Our Common Thread

The blog title is the title of the June/July 2020 Vogue. It is a special issue on Creativity in a Time of Crisis.

I want to quote from two people whose photos and quotes grace the magazine.

I use the quotes to encourage readers to buy Vogue.

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Cynthia Erivo – Atlanta:

“I’m still picking outfits that make me feel good–even if I’m just going downstairs,” says the actor. “I’m still getting up and doing my little facial and skin care regimen. I’m still wearing my jewelry because I love that, and it’s a part of who I am…So that stuff hasn’t fallen by the wayside yet. I would say I’m staying fashionably cozy.”

Alessandro Michele – Rome:

“I’ve rediscovered knitting and the sacredness of manual work. Knitting is my way of praying,” says the Gucci creative director. “I’m also learning how to play my classical guitar, feeling the connection with my dad’s love for music. I’m aware of the privilege I have–I can slow down, while lots of other people are working tirelessly to help each and every one of us make it through these agonizing times.

We would not be here thinking about what this pandemic is teaching us without their priceless effort. From my windows I can hear the birds singing as I’ve never heard before; seawater in Venice is clear once again.

These are the little signs we need to look at once we go back to inhabiting this fragile world.”

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What I have to add to the dialog:

Be grateful for what you have. You have everything right inside you that you need to succeed. Respect the natural world and the human beings living alongside you on this green and glorious earth.

Each of us gets only this life to live on this one planet. Live for today and focus on the present moment before it’s gone.

Today is the greatest day. Only today matters.

The past had an expiration date–it ended. The future isn’t guaranteed.

Today is a gift to open and rejoice in.

Pay attention to the birds singing on your fire escape. Listen to the song of life.

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Living through this terrible and tragic pandemic I’ve decided not to play it safe when returning outdoors.

What I wrote in here years ago:

There’s no safety in playing it safe. The path of least resistance leads to a dead end.

Dare beautiful readers–dare to be yourselves and strive to make a difference.

More than ever the world needs us to band together for the common cause of humanity.

The Circle of Life

What I’ve been thinking about:

In the time of the pandemic where a lot of people struggle with food insecurity I have a well-stocked refrigerator bursting with food.

When you have plenty what else could you need or want?

My goal when I’m able to get a FreshDirect time slot for food delivery is to use the link on that website to donate money to the Common Pantry in New York City.

I’ve become grateful today for the only thing that counts to me in this time: the grocery deliveries coming every week.

It’s not the Caudalie face scrub I bought that I really care about.

My thoughts go out to people who are  unable to get food.

The New York City government has been delivering food boxes to anyone who needs food in the time of the pandemic.

Like Lyn Slater the Accidental Icon I’ve come to question the things I took for granted on an ordinary pandemic-free day.

As I’ve always thought those of us who are fortunate should be doing everything we can to help others who aren’t fortunate.

Now more than ever being grateful for your fortune in life should be the rule not the exception in how people think.

This is the circle of life: giving back what you have been given.

I will always talk about clothes and makeup in here. To cheer up readers. To make readers feel good. To spread joy.

Perhaps a spoon full of this sugar can make the medicine go down like Mary Poppins sang in the 1970s movie.

The fact is in America people are going hungry.

Actress Viola Davis revealed that she battled childhood hunger.

She has championed the Hunger Is campaign for No Kid Hungry.

In my view even donating canned goods like soup and vegetables to your local food pantry is a valid form of charity when you can’t do anything else.

My goal when I retire from my library job is to volunteer my time and money to social causes more so than I do today.

Hunger. It’s a real issue. No one should go hungry.

In America The Fruited Plain food should be plentiful. The fact that it’s not is a shame.

Living and Shopping with Intention

To live with intention has taken on new meaning during the pandemic.

To shop with intention is my new mantra along with living with intention.

I’ve come to realize that retail therapy isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Choosing and using what you buy with care and judgment makes what you bring home more special.

An edited collection of items is better managed and improves your mental health.

Having too much stuff can weigh you down.

My intention is to do only one thing: upgrade my lounge wear.

To throw out the old worn-out items.

I want to buy a few new outfits that will cheer me up.

It’s so easy to feel down in the dumps when you’re wearing pajamas at noon.

There might be a rebound of the coronavirus in the fall and early winter.

This is why I want to plan ahead and buy a few new at-home outfits.

The Dressing Well website is having a $99 virtual styling special through May 31, 2020.

The original cost was $250. You’re able to use the service within the year of first buying it.

I recommend this service as I’ve been using them for over 10 years.

It’s hard for me to find clothes that fit.

So I have the stylist e-mail me links to items she has referred me to buy.

In the spirit of Conscious Chic acting as an empowered consumer makes all the difference.

In coming blog entries I’ll talk more about things I’ve learned living through the pandemic.

My adventure with online food ordering has gotten me to think long and hard before going on a shopping spree.

 

Happy Birthday Spring Babies!

We are in the month dubbed Sprouting Grass Moon in the cycle of nature.

