, floating, swimming, cuddling, wiggling, tapping, swaying, relaxing, hope, inspiration, blushing, flushing, openness, heart, will, passion, a thrill, then rest, sleep, talking, laughing, singing, greens, blues, golds, sparkles, softness, lightness, fuzziness, something genuine, powder, flowers, power. over. my. thoughts., a reprieve …

I have…


I do…

… believe it’s about time for a change.

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Things I Love Today


Early walks in rain boots and fuzzy shawls.


Water droplets on leaves.



The park across the street that looks like a mysterious English garden when it rains.


How pretty my mom’s old dishes look stacked neatly after they’ve been washed.


Bribing the boy to wake up with promises of coffee.


Lazy, rainy, three-day weekend drives.

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Wine, Roses, and Drunken Friends



“Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
— Omar Khayyám (Rubaiyat)

I’ve been a little obsessed with Omar Khayyám quotes since I stumbled upon Keith Olbermann‘s response to Prop 8–a clip I should have watched a long, long time ago. It made me cry, for many reasons, and I thought the quote he wrapped everything up with summed up so many things for me.

“So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.”

But there are plenty of other lovely, lovely words. Indulge me and read.

“Dead yesterdays and unborn tomorrows, why fret about it, if today be sweet.”

I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return’d to me,
And answer’d: ‘I Myself am Heav’n and Hell”

“Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and–sans End!

Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
“Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There.”

Makes one want to exclaim carpe diem, no?

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This I Believe

Originally posted December 9, 2008

A friend recommended that I check out www.thisibelieve.org today. I’d heard of it before and have read a few of the essays. You could spend hours on that site. There are a lot of thought-provoking ones, like this one and this one and this one. And I’ve always adored this one. After reading a few I thought I’d start compiling my own list, because a lot of times my own rambling thoughts don’t make sense until I get them down on paper. It’s a work in progress.

I believe life should be lived with all five senses at attention.

I believe that we are innately good, but that goodness must be fostered.

I believe retaining one’s idealism and optimism is hard work — maintaining low expectations so as to not be disappointed is taking the easy way out.

I believe the definition of “wrong” or “sinful” is anything that harms or tears another person down. One should strive to build other people up. It’s that simple.

I believe wars are not the answer, but will never be avoided without education and open-mindedness.

I believe differences should be celebrated, not converted.

I believe laughter heals the soul, and keeps one youthful.

I believe happiness is a choice, not a circumstance.

I believe that life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. (Thank you, John Lennon.)

I believe that however well-intentioned, religion often creates a lack of social responsibility.

I believe that we should want to spread the wealth.

I believe everyone has the right to health care.

I believe everyone has the right to an education.

I believe that not everyone has boots, let alone bootstraps.

I believe travel and experiences are more valuable than property and possessions.

I believe sharing a meal with loved ones is a sacred ritual.

I believe touch is a basic human need, and one that can have detrimental effects on a person if it is denied or withheld.

I believe music is magic, and that those who can create it have a genius I am envious of but will never possess.

I believe that not knowing exactly what one believes — and freely admitting it — will earn a listening ear far quicker than dogmatic conviction.

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Guilty Pleasures: In Defense of Bubble Baths

You know, I’m not even going to call this a guilty pleasure. I have no feelings of remorse about it, because after a long day – and there have been a few of those lately – the only fool-proof way of setting my mood straight when I get home is a long, hot bath. And I’m talking loooong. Like, soaking long enough to get my fingers and toes all pruny and then adding more hot water.

Some days I’ll drink hot tea during, sometimes wine, sometimes a cocktail. Sometimes I’ll burn a candle, or add bubbles, or salts, or oils. Or maybe all of them.

Some days I’ll listen to music during, and sometimes all I want to hear is the rushing of the water. When I like accompaniment, it’s usually something light-hearted and girlie, like Life by the Cardigans or Youth Novels by Lykke Li (a new favorite).

And sometimes – embarrassing though it may sound – it’s the soundtrack to Something’s Gotta Give. Sounds horribly campy, and maybe it is, but it’s a fantastic mix of late 50s/early 60s pop and old French standards. And honestly, does it get any better than Louis Armstrong singing La Vie En Rose?

(There’s an unfortunate cover of the same song by Jack Nicholson at the end of the album. I generally try to forget that one).

For the most part I read during baths – my books and magazines are notoriously crinkly and water-marked as a result. But sometimes all I want to do is completely submerge my head in the hot water and hide from everything.

I’m not sure what it is that makes baths so comforting. Is it the sounds? The smells? All sensations combined? Enveloping oneself in such warmth is rather womb-like, I suppose.

But no matter the combination of accessories or additives, a long bath is an instant cureall to whatever ails me. Maybe that’s why the boy doesn’t complain when I disappear for hours at a time …

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