If she's going to ignore me, I'm taking the "My Side" pillow.
I've been in one of those mild funks stemming from the endless winter. It's hard being in a new town even if one had been brought there under normal circumstances. Sometimes I feel like I'm on another planet. So there's been lots of yoga and even a jet peel which is this fabulous thing where they pressure wash your face like they might an ancient stone building. It helps and I'm lucky I can bankroll these salves. To the person who felt compelled to write me to say that I was too privileged, I say, walk in my shoes for the past five years and then let me know how privileged you feel. We are all privileged and we are all broken - both beyond measure. If fancy candles and bags soothe a savage breast, then isn't life simple?
I finished Forever Chic, which is my favourite book about French living so far. It's written by A Femme d'Un Certain Age's Tish Jett who is an American style editor who is married to a French man and resides in Paris. I know, I'm envious as sin too. Her book is both a practical style guide and has a layer of wisdom that your don't find in books written by twenty-year olds.
Jett made me lust after the availability of good conversation in France, where philosophy is a mandatory high school course. I was part of a sort of salon in the city but have yet to find one here. I was bemoaning this fact when I was presented with two opportunities: one to help kickstart a business-oriented group with a girlfriend and another to connect with this group of fierce, cool women via the impressive Che Marville, a women with whom people have been trying to connect me for the past decade. We had a lunch to celebrate International Women's Day and it's one of the first events I've been at where we discussed neither our children's extra-curriculars nor renovations. I feel like I have oxygen in my blood once again.
Sometimes the universe provides you exactly what you need, much as I often fight the notion. Sonya Huber recently wrote How the ‘Trophy for Just Showing Up’ Is Earned for the NYT blog. I felt it applies hugely to our funny little family, particularly this passage:
In “How Children Succeed,” Paul Tough describes “grit” as a key indicator of success. I wanted grit for my son, and he has it. Sometimes he got anxious that he wasn’t the best, and I told him he would rarely be the best in anything in life, and that was fine.
God, what a relief is was to read her words. We may not have rep hockey or straight As or my former bank account, but we have true grit in spades. Rooster Cogburn in well-worn cashmere. And so, as they say, the kids are alright. We don't have everything, but we have enough. And as Molly Peacock writes so gorgeously, want is not so bad.
WHY I AM NOT A BUDDHIST
I love desire, the state of want and thought
of how to get; building a kingdom in a soul
requires desire. I love the things I've sought-
you in your beltless bathrobe, tongues of cash that loll
from my billfold- and love what I want: clothes,
houses, redemption. Can a new mauve suit
equal God? Oh no, desire is ranked. To lose
a loved pen is not like losing faith. Acute
desire for nut gateau is driven out by death,
but the cake on its plate has meaning,
even when love is endangered and nothing matters.
For my mother, health; for my sister, bereft,
wholeness. But why is desire suffering?
Because want leaves a world in tatters?
How else but in tatters should a world be?
A columned porch set high above a lake.
Here, take my money. A loved face in agony,
the spirit gone. Here, use my rags of love.