The idea of new growth and the greening of Earth sparks in me the hope that change is possible.

As I turn 55 I’m struck that self-care and more rightly so self-nurturing [as a form of compassion for yourself] is the way to go post-50 [or at any time in your life really].

It can be a challenge on a regular day to press the square button to pause the frenetic pace. I make the case for doing so no matter what.

In this time of crisis I haven’t been a saint in terms of self-care. Nor in terms of budgeting.

I thought: 55 is a big deal. It’s more of a milestone than 50 ever was. That’s because you’re halfway to 60.

For better or worse a person can face a new trial while living in menopause. This is the reason self-care becomes a necessity not a luxury at mid life.

Your life won’t wait for you. It’s moving on. Far better to move along with it.

Resisting change is futile in this era.

The motto as I’ve stated in here before [like a caterpillar to a butterfly] is:

Change or die.

Those are brave somewhat harsh words yet oh-so-true.

Who will you be tomorrow?

A more beautiful loving person when you take time out for yourself today.

Happy Birthday spring babies!

Birthday Feast Playlist 2020

Birthday Feast Playlist 2020

12 Songs 52 minutes

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“Paper Planes” M.I.A.

“Caution” The Killers

“Lazy Eye” Silversun Pickups

“Sunday” Sonic Youth

“Sunday” Iggy Pop

“Sunflower” Vampire Weekend

“True to Myself” Ziggy Marley

“Love Letters” Dirty Heads

“Viva la Vida” Cold Play

“On a Saturday Night” Artificial Pleasure

“City of Angels” 24k Goldn

“Life in the City” The Lumineers

“Black Madonna” Cage the Elephant

 

Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution Week has come on as a response to the breakdown in worldwide commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quite awhile ago I said I would write about the book Wear No Evil. Yes–I forgot to do this. It’s a guide to sustainable fashion that offers a system for choosing and using wardrobe items.

The author lists 16 criteria you can choose from and a diamond-design method for prioritizing each choice.

My prime choice is to buy clothes that require low water use to manufacture. And whose vendors don’t pollute the water with chemicals in the process of creating garments.

From the people to the products a fashion revolution is an idea whose time has come.

I recommend reading Wear No Evil. It’s the most concise, helpful, and cheerful guide to sustainable fashion. It refrains from judging the reader or belaboring the point with a academic treatise. Actionable steps are given for right now.

Alas, I regret that as a tiny person who is only 5 feet tall and a size 2 Petite I have yet to find clothes of any sustainable origin that would fit me. If anyone knows of a suitable vendor, I’d love to hear about these options.

My solution is to “shop in my own closet” for the foreseeable future. To mix-and-match items I already own to style new outfits.

Accidental Icon Lyn Slater in her Ripping Seams blog post talks about taking apart your consciousness as well as the seams in the clothes you wear.

Fashion and social justice seem like odd partners. Yet taking apart the fabric of society and getting under its seams is the first step in deconstructing the tattered clothing we’re in. That is the raiment we cloak ourselves in mentally as well as physically.

Living through the COVID-19 outbreak seems like the perfect time to do what Slater suggests: start ripping seams.

I estimate I have another two or three years before I have to buy a whole slew of clothes again. By that time perhaps more sustainable lower-cost options will arrive for a person like me who doesn’t fit into Regular sized clothing.

My goal is to at least buy fewer clothes and shop less often. To read up on the social standing of clothes vendors.

If you ask me doing whatever you can is all that matters in the moment.

Do Just One Thing. And do One More Thing after that.

This is the way to start a revolution from your closet.

Plenty of Fish-y

I haven’t found Mr. Right. Nor have I found Mr. Almost Right. And I haven’t found Mr. Not-Right-Yet-I’ll-Take-Him Anyway.

Yes I’ve tried–OKCupid, Chemistry, How About We, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, and Match–I’ve tried them all.

I only met one guy in person. He was a personal trainer yet curiously wasn’t certified as a personal trainer.

In his profile photos he had black hair. In person he had gray hair. So his photos were 10 years old.

His online requirement was that he sought to meet:

“An intelligent woman who loves life and likes to laugh.”

Though I fit this criteria he wasn’t interested in me. He acted like I was a charity case–like he was doing me a favor sending me messages.

To meet him in person I wore a sleeveless denim dress with an ombre hem and cut-out back like a keyhole. I had on navy-strap platform sandals.

His idea of “intelligent” involved reading James Patterson novels.

This date took  place 3 years ago. It’s the only time I’ll spill details about a person.

After I met this guy the better highlight of that day was shopping at a fish market to pick up dinner.

It pays to stock up on plenty of fish in your refrigerator when you dine alone.

I turn 55 in the spring and will be treating myself to a birthday feast for dinner in my apartment.

Complete with a new set of flatware, dishes, and cloth napkin.

And yes a lobster tail should I be able to get one.

Serve yourself. Don’t wait for a mate.

Get dolled up and dine like you’re in a restaurant when you’re at home.