Monthly Archives: July 2003

You’re beautiful

found photo, unknown photographer

One of my earliest memories is a strange one. I am about 7 years old and I am playing with the neighbor kid for the day at a swimming pool. As we munched our snack of potato chips, he looked at me and said, “You’re beautiful.”

I froze, embarrassed, not knowing what to say.

“I know,” I blurted and then knew instantly that this was ALL WRONG, that you were NOT supposed to say “I know” in that situation. That was the conceited thing, the stupid, bad, absolutely wrong thing to say.

My face flushed hot with embarrassment and hatred. I can still remember the taste of blood in my mouth from biting down hard on my tongue. Punishment.

Today, I was at the San Francisco airport picking up friends of mine. As I waited at the baggage claim, a young boy (about 6 years old) challenged me to a game of heads and tails. Every time the quarter came up heads, he did a victory dance that resembled a Scottish folk dance. It was hilarious. He also showed me the United Airlines wings he got from the pilot on his flight. “Way better than the ones from Continental,” he confided.

As I laughed at yet another victory dance, he stopped, looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re beautiful.” My face flushed completely red. Suddenly I was 7 years old again.

I grinned, surprised, and said, “Thank you.”

And then he flew away, United airlines wings in hand.

cutie bud

cutie bud, Golden Gate Park, Nikon Coolpix 4500

This little guy kills me. Reminds me of ET.

Hello dahlia

pink dahlia, Golden Gate Park, Nikon Coolpix 4500

I racked my brain for days about how to cheer myself up, when the obvious finally hit me. The dahlias in Golden Gate Park!

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

Is there anywhere in your neighborhood/your city that brings you true happiness and pleasure?

The lonelies

orchid stem, Nikon Coolpix 4500

For me, one of the greatest challenges of having your own business (and working at home) is feeling lonely. I’ve started to notice more and more that my lifeline to the world is through the internet and this journal.

For the first two years I had my business, I was so lonely (and afraid of what I was embarking on) that I cried nearly every day. Nevertheless, something inside me knew that if I just stuck with it, it would be worthwhile. No matter how depressed I got, I wasn’t willing to quit.

After a particularly hard week, I spoke to a wonderful card reader/psychic I know in New Orleans named Lauren. I told her about my depression, how I cried uncontrollably every day, how I knew it was circumstantial, but I felt like I was becoming the crazy lady in the attic.

I expected her to agree with me when I suggested getting a part time job to get myself out of the house. I shared my “Clif Bar fantasy” where I get a job at a great company like Clif Bar that has yoga classes on site and where everyone loves their job. Instead she said, “Yes, you could definitely get a part time job. But consider that loneliness is just part of the deal right now. Sometimes you need loneliness to grow creatively.”

Something shifted inside me when she said that. What if there was nothing to fix? What if I could USE that energy instead of resisting it? What if I stopped trying to make it go away?

Almost immediately after that conversation, I felt more peaceful at work. I stopped leaving the house every time I felt anxious, I stopped making phone calls every time I felt alone, I stopped obsessively checking email. I tried to allow the loneliness as much as I could. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but having permission to allow it to be there, and understanding that discomfort isn’t necessarily “bad” was liberating.

I’m in a different place now. It has been three years since I started my business, I no longer work in an attic, and I only cry every once in a while. Don’t we all?

I still feel lonely at times. I still crave the outside world, and at some point I might choose that. But for now I’m satisfied with me, Superhero Designs, a little bit of loneliness, and you, who I love to talk to.

Cosmic low

orchid, Nikon Coolpix 4500

Having a low today. (Okay, and yesterday too.) Not even my yoga class could fix it.

I was, however, heartened when a couple of friends said that they were having a crappy day as well. Are we having a cosmic low?

Photo Friday – Identity

striped toothbrush, Sardegna, Italy, Olympus Epic

The theme for Photo Friday is “identity”.

Great ideas?

cherries and ponies, Nikon Coolpix 4500

Part of the creative process is giving yourself permission to explore, get wacky, be ridiculous. Last week began with cherry earrings and a pony necklace, and ended with a tomato shaped like an ear that we actually pierced at a dinner party! (with the silver ring that holds the measuring spoons together)

I’ve been thinking “out of the box” as they say in regard to jewelry design. I think I’m onto something.

Don’t you wish you could keep those cherries alive forever?

By the way, thank you for all the support about the tight jeans thing. I loved hearing your stories about vinyl and dieting and making your own pact to enjoy yourself (and your body) fully, right at this moment. So inspiring.

Tight jeans and black coffee

Cafe, Nikon Coolpix 4500

I did something daring today.

I bought the tightest jeans in the universe. I have been admiring the buttocks of many a gal strutting around San Francisco in the ever famous “Seven” jeans, but always thought, “I’m too… old, big arsed, poor, to wear those.”

Until today. Because yesterday I had a revelation.

My friend Maggie and I were discussing the following incredible irony: That we don’t realize until NOW (30 something years old) that we looked HOT when we were in high school. Our butts were NOT as big as we thought, our legs were NOT thundering across the hallways, and NO ONE was even thinking about it as much as we were.

What a waste of time! All of those diets and lowfat chips and diet coke and barfing in the bathroom and wearing baggy clothes and tying a sweatshirt around the waist to conceal the arse. (Or maybe that was just me?)

We look at our photos from that time and think, “Wow. I really was okay. In fact, I was more than okay. I was BEAUTIFUL and I never enjoyed it. My friend Rob says something brilliant on this subject:
“Love your body. Everyone else does!”

So in the spirit of that, in the spirit of the best thing Maggie’s mom ever told her, “You’ll never look as good as you do right at this moment!” I bought myself a pair of the tightest jeans I could find. These jeans are so tight that if I’m not careful, I will be displaying a generous amount of butt cleavage on the BART train.

Brittany Spears would be proud.

And so would my 17-year-old self. Because, dammit. I’ll never look as good as I do right at this moment.

Happy Johnwarming!

Cake made by Elizabeth, Nikon Coolpix 4500

We celebrated John’s housewarming by having a delicious barbecue, an even more delicious cake, and watching the movie Office Space on the roof deck of their building.

Every once in a while I would forget where I was and look up to see the San Francisco skyline. It was magical.

The Venice Biennale

glass bubbles, Venice Biennale, Olympus Epic

If you’re anywhere near Venice Italy this year, go to the Biennale! Not only will you be in the most gorgeous city in all the world but you will see SO much incredible art that your creative well will be full for the next two years (when of course, there will another Biennial art show).

The above piece was one of my favorites although I can’t remember who did it…

Another show we loved wasn’t part of the Biennale, but was at a beautiful Cafe called Imagina. It was a photography show entitled “Ghetto” by Adam Broomburg and Oliver Chanarin.

They chose 12 rare communities, from a prison in South Africa to a retirement home in California and a gypsy ghetto in Macedonia. They spent a month in each place, methodically photographing and asking the same questions: “Who is in power here? Where do you go to be alone, to make love, to be with friends? What are your hopes and dreams?”

The publisher’s web site gives this example:

The answers they received to their questions were both revealing and absurd, but with the powerful and dramatic truths that they found, for instance, with Rafael, a patient in the mental asylum in Cuba:”What are you scared of Rafael?”
“I’m afraid of the outside.”
“Because Rafael is there and I don’t want to see him.”
“But you are Rafael.”
“Now you understand what I’m scared of.